LG Electronics Announces Gaming Pact With Google Stadia

LG Electronics is adding Google’s online gaming platform Stadia to its line of webOS smart televisions rolling out later this year. The deal — announced at the virtual CES 2021 — will enable smart TV owners access to popular games such as Cyberpunk 2077, NBA 2K21, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and Watch Dogs: Legion on their TV using the Stadia controller and without a requisite separate game system.

Stadia, which streams games directly to a desktop, laptop, cell phone, tablet or TV, is part of a growing wave of streaming-based platforms such as Nvidia’s GeForce Now, Microsoft’s xCloud and Amazon’s Luna looking to circumvent traditional game systems and offer content directly to consumers through CE devices.

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“Supporting Stadia on LG TVs is our commitment to customers that gaming is an increasingly important feature expected by LG TV owners,” Lee Sang-woo, SVP of at LG Electronics Home Entertainment Company, said in a statement. “Stadia is changing how people access their favorite games and by providing webOS compatibility, we’re making an early commitment to the platform.”

Stadia offers more than 130 games, with titles available individually or through a subscription to Stadia Pro.

 

Google Stadia Online Gaming Platform Set to Launch Nov. 19

The new dawn of online gaming is upon us as Google readies the Nov. 19 launch of Stadia, the broadband-based platform affording users cloud-based access to games.

The platform promises to allow users access to major games heretofore only available on disc and playable on traditional consoles. Indeed, users will actually be playing games streamed to their PC, TV or mobile device from Google servers. Whether that ubiquitous access will actually be present at launch remains to be seen.

Online previews of the platform have been underwhelming with complaints ranging from limited titles available (about 22, but reportedly including Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, Doom Eternal and Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2, among others; poor 4K resolution, no multiple user play yet; no LTE network service, among other issues.

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At the launch, the only way to use Stadia will be through the sold-out $130 Founder’s Edition, which includes a controller, 90 days of the Stadia Pro $10 monthly subscription service, and a Google Chromecast Ultra streaming media device to connect with the TV.

In a media interview last week, Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, said the next-gen Xbox Project Scarlett console coming from Microsoft next year would not be inferior to Stadia.

“I would say a learning from the Xbox One generation is we will not be out of position on power or price,” Spencer said. “If you remember the beginning of this generation we were a hundred dollars more expensive and yes, we were less powerful [than PlayStation].

“For us, the console is vital and central to our experience. A console should be designed, and built and optimized for one thing, and one thing only – gaming. This decisive moment of discovery is etched in your gaming history.”

Xbox Project Scarlett is set to launch for the winter holidays in 2020.

Report: Sony ‘PlayStation 5’ to Focus on Major Games, Tech, Including 8K Resolution

Sony Interactive Entertainment appears to be taking a page from Sony Pictures, focusing internal efforts on proven content and wow-factor graphics, among other features.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Sony’s unnamed fifth-generation video game console — reportedly set to launch in late 2020 — will cater to established game publishers featuring graphics-heavy features.

The strategy is not dissimilar to Sony Pictures focusing on proven franchises such as “Spider-Man,” “Ghostbusters” and “Jumanji.”

“Details when making games have become more important than ever,” Kenichiro Yoshida, CEO of Sony Corp., reportedly said at a recent company briefing.

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Expectations are high for PlayStation, whose PS4 console continues to generate significant sales, including projected 17+ million units in 2019 — five years after launching.

The PlayStation brand, including hardware, software and subscriptions, generated more than $21 billion in revenue — and $3 billion operating profit — in Sony’s most-recent fiscal year.

By comparison, Sony Pictures generated about $9.2 billion in revenue, which trailed televisions and speakers ($10.1 billion) and topped smartphones at $4.6 billion.

The new PlayStation comes as the gaming industry grapples with changing technology and distribution to consumers — notably cloud-based online gaming.

Google plans to launch its Stadia platform in November while Apple readies Apple Arcade — both services circumventing traditional game consoles such as PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

According to WSJ, Sony contends online gaming doesn’t allow hardcore gamers the ability to engage in graphics-heavy content, audio and 8K resolution, among other features, due to spotty broadband connections and other tech challenges.

“[This] clearly demonstrates why it makes sense to have a next-generation console,” Yoshida said.