Yesterday at the Game Developer Conference, Google pulled back the curtains on their game streaming service, Stadia. The service will be coming later this year and the company is making big promises about 4k, 60FPS, and latency-free gaming.
But Google is not the only player in this segment and while many were hoping that the service would become available this week, that’s not the case. Google says it will ship the service in 2019 but also entering public trials this year is Microsoft’s xCloud.
Microsoft’s head of gaming, Phil Spencer, responded to Google’s announcements by promising a big E3. “Google went big today and we have a couple of months until E3 when we will go big,” hints Spencer.
Google’s efforts. “Their announcement is validation of the path we embarked on two years ago,” says Spencer. Microsoft is also creating its own cloud gaming service, dubbed xCloud, that will rival Google and many others for streaming games to phones, tablets, PCs, and TVs. Microsoft recently demonstrated xCloud publicly for the first time, and it’s promising trials of the service later this year.
“There were no big surprises in their announcement although I was impressed by their leveraging of YouTube, the use of Google Assistant and the new WiFi controller,” explains Spencer in his memo. Google is leveraging YouTube to allow people to view game clips and then instantly launch the game, or share an exact game save to the video service.
Spencer’s memo shows that the cloud gaming wars are truly about to heat up. Microsoft and Google are fierce competitors in a number of markets, including cloud services, productivity apps, laptops, and now gaming.