I remember a time, not too long ago, a simpler time, when playing with friends meant going outside and throwing a frisbee or playing basketball. Calling a relative didn’t include seeing them through a camera on a smartphone or tablet, it meant dialing their number by pressing numbers on a landline and speaking to your grandparent. All of that has since changed following the advent of modern technology. Now, I am in no way negating the benefits of technology, nor am I renouncing any of these devices, I am merely reminiscing of a time when life was less complicated.
Moving on, it’s safe to say that there are few, if any, people in the world that haven’t heard of Google (GOOGL). The Company created a search engine which has since revolutionized how we ascertain information, as well as how businesses reach out to consumers. During that time, Google (GOOGL) has been given a home in the Oxford English Dictionary, as well as expanded its operations to far more than an internet-powered encyclopedia on everything anyone could ever know. We’ve seen Google Maps (GOOGL), Google’s own smartphone, the Pixel, and countless other innovations from the gargantuan tech company.
Surprising no one, Google (GOOGL) on Tuesday announced the unveiling of a video game streaming service called Stadia which will allow users to play the game that they love without the need for purchasing wallet-emptying consoles or computers. In terms of rendering the games for user play, this work will be handled by Google’s (GOOGL) cloud platform. Per the details of the official announcement, with Stadia, YouTube watchers will be able to click “Play now” at the end of a video and their game will start within five seconds. Perhaps the craziest part about Stadia is that the “data center is the platform,” meaning that players can start at one platform and continue where they left off on any advice capable of connecting to Google (GOOGL).
Gamers can use keyboards and mice, or use a specially-designed Stadia controller that will be sold later in the year. According to Google (GOOGL), Stadia will support 4K gaming t 60fps with HDR, with plans to allow for 8K gaming in the near future. The only missing piece of Google’s (GOOGL) into the billion-dollar gaming industry is that the Company has yet to sign on game studios to build a gaming library for Stadia. Because the platform won’t require a console, it may very well only work with games designed for Stadia. Having said that, it would be unwise for Google (GOOGL) not to integrate cross-platform play into Stadia’s platform, especially given that gamers love playing with friends who may use a different console than their own.
“The power and accessibility of streaming will give billions unprecedented opportunities to play video games in the future. We are proud to partner with Google on Stadia, building on what we’ve learned with Project Stream via Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. This is only the beginning, and we can’t wait to continue collaborating closely with Google on what’s next for Stadia.”
–Yves Guillemot, Chief Executive Officer, Ubisoft
Given that Stadia was announced only a few hours ago, not much is known about the search engine’s gaming platform. One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind is how Google (GOOGL) plans on monetizing Stadia. Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, said that he wants Stadia to be a “platform for everyone,” but this doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be a platform that everyone can afford. If for some bizarre reason, Stadia ends up being a free download for users, perhaps Google (GOOGL) will have a subscription-based model for access to their game library, or maybe they’ll show ads every thirty seconds of play.