Gamers, tighten your seat belts because the world of gaming is about to change!
With an estimated 2 billion gamers around the world today, the gaming industry has come a long way since consoles were first introduced in the last century. Over the last three decades, companies and game developers have treaded new horizons — giving gamers experiences they would never have thought possible — and it seems only likely that new advancements in gaming technology are always around the corner. But what if consoles, the mainstay of the gaming industry, became a thing of the past?
That is exactly what Google is trying to do, as the company announced at the ongoing Game Developer Conference (GDC) in San Fransisco. Google, which has lagged behind gaming giants such as Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo over the last few decades, is planning to revolutionize gaming by doing away with consoles altogether. Instead, it plans to start a cloud-based gaming platform, the Google Stadia, which would let gamers stream games on their Android devices, laptops, and even Chromecast Ultra directly from the internet, according to The Verge.
Gamers would not be required to download a game or an application to play, but they could simply start playing if their devices are connected to high-speed internet. As reported by Hindustan Times, gamers will essentially stream content from Google’s data centers in the back-end. Google expects users to have at least a 25 Mbps internet connection to stream games at 4K resolution.
The company plans to launch services in the United States, Canada, and Europe later this year. It is not clear how much gamers would be charged for playing games, but Google is expected to launch a subscription-based model similar to Netflix, or Microsoft’s Game Pass service.
Meanwhile, if one thinks Google is the only company gunning to do away with gaming consoles, they would be mistaken. Microsoft, which already boasts a massive community of gamers on its native Xbox consoles, is also planning to announce a cloud-based platform — tentatively titled the xCloud — in the next couple of months. In an internal memo to the Xbox team, Microsoft’s head of gaming, Phil Spencer, told employees that the company will launch the xCloud with a bang at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).
“There has been really good work to get us to the position where we are poised to compete for two billion gamers across the planet. Google went big today and we have a couple of months until E3 when we will go big,” Spencer wrote, per The Verge.