Google Shouts “Leeroy Jenkins!”
Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox have long battled for games console supremacy, but now Google is sneaking up on them. Armed with the cloud and gender-neutral controllers, it wants to poach an overlooked video gaming demographic!
‘Stadia’ will be released on Tuesday as the “Netflix” of gaming. Its success could put GameStop shares to even further shame, as disks wouldn’t be needed anymore. Instead, a $70-billion-dollar female target market would be streaming titles straight from Stadia, with white, black, and mint green gender-neutral controllers in their hands. Google’s never pushed the boat out this far before in a new area. What could possibly go wrong?
Unlike Sony and Microsoft, it doesn’t have to pander to what millions of consumers already expect from it. Google can shoot its own shot. However, video game streaming is not a new idea. It’s a battle royale in itself, and there are already plenty of others gunning for the same prize. Amazon, for one, is rumored to be working on a similar device, and Sony and Microsoft won’t be left in the cold either. Sony’s cloud-based ‘PlayStation Now’ just halved in price to compete with Stadia, and Microsoft’s xCloud looks set to let you play high-end computer games on a mobile device!
That could be the clincher! Assuming subscription-based business models for video game streaming don’t flop entirely, content slates will decide how market share is distributed. Google can only offer nine games right now, including one which is already free elsewhere and a Tomb Raider franchise that came out six years ago (prehistoric for a fifteen-year-old!). Microsoft and Sony, on the other hand, are veterans of this business. They remain the end-game bosses to beat. Can they be overturned?