In the past few years, cloud gaming has been trying to carve out a niche for itself. Granted, given Google’s recent announcement that it will shut down its ambitious Stadia game-streaming service early next year, it is in a bit of an odd position right now. The idea and viability of cloud gaming, however, was not one of the many reasons Stadia failed. The ability to instantly launch and stream one of those blockbuster games, on just about any screen with a WiFi connection, grows more and more alluring as games grow larger and occupy more space on your console or PC’s internal storage.
And even without Stadia, Xbox Cloud Gaming, Sony PS Now, Nvidia GeForce Now, and Amazon Luna—which together have tens of millions of registered users—are all still standing and progressing.
We’re already seeing the first of a wave of handhelds specifically designed for cloud gaming that will undoubtedly have a future. The first is the $349.99 Logitech G Cloud, which goes on sale on October 18. Who exactly are they for is the crucial question, though.
Introducing the Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld!
The G Cloud is an intriguing device with a 7-inch screen and slightly larger dimensions than a Nintendo Switch, but it also seems unnecessary given that one of the main selling points of that technology is that you can use your current laptop, smart TV, tablet, or smartphone (possibly with a controller add-on like the Backbone One) to play games on the cloud.
Derek Perez, the head of communications at Logitech, told IGN that G CLOUD “shifts the gaming landscape by putting the best of cloud gaming, including advanced graphics and libraries of blockbuster games, in players’ hands, freeing them to play what they want, where they want.” “G Cloud gives you that relaxing, immersive experience if you are a subscriber to cloud gaming or considering cloud gaming, and you want to be able to’retreat’ to your own space to play your favourite games for extended periods of time,” Perez said. (It should be noted that the G Cloud doesn’t have cellular 5G for playing elsewhere and needs a WiFi connection.)
But the core of Stadia is something I hope people build on. Stadia boss Phil Harrison, a puzzling man who continues to fail at every company he’s worked for, wrote in a blog post about Stadia’s demise, “We see clear opportunities to use this technology across other elements of Google, including as YouTube, Google Play, and our Augmented Reality (AR) projects — as well as make it available to our industry partners, which corresponds with the direction we see the future of gaming taking.” I’d love to be proven wrong, but I don’t have much faith that Google will be able to save some of Stadia’s technology under Harrison. In any case, the opportunity exists.
I’ve said it before, but whenever I think of hypothetical Stadia use cases, I’m always reminded of Jade Raymond, a Canadian game producer and former executive at Stadia, who suggested ideas like interactive YouTube documentaries or NPC dialogue boosted by Duplex. That kind of unconventional, cross-platform thinking has the potential to be truly innovative.
Google is ending its Stadia cloud gaming platform
Google has stated that it will discontinue Stadia, its video game streaming service, on January 18, 2023.
The search engine company disclosed that Stadia “hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected” in a new blog post, and as a result, the business has made the “difficult” decision to start winding down the service. Users who bought hardware or games from Google and Stadia will receive refunds.
Gamers may stream video games through Google’s cloud service utilizing Stadia, the company’s gaming platform, featuring AAA titles like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Cyberpunk 2077. So long as someone had access to Google Chrome, there was no need to buy actual hardware. However, players could purchase a special controller.
In order to allow other companies to use the technology without becoming a part of the Stadia ecosystem, Google has already started to offer Stadia as a white-label product. According to Google, the technology that powers Stadia has proven its strength.
For instance, AT&T used Stadia technology to give users access to Batman: Arkham Knight without charge. According to Google, the technology will also power Google Play, YouTube, and augmented reality.
The main problem with Stadia was always its catalogue and promised features that never materialized, even though playing a game instantly on Chrome or Chromecast could feel like magic and Stadia’s tech lowers latency and other streaming-related issues.