Will streaming continue in the gaming industry?
It could turn the game world upside down. It can play the latest games wherever and whenever you want, without a powerful game console or PC. That is the future that many companies envision. Now also internet giant Google. That company will start tomorrow with the streaming service for games: Stages.
In theory, you can play the most beautiful games on the most straightforward device via that service. The calculation is done in a data centre. What the player does in the game is sent via an internet connection to computers in the data centre, where what that means for the game is processed, and then the images are sent via the internet to the player’s screen.
That can only work if the sending of that data is lightning fast, without the player noticing anything of a delay between the moment he presses a button on the controller and the movements on the screen. That has been the major challenge in recent years from parties who have tried cloud gaming before. It was not yet a big success, mainly because players complain about delays.
Google has high expectations, but a game journalist is critical:
It is an essential development for makers of traditional game computers such as Nintendo and Sony. They have been making money from the sale of game computers and related games for decades. If the streaming of games would be a success, that business model will be turned over.
Sony itself already invested in technology in 2012 by purchasing the Gaikai streaming service and renaming it in PlayStation Now and, in its own words, offering more than 700 games. The function of Sony is not yet a great success, Now, as far as we know, has 700,000 users, while the company has sold more than 100 million copies of its PlayStation 4. Microsoft also wants to enter the race next year and calls its service ‘xCloud’.
22 games at Stadia
Internet giant Google is now also entering the game market and claims to be able to overcome the technical hurdle of delays. Whether this works should prove and will be crucial for the possible success of the platform. At the launch, there are 22 games available that can be purchased separately, much less so than competitor Sony.
The promise to be able to play on many different devices is not yet being fulfilled. Google initially focuses on gaming on TV. Online multiplayer is also not yet supported, and PC players cannot, however, play at the highest 4K resolution. So it is not expected that not everyone will be over immediately, but the game world is focused on this new development.