“People have been talking about games in the cloud for ten years, we are in the third generation of actors. The signals have not yet turned green, but Google has enough guts to prove it. We have never been so close,” he says. Laurent Michaud, director of studies at the French digital market consultant Idate.
Gamescom represents an opportunity for a practical experience and the brand’s huge logo, in addition to its hostess battalion on its stand, are helping to attract the curious when comparing relative attractions with rivals led by Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox.
Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, explained at E3 in Los Angeles that the idea is to “build a gaming platform for everyone” after an initial launch in 14 countries using a subscription model after an initial hardware purchase included .
Some games will be free and others will require payment.
Steven Mertes, 28, did not share that opinion and said he did not see himself ready to disconnect from his PC or close his console “which proposes games of much better quality.”
Even so, Gamescom’s evidence after Monday’s opening suggested that interest had not yet reached the heights of neighboring Nintendo or Konami stands, the latter being the developer of the latest PES 2020 gambit from Pro Evolution Soccer.
“I find its concept interesting, but I have doubts about its ability to ensure good connectivity,” said stand visitor Rishil Kuta, 22. An enthusiastic console user said that, however, he would be “ready to pay” a premium for a “stable” product.
“I’ve always been used to playing on a computer, it’s much more comfortable.”
Whatever the way game cards fall in the cloud, the race is engaging players, especially the toughest ones, for the next generation game.
“The most difficult players to convince will be the ‘unconditional players’. They may not be as numerous as the casual players, but they are the ones that count. If they don’t go to a platform, things could be difficult,” Michaud predicts.
“We have little doubt about the development of cloud games,” says Wandrille Pruvot, CEO of Xtra Life, a cloud-based application manager for Apple. “The challenge will be remarkably technical, since the better the resolution, the greater the need for a quality Internet network.
The hardcore brigade tends to be willing to pay for the equipment and content they want, but they are often very attached to their favorite support environment, either on the console or on the PC.
Beyond the task of converting players to Stadia, Google must address several technical obstacles that go with the territory of cloud game development.
Although Stadia promises high 4K resolution at 60 frames per second for a minimum time delay, it remains to be seen how the platform can persuade players who may not have properly adapted screens along with fiber optic broadband or 4G connections to subscribe.
“The games we are working on are simpler, based more on the quality of the game and that requires less bandwidth for the graphics,” says Pruvot. “Do not forget that video games are not just great productions!”
The commitment to cloud games is, therefore, to promote independent titles, if not always very visible, a means for Google and rival producers to position themselves as ‘Netflix for games’ by providing original content.
However, in general, just as consoles didn’t kill PC games, cloud games could offer an additional option for video game fans.
“This type of platform can release the creative aspect of technical limitations,” says Fanny Renard, community manager with independent independent game developer Goblinz.
“One form of Netflix could be a production aid for smaller independent studios. But this will raise the issue of remuneration, which could be complicated.”
“There will always be a place for the PC or the console,” Renard predicted. “The players remain more comfortable with different platforms. What they want is to be able to choose which game to play and how.”