March 19, 2019
As expected, Google is entering the $140 billion video game business with hopes its cloud-based Stadia service will rival industry benchmarks Xbox (Microsoft), PlayStation (Sony) and Switch (Nintendo) among consumers.
Google announced the new service March 19 at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The search behemoth, which plans to roll out the service and cost details later this year, says Stadia would enable users to play games from major developers on most devices via YouTube.
“Our ambition is far beyond a single game,” Phil Harrison, VP and GM at Google, told attendees. “The power of instant access is magical, and it’s already transformed the music and movie industries.”
Harrison, who previously held executive positions at Xbox and PlayStation, said Google tested the service (Project Stream) last fall with Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey that enabled users to play/stream the triple-A game via Google’s Chrome browser on any applicable device – including smart TV.
“We finally get to share Google’s vision of games,” Harrison said. “Our vision for Stadia is simple. One place for all the games you play.”
In a statement, Yves Guillemot, the co-founder/CEO of Ubisoft, said Google’s global expanse would give “billions” unprecedented opportunities to play video games.
“We are proud to partner with Google on Stadia, building on what we’ve learned with Project Stream via Assassin’s Creed Odyssey,” Guillemot said. “This is only the beginning, and we can’t wait to continue collaborating closely with Google on what’s next for Stadia.”