Google Stadia: Future of Gaming or Pie in the Cloud?


Google Stadia: Future of Gaming or Pie in the Cloud?

Google on Tuesday pulled the wraps off Stadia, a brand new cloud-based gaming platform, at the 2019 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Using the energy of Google’s world info infrastructure, Stadia can stream the highest-quality video games to any display, Google CEO Sundar Pichai mentioned in a keynote asserting the platform, which is anticipated to return on-line later this yr.

Stadia represents Google’s imaginative and prescient for the future of gaming, “where the worlds of watching and playing games converge into a new generation game platform, perfectly built for the 21st century,” Google General Manager Phil Harrison advised the viewers at the gathering.

“Games are now the single biggest form of entertainment on the planet — one that connects a vast community across geographies, cultures and language,” he mentioned.

“Within that passionate community there is a universe of people who love playing games, and there’s a universe of people who love watching games. Hundreds of millions of people watch gaming content every single day on YouTube,” Harrison famous.

“But those two worlds are mostly disconnected, fragmented and often independent of each other,” he continued. “Our vision is to bring those worlds closer together, to connect game developers with players and YouTube creators in a way that only Google can.”

Device-Agnostic Approach

As an instance of how Stadia can hyperlink watching and taking part in, Harrison demonstrated how somebody watching a recreation trailer on YouTube may begin taking part in the recreation at the click on of an on-screen button in as shortly as 5 seconds.

Unlike video games from main gamers like Microsoft and Sony, Stadia video games will run on nearly any system that may run a Chrome browser or TV that works with Chromecast.

The solely {hardware} Google launched at its occasion was a recreation controller that could possibly be used when taking part in Stadia video games. The controller makes use of WiFi to attach a tool on to a recreation in the cloud.

It additionally has two Google-specific buttons. One permits players to share their gaming experiences on YouTube with a click on of a button. The different offers a gamer direct entry to Google Assistant by means of a mic constructed into the controller.

“Accessing Google Assistant in-game is terrific,” mentioned Mark N. Vena, a senior analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, a expertise analyst and advisory agency in Austin, Texas.

“Most hard-core gamers are always looking for a hidden advantage, and having to have to do that on a separate device is really a pain,” he advised TechNewsWorld.

“It’s helpful to have a unified controller,” mentioned Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research, a shopper expertise advisory agency in New York City.

“That helps put people on a more level playing field,” he advised TechNewsWorld.

The Stadia controller addresses two issues which may come up when utilizing different kinds of controllers, famous Piers Harding-Rolls, a director at IHS Markit, a analysis, evaluation, and advisory agency headquartered in London.

“Rather than connect the controller through Bluetooth and open up a return channel from the connected device, a direct connection with the Internet removes some latency and also enables controller support for connected devices that do not have Bluetooth,” he defined in an analyst notice.

Crowded Market

Game streaming is not distinctive to Google. “Streaming games has been around for years. Everyone has been waiting for it to take off,” mentioned David Cole, an analyst with DFC Intelligence, a market analysis agency in San Diego, California.

Microsoft laid out an identical imaginative and prescient with Microsoft Game Stack, and EA has accomplished the similar with Project Atlas, famous Harding-Rolls.

“It is likely that both Tencent and Amazon will follow suit with similar strategies,” he wrote. “Cloud is the new platform dynamic for the games sector and will be where the future competitive landscape resides.”

One of the greatest issues with streaming video games — and one Google did not handle in its presentation Tuesday — is making a viable enterprise mannequin.

“It’s tough to find a business model that will work with that kind of service,” Cole mentioned.

Another concern with streaming companies has been latency, particularly in the cellular realm. However, the deployment of 5G expertise ought to assist handle that downside, famous Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, an advisory companies agency in Bend, Oregon.

“While 5G availability will limit growth initially, that limit may be a good thing,” he advised TechNewsWorld.

“It will help regulate loading,” Enderle continued, “and prevent the kind of massive problems that a service with this kind of visibility could have if way too many people tried to use it all at once initially.”

Back to the Future of Gaming

Rather than the future of gaming, Stadia is extra “back to the future” of gaming, maintained Michael Goodman, director for digital media at Strategy Analytics, a analysis, advisory and analytics agency in Newton, Massachusetts.

“While the underlying technology is new and improved, the concept is not,” he advised TechNewsWorld.

“Whether we call it cloud gaming, streaming gaming or games on demand, the concept has been around for 15 or 20 years now,” Goodman continued. “From what I have seen so far, Stadia fails to address the principal downfall of all its predecessors — lack of triple-A titles. Publishers do not want to give streaming services access to new releases.”

Games promote for round US$60 at retail. Of that, publishers get round $36. After subtracting builders prices and advertising and marketing bills, publishers maintain round $15 per recreation, he defined.

“With streaming services, publishers do not make as much money — or if licensing fees are pegged to usage, then cost can exceed monthly user revenue,” Goodman mentioned. “Either way, the economics don’t work. Streaming services are great for library titles, but not for new releases.”

Google is making an attempt to run earlier than it learns to stroll, mentioned Lewis Ward, analysis director for gaming at IDC, a market analysis agency in Framingham, Massachusetts.

“I’m not sure they’ve done the basic steps to obtain titles out of the gate,” he advised TechNewsWorld. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Stadia stacked up poorly against PlayStation Now.”

What They Stream Is Not What You Get

Although Google touted the high quality of its stream, these claims will be deceptive, Goodman famous.

“Stadia may stream it at 4K, 60 frames per second, but it is highly unlikely that the end user will get anything approaching this quality,” he mentioned.

“Anyone who has tried streaming 4K video knows that with network congestion, adaptive bit rate streaming, and simple in-home router limitations, what comes out of the servers rarely is what shows up on the screen,” Goodman defined.

Playing a AAA recreation on any display sounds higher than it truly performs, he added.

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey is a good recreation, except you are attempting to play it on a smartphone, in which case the display is just too small,” Goodman noticed. “And are you going to try to attach some kind of controller to your smartphone to play it or try to use the touchscreen? Neither is a very good solution.”

John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His areas of focus embrace cybersecurity, IT points, privateness, e-commerce, social media, synthetic intelligence, large knowledge and shopper electronics. He has written and edited for quite a few publications, together with the Boston Business Journal, the Boston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and Government Security News. Email John.

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