Google announces browser-based streaming game service

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google announced on Tuesday a browser-based video game streaming service dubbed Stadia that attempts to capitalize on the company’s cloud technology and global network of data centers.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during a Google keynote address announcing a new video gaming streaming service named Stadia that attempts to capitalize on the company’s cloud technology and global network of data centers, at the Gaming Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

The technology allows users to play games through their internet browser without waiting for content to be downloaded to a device, making access to games potentially as easy as watching a video from YouTube. But Google for now offered scant details on pricing or available titles for the service, which faces potentially tough competition from game publishers and from rivals including Amazon.com and Microsoft.

The “waiting game will be a thing of the past,” Phil Harrison, a Google vice president overseeing the new service, said during a keynote presentation on Tuesday in San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference, which is bringing together this week about 25,000 people who work in the video games industry.

Google said Stadia would launch sometime this year in the United States, Canada and much of Europe.

It declined to say how games would be priced or what games would be available on Stadia. It demonstrated titles from the Doom and Assassin’s Creed franchises on Tuesday and said that it would be developing some games in-house.

Though users may be attracted to the idea of quick access from any device, they may not get desired games. Analysts have questioned whether the tech companies will be able to charge consumers prices high enough to attract top publishers that have a lucrative business selling games on discs.

Game publishers also may decide to launch their own streaming services, as film and TV studios have begun doing for their content in the last few years.

Several technology companies are looking to boost services revenue through games streaming, including Sony Corp, Nvidia Corp and Microsoft Corp.

Google “has one key weakness – first party and exclusive content,” Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games for research firm IHS Markit, said in a note on Tuesday. “Both Microsoft and Tencent are better positioned” with a strong supply of unique top shelf games.

Google has shown mixed results in gaming. Video games are the best-selling category on its app store for Android mobile devices. It sold an estimated $21.5 billion worth of games last year, according to research firm Sensor Tower. And gaming is among the top three categories on the Google-owned video service YouTube.

But Apple Inc’s App Store sold about $33 billion worth of games last year, and the games industry views Amazon.com Inc’s Twitch, rather than YouTube, as the most popular video streaming service for content related to video games.

Google flopped in efforts to popularize games on virtual reality headsets and televisions.

Harrison said Stadia would work on desktops, laptops, TVs connected to Chromecast streaming media sticks, tablets and phones. Players could enter games from links on YouTube or other social media.

They will play using mice and keyboards, USB controllers or a WiFi-enabled controller that Google plans to launch this year.

Google’s hardware business is a top priority for Chief Executive Sundar Pichai, who opened Tuesday’s keynote.

Dozens of people are on the Stadia team, many of them formerly of game makers Electronic Arts Inc, Sony or Microsoft’s gaming units.

Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Nick Zieminski

Source link

more recommended stories

  • Elon Musk’s SpaceX suffers capsule anomaly during Florida tests

    (Reuters) – Elon Musk’s SpaceX suffered.

  • China releases new rules on game approvals

    People play online games at an.

  • U.S. intelligence says Huawei funded by Chinese state security: report

    (Reuters) – U.S. intelligence has accused.

  • Foxconn recommits to Wisconsin plant, despite governor’s doubts

    President Donald Trump (left) and Rep..

  • Mir card payment system looks beyond Russia

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – After Western sanctions.

  • Qualcomm’s joint venture with Chinese province to shut down: The Information

    FILE PHOTO: A Qualcomm sign is.

  • Pinterest, Zoom shares surge in market debut after IPOs

    (Reuters) – Shares of Pinterest Inc.

  • China’s Guangdong gives Tencent approval to distribute Nintendo’s Switch console

    FILE PHOTO: A Tencent sign is.

  • Pinterest raises $1.4 billion in IPO in sign of sustained demand after Lyft struggles

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Pinterest Inc.

  • Digital banking startup Aspiration seeks new funding round

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Aspiration, a.

  • Foxconn’s Gou says will follow order of sea goddess to run for Taiwan presidency

    Terry Gou, founder and chairman of.

  • Apple likens Qualcomm chips to fried chicken as trial begins

    FILE PHOTO: A surveillance camera is.

  • Foxconn’s Gou says may run for Taiwan president, step back from daily business

    TAIPEI (Reuters) – Foxconn’s Chairman Terry.

  • Hulu buys back AT&T’s stake in $1.43 billion deal

    FILE PHOTO: The AT&T logo is.

  • Electronics For Imaging to sell itself to Siris Capital unit

    (Reuters) – Digital printing company Electronics.

  • Asia’s tech champions zero in on main street banking

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Asia’s internet.

  • Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp hit by outages – downdetector

    FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of mobile users.

  • World’s largest plane makes first flight over California

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The world’s.

  • U.S. senators introduce social media bill to ban ‘dark patterns’ tricks

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two U.S. senators.

  • China’s JD.com boss criticizes ‘slackers’ as company makes cuts

    SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Richard Liu, the.

  • Facebook more than doubles Zuckerberg compensation to $22.6 million

    FILE PHOTO: Facebook’s founder and CEO.

  • Dutch PM Rutte: no decisions yet on Chinese role in 5G roll out

    FILE PHOTO: Dutch Prime Minister Mark.

  • Uber unveils IPO with warning it may never make a profit

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Uber Technologies.

  • Disney CEO Iger takes a dig at social media, says Hitler would have loved it: Variety

    FILE PHOTO: Disney’s Chief Executive Officer.

  • Lyft’s stock slide casts long shadow on Uber’s IPO

    (Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc may.

  • Lyft shares hit new low as Uber IPO chatter revs up

    FILE PHOTO: Lyft supporters gather for.

  • First Cobalt targets Canada plant restart within two years: CEO

    SHANGHAI (Reuters) – First Cobalt Corp.

  • Exclusive: Uber plans to sell around $10 billion worth of stock in IPO – sources

    (Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc has.

  • U.S. senators’ new bill would ban online ‘dark patterns’ that trick consumers

    FILE PHOTO – Sen. Mark Warner.

  • China says it wants to eliminate bitcoin mining

    SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s state planner.

  • Exclusive: Loeb’s Third Point building stake to pressure Sony – sources

    (Reuters) – Daniel Loeb’s hedge fund.

  • Facebook says has made headway against abuses ahead of India election

    MENLO PARK, California (Reuters) – Facebook.