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Google announces Stadiums video game streaming service

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc, Google announced on Tuesday a video game-streaming service called Stadiums that attempts to take advantage of the company in the cloud technology and global network of data centers.

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during a Google keynote announcement of a new game-streaming service with the name Stadiums that attempts to take advantage of the company in the cloud technology and global network of data centers, at the game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, USA, March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

The technology allows users to play games on their internet browser, without having to wait for any content to be downloaded on to their device, giving the access to the games potential as simple as watching a video on YouTube.

“Stadiums offers direct access to play,” Phil Harrison, a Google vice president overseeing the new service, said during a keynote presentation Tuesday in San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference, that the gathering of this week, about 25,000 people who work in the video game industry.

Google has endured mixed results in gaming. Video games are the best selling category on the app store for Android mobile devices. Sold an estimated $21.5 billion dollars on games last year, according to research firm Sensor Tower. And gaming is one of the top three categories in the Google-owned video service YouTube.

But Apple Inc’s App Store sold about $33 billion worth of games last year, and the games industry views Amazon.com Inc Twitch instead of YouTube, the most popular video streaming service for content pertaining to video games.

Google’s efforts to prevent the spread of games on the virtual reality headsets stumbled.

Harrison said the Stadiums would work on desktops, laptops, Tv’s connected to the Chromecast streaming media sticks, tablets and phones. Players can create their characters using mice and keyboards, USB controllers, or a new Wi-fi-compatible controller is developed by Google.

Several technology companies are looking to boost services revenue by experimenting with games to stream, including Sony Corp, Nvidia Corp and Microsoft Corp.

Although users may be attracted to the idea of a quick access to games from any device, they can not all the games that they want. Financial analysts have questioned whether the tech companies will be able to charge consumers prices high enough to attract top game publishers who have a lucrative business of the sale of games on cd’s.

Game publishers may also decide to launch their own streaming services, such as movie and TV studios have begun to do for their content in the last few years.

Google had started with a test of the Project Power in October last year, inviting users to play, Ubisoft Entertainment SA’s new game Assassin’s Creed Odyssey of their web browsers for free.

Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Nick Zieminski

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