Stadia’s pivot to a cloud service has also closed

Enlarge / RIP Google Stadia.

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Poor Google Stadia; the service felt like a train wreck in slow motion from the moment it started. The launch, life, and death of the service played out exactly as naysayers of “nobody trusts Google” (including its author) would have predicted, but we were all forced to go along with it anyway. When Google removed the service, the company’s narrative was that Stadia’s technology would live in Google Cloud, but according to Esteban Totilo from Axios, even Stadia’s white-label game streaming service is now dead.

Stadia was supposed to be Google’s big foray into AAA gaming, with a cloud-based gaming “console” that didn’t actually have a console: the console was the data center, streaming the game to you, like a video game. Youtube. The service launched in November 2019 with much lower sales than Google expected, and the manufacturing dates on the boxes suggest the company never sold the initial series of controllers. The first signs that Google was tiring of its gaming experiment came 14 months later, when it shut down Stadia’s only in-house studio and relegated the service to third-party ports only.

Two years later, word broke that Stadia would be “deprioritized” and become a white-label streaming service. Google later confirmed that it was rescuing the service as a new Google Cloud offering called “Immersive Stream for Games.” This meant that Google would resell the Stadia technology to various companies, allowing them to offer game streaming on their own platforms without any Google branding. This is par for the course for Google Cloud, which offers a ton of cloud services to companies like Apple, and you’ll never see a Google logo. Immersive Games saw three main clients: AT&T offered batman: arkham knight to its subscribers, Peloton released a cycling game called lane break on their stationary bikes, and Capcom released a Resident Evil Village web demo.

When Stadia’s closure was formally announced, Stadia Vice President and General Manager Phil Harrison placed great importance on the continuation of Stadia’s technology, with the title even being called “A message about Stadia and our long-term streaming strategy.” term”. The post stated: “The underlying technology platform that powers Stadia has been proven at scale and transcends gaming. We see clear opportunities to apply this technology in other parts of Google like YouTube, Google Play and our Augmented Reality (AR) efforts. as well as making it available to our industry partners, which aligns with the future of gaming we see.”

All that “game” stuff seems to have been removed, and all of the Immersive Stream for Games partners have shut down their projects. AT&T bat Man The link now redirects to a free trial for another cloud gaming service, GeForce Now, while the resident Evil link only 404s. The only surviving “Immersive Stream” mentioned on the Google Cloud site is “Immersive Stream for XR”, which represents an augmented reality view of the cloud. Instead of Linux boxes that do anything from Google Stadia, this is limited to Unreal Engine. Examples of Google’s Immersive Stream for XR include an educational scenario and plenty of advertising use cases, like walking around a new BMW, trying out kitchen renovations, or trying on an outfit. You have to wonder how much of a clue Project XR has, and so far the promised ramifications of Stadia for YouTube or Google Play have never materialized.

Tech – Ars Technica

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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