There's plenty of reason to get excited about the future of gaming. Google unveiled Stadia not at this year's recently concluded Game Developers Conference, a cloud gaming platform that aims to introduce platform agnostic gaming to the fold — that is, games not bound by any particular console, and can be played anytime, anywhere, and possibly on anything.
Apart from Google, a handful of companies are hard at work developing their respective video game streaming services. Among them is Microsoft with its Project xCloud platform. As on Stadia, players can pick any game and stream it using a powerful enough device.
Google Stadia Lacks Content
The biggest difference, however, is Google apparently doesn't "have the content." That's according to Xbox division chief marketing officer Mike Nichols, who argued that while Stadia has an infrastructure in place, Google lacks the content necessary to flourish in the video game industry.
"Emerging competitors like Google have a cloud infrastructure, a community with YouTube, but they don't have the content," Nichols told The Telegraph in an interview. "You won't necessarily need a device over time, but you'll get the best experience with local processing power."
Google Stadia And Studios, Publishers
Nichols also noted that Google doesn't have strong ties to game developers and publishers to deliver the content fans expect. He's not wrong — Microsoft is one of the most clever players in this regard, having established all kinds of relationships and partnerships — even with Nintendo — since joining the industry in 2001 with the original Xbox.
Google hasn't announced an official lineup for Stadia, and there's no clue as to which games will be available upon its release. The company not having content might not be true for long, though. In addition to Stadia, Google also created its own studio, called Stadia Games and Entertainment, that will make exclusive games for the service.
Google executive Phil Harrison recently stated that Google has received strong support from the game development community for Stadia, but of course, that remains to be seen. "Support" could mean anywhere from "we like the idea" to "we're bringing our games on the platform."
There's a lot of unknowns still with Google's innovative gaming platform, which launches later this year. Project xCloud will begin public testing in the coming months, with a potential late 2019 or 2020 release date on the cards. Whether or not either will flourish is not certain. One thing is for sure, though: the cloud gaming wars have officially begun.