Google has thrown down a challenge to the gaming world

Google has thrown down a clear challenge to the gaming world: that using the global network of data centres that run its internet empire, it is set to unleash enough raw computing power to blow away the industry’s current way of doing things. Add YouTube as a shop window — a place where some 200 million people a day come to watch gaming-related videos — and the internet titan believes it has some of the most powerful assets on the planet to reshape a $135 billion-a-year business. But as it took the wraps off its first entry into the gaming market, a streaming service called Stadia, the gaps in its armoury were equally telling. There were no actual games it could point to for its first customers to play, and no indication what they would be asked to pay — or, for that matter, what business model it would seek to foist on an industry wary of the intrusion of big internet platforms… Over the past decade, smartphones and app stores opened up a market for casual gaming, and now account for the largest segment of the market by revenue. That left the market for console and PC games, where the most serious players spend their time, largely untouched. The gaming industry is now braced for change, similar to the transformation that cloud-delivered services and subscription-based payment have brought to video and music.
Richard Waters, Leo Lewis and Kana Inagaki