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Game Change

by M.G. Siegler


Google Unveils Stadia Cloud Gaming Service

Tom Warren:

Google demonstrated moving gameplay seamlessly from a phone to a tablet and then to a TV, all using Google-powered devices. While existing USB controllers will work on a laptop or PC, Google is also launching a new Stadia Controller that will power the game streaming service. It looks like a cross between an Xbox and PS4 controller, and it will work with the Stadia service by connecting directly through Wi-Fi to link it to a game session in the cloud. This will presumably help with latency and moving a game from one device to another. You can also use a button to capture and share clips straight to YouTube, or use another button to access the Google Assistant.

Many companies have tried to nail "cloud gaming" over the years, and while it always demos well, it never quite works at scale. There is reason to believe this time is different, given the resources that many large companies have poured into their cloud offerings. This feels like it was Microsoft's chance to do an end run around Sony in the console wars. But Google has a chance as a wild card here. The YouTube integrations sound particularly compelling... As does the notion of the controller being the hardware connected to the cloud...

And Apple has already laid down their stake, taking a shot at the cloud gaming entrants, by announcing all of their games would be available to play without an internet connection. Such a stance is either smart given the timing, or incredibly stupid given the timing...


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