San Francisco, .- Google today took the step that many specialists in the industry had been waiting for months and announced its entry into the world “gamer” with a new online video game service, named Stadia, in the style of Netflix or Spotify, a risky bet but with a lot of potential.
The videogame sector is one of the fastest growing in the technology industry: it had a turnover of 136,000 million dollars worldwide last year, according to the IDC analysis firm, and it grows at an average annual rate of 15%.
This industry, however, has well-established players that share the majority of the market and builds on a closed system in which each manufacturer has its own video game console, be it Sony PlayStation, Microsoft’s Xbox or Switch Nintendo, something that Google intends to end.
Stadia, which will be available this year, means that it is no longer necessary to have a console to play, but it is enough with a subscription and a good and powerful internet connection to be able to play any game from any device, whether computer, mobile or Chromecast, Google’s device to share the signals of those devices with television.
The goal of Google is to eliminate completely the traditional barriers of the world of videogames, both physical (discs) and digital (download times), and bring this sector even closer to its video platform, YouTube, which has already been located in recent years as a reference portal for gamers.
“This will be an instant access platform, you will not need to download or install the game, you can play directly,” explained Google vice president, Phil Harrison, in the framework of the Video Game Developers Conference (GDC, in its acronym English), which is celebrated these days in San Francisco.
Google’s foray into the videogames market is part of a broader future strategy that seeks to diversify its revenues beyond the advertising spaces generated by its almost absolute dominance of Internet searches.
Although the market is appetizing for its volume and growth, Google’s bet is risky, since it relies on changing very established habits among players, something that other companies such as Sony itself have already tried with little or no success. your PlayStation Now service.
Launched in January 2014, PlayStation Now is a video game subscription service in the style announced today by Google, with the difference that it requires the user to have the physical console and the offer is only for PlayStation games.
In addition to Sony, it also has similar services NVIDIA with GeForce Now (works for computers and the Shield console), but in neither case video games “in the cloud” have managed to make a significant dent in the sector, and other companies smaller ones that have tried it as OnLive, have ended up disappearing.
One of the main pitfalls for videogame subscription services is that they require very fast and reliable internet connections of up to 50 MB per second that allow the player to enjoy a smooth, uninterrupted experience that highlights all the details of the games. hyperrealistic graphics that are today in the market.
Another of the challenges that Google will encounter is to develop a broad and attractive portfolio of games that can compete face to face with those of its rivals, something for which presumably it will have the collaboration of independent producers.
In this sense, the large ecosystem of developers with which Android already has an advantage for the company of Mountain View, which also recently announced the hiring of Canadian video game producer Jade Raymond, who worked for firms as consolidated in the sector as EA and Ubisoft.
On the other hand, the new Google service may also have to compete in the future with similar products from two other technology giants, Microsoft and Amazon, which according to the press are also preparing to launch their own video game subscription platforms . (EFEUSA)