Google launches Stadia, its game-streaming platform

Like others, the tech titan hopes that streaming will transform gaming as it did music, film and TV

THE LAUNCH in 2018 of “Red Dead Redemption 2” was a huge event in the history of entertainment. It raked in $725m in its first three days, behind only “Avengers: Endgame”, a recent superhero flick, and “Grand Theft Auto V”, a game from 2013—and that despite being available only to owners of pricey games consoles. On November 19th it became available to an even wider audience with the launch of Stadia, Google’s game-streaming service.

Google is not the only tech titan to bet that streaming will prove as transformative for the $150bn video-game industry as it has been for music, film and television. This month Microsoft announced new games for its experimental xCloud service, which is due to launch in 2020. It will work with Xbox Game Pass, an existing download-based subscription service that offers more than 100 titles. Amazon is widely assumed to be working on something similar. Big Tech will be battling second-tier players, including Nvidia, a maker of gaming-focused computer chips, and Electronic Arts (EA), a games publisher. Sony, which makes consoles, already offers streaming through its PlayStation Now service.


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