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Google Stadia - “now a Game Pass killer: The Crew 2 >>> Forza Horizon”


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Agreed, but there's no single "platform owner", so I wasn't sure you'd call it a platform in the same way you would a specific console, Stadia, etc.

 

edit - re-read and you didn't mention owner, just gaming platform. So yeah, I'd say probably just PC, but given it wasn't exclusively used for gaming, and had natural reasons to be otherwise supported, it's still not quite the same.

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12 minutes ago, Ste Pickford said:

 

Has there ever been a successful gaming platform that was just a platform, without exclusive content?

 

I dunno - the PC? Android? Not really the same thing, as they're less platforms and more a framework anyone can use, and there are obviously PC-only games, but the developers or publishers could port them to other platforms if they wanted. It's not exclusivity in the sense that they're created by the platform-owners.

 

I guess the problem is that Google's main business is hosting other people's content, but I'm not sure Stadia will work that way as it's so resource intensive. You have to port games to Stadia, support them, and someone presumably has to pay for the infrastructure you use to play them. Not quite the same thing as hosting streaming video or music.

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Let's look at other subs - Game Pass is, apparently sustainable. I don't know if that includes the hardware needed to support xCloud. How is Stadia now sustainable? Google either need to license the tech or license and host it. That's fine, but who would do that and why? You're banking on people wanting to stream PCs instead of owning PCs, except the latter costs you, the company, nothing. You'd probably rather they buy their own PC. So now you need to charge a subscription and hope you can make it work a la Game Pass.

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I'm not really trying to make a super clever point, or wanting to get bogged down in definitions of exclusivity.  Just wondering if there's any precedent for a platform succeeding that only has games that are also available elsewhere.

 

The reasons why different platforms have exclusives can be different - platform owners develop the games themselves, or they buy exclusivity, or the ease of access to a platform attracts developers, or the hardware config or input method makes it impractical to port games to others.  But generally players seem to flock to a platform for the games on it - the games that they can only play on that platform. 


To deliberately build platform that's both hard to develop for (or to port to), AND now has zero exclusives, which will go up against functionally almost identical platforms, seems unprecedented. 

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Yes, while I'm a huge fan of Stadia, I don't really understand the economics. If I play the free content on Destiny 2, who is paying for the time on the computer that I'm using remotely - is it Bungie? Do Google just take the hit, and hope I buy enough expansions and cosmetics that their cut of the payment covers the cost of me playing the game? If I buy Cyberpunk 2077 for £50 and play it for 100 hours, does it cost Google more than 50p an hour per user to run the service?

 

I guess it's not that different from the standard model of platform owners selling me a console at cost, or at a small loss and covering it through their share of the cost of games and DLC, but the loss on their side must be a lot bigger and they'll never get to the point where the consoles get cheap enough that they sell them at a profit. How often would you need to upgrade the hardware to keep pace with PCs and consoles? There must be an argument that it makes financial sense in some way, as they never would have done it otherwise.

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Just now, Ste Pickford said:

 

That's the 'big companies don't make mistakes' fallacy.

 

Yes, but someone in Google must have put up a big chart that explained how it was going to make money. Someone in Bungie and EA must have thought about it and reached a conclusion that it was worth their while getting involved. I was just wondering what the argument would have been. They were probably wrong in retrospect, but EA seem pretty risk-averse, so it must have been at least superficially convincing.

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If you really want to stream, I think you'd probably want Luna to succeed. I think (?) Amazon seem to be a bit better at throwing money at a new market and not worrying if it makes them money. Plus it lets them flog more AWS, presumably.

 

Which reminds me, it may have been here or Twitter but a while ago someone commented that Google wouldn't let Stadia fail because it doesn't reflect well on Google Cloud Platform. Whelp. 

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3 minutes ago, Ste Pickford said:

 

Has there ever been a successful gaming platform that was just a platform, without exclusive content?

 

Google and Amazon's role in Cloud Gaming seem to be shaping up a little differently to, say, video streaming.  It feels like they're trending towards being a provider of the underlying cloud gaming streaming services that then host multiple publishers "channels". I imagine that certain publishers will want to white-label their own cloud gaming store front and "platform" on-top of the underlying services provided by the 3 major cloud players - I can easily imagine Nintendo doing this for example and think Sony agreed something like this already with MS. In other cases, publishers might want to simply sell their content within an existing store and platform (Stadia the consumer product then becomes analogous to Steam in that regard). If I had to guess, both of these models will exist in the future and Google/MS/Amazon "win" in all of them because they're selling some game streaming enhanced version of their core cloud services. Exclusives will continue be used by the owners of the respective store fronts to differentiate these in much the same way as is happening on video streaming. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Hass said:

 

Google and Amazon's role in Cloud Gaming seem to be shaping up a little differently to, say, video streaming.  It feels like they're trending towards being a provider of the underlying cloud gaming streaming services that then host multiple publishers "channels". I imagine that certain publishers will want to white-label their own cloud gaming store front and "platform" on-top of the underlying services provided by the 3 major cloud players - I can easily imagine Nintendo doing this for example and think Sony agreed something like this already with MS. In other cases, publishers might want to simply sell their content within an existing store and platform (Stadia the consumer product then becomes analogous to Steam in that regard). If I had to guess, both of these models will exist in the future and Google/MS/Amazon "win" in all of them because they're selling some game streaming enhanced version of their core cloud services. Exclusives will continue be used by the owners of the respective store fronts to differentiate these in much the same way as is happening on video streaming. 

 

 

Yeah, that makes sense.  Although that doesn't need Stadia at all, in the sense of the consumer brand / business model.

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1 minute ago, Ste Pickford said:

 

Yeah, that makes sense.  Although that doesn't need Stadia at all, in the sense of the consumer brand / business model.

 

I'm not entirely sure how this will pan out. Luna (for example) might be a reference point here where it's a central aggregation point for publishers to host their respective store fronts and "channels". The alternative here is a white label store front for EA, a white label store front for Activision etc. etc. The challenge with separate white-label solutions is that you split the player base (e.g. you tend not to cross-play across these things). So there are pros/cons to publishers and I'm not sure which way they'll go. I think we'll probably see a bit of both here for the foreseeable future. For smaller publishers and indies, I can definitely see benefit to store-fronts like Luna and Stadia.

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4 hours ago, K said:

 

Yes, but someone in Google must have put up a big chart that explained how it was going to make money. Someone in Bungie and EA must have thought about it and reached a conclusion that it was worth their while getting involved. I was just wondering what the argument would have been. They were probably wrong in retrospect, but EA seem pretty risk-averse, so it must have been at least superficially convincing.

Annoyingly I can't remember if it was Jeff Grubb on the Gamesbeat podcast or Mary Jo Foley on Windows Weekly who had a plausible explanation for Microsofts strategy at least. From memory it was basically that they'd use the growth of cloud gaming as the driving force behind rolling out much better GPU hardware in their data centres which could then let them go to companies like Adobe and offer up the possibility of letting them sell access to stuff like Photoshop through Azure. Microsoft are supposed to experimenting with streaming PC games so it sorta makes sense I guess. 

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8 hours ago, Hass said:

 

I think this is it really. Google are really a platforms company rather than a content company. The 3 big Cloud providers will each have their gaming platforms and it'll be up to publishers which one they distribute their content on.

 

I don't see this as a death-knell for Stadia tbh.

 

 

The problem I guess they have with this approach is requiring the publisher to do *some amount of work* in a way that's not true of PS Now or XCloud.

 

So putting yourself on stadia is an investment over and above "making a game".   You see it with Fifa 21. It should have been available day and date with when the contract to have it there was signed but it's 6 weeks away.

 

If Fifa 22 also comes along to buy 6 weeks after it's on everything else (and stadia has to compete directly with those services since they'll all be pretty much playable on the same non-console devices) why would people wait for it?

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11 hours ago, Gotters said:

Of course MS have a similar platform which I'm sure they'd licence out too


Im not so sure about that. MS run the platform and the service running on that platform - at least for the moment, it wouldn’t make sense for them to undermine their own cloud gaming platform by supporting rivals’ entry to the same nascent market. And you can be sure Microsoft want to dominate it. 

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On 01/02/2021 at 22:19, Paulando said:

This is a big thing about nothing. Can anyone even name one of their first party titles? I’ve bought a handful of games on Stadia, and what attracts me to the service is the convenience of playing them anywhere on basically any device I own, and with very little hardware needed. It’s certainly not for the first party output.

 

But now you can do this with hundreds of games for £11.99 using game pass and xCloud.

 

That's the problem really. Without exclusives Stadia has no USP, now that both Microsoft and Sony offer competing services.

 

And Microsoft's one is great.

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3 minutes ago, Isaac said:

 

But now you can do this with hundreds of games for £11.99 using game pass and xCloud.

 

That's the problem really. Without exclusives Stadia has no USP, now that both Microsoft and Sony offer competing services.

 

And Microsoft's one is great.


Hang about, you can use Gamepass without any hardware now? Explain how please, I’ll get in on that.

 

Unless you mean you can subscribe to Gamepass if you already own an Xbox or PC that you can hook up to the telly, because if that’s a requirement it’s not the same thing at all, unfortunately.

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2 minutes ago, ZOK said:


Hang about, you can use Gamepass without any hardware now? Explain how please, I’ll get in on that.

 

Unless you mean you can subscribe to Gamepass if you already own an Xbox or PC that you can hook up to the telly, because if that’s a requirement it’s not the same thing at all, unfortunately.

You can play a subset (a large subset, but a subset) of the games on an android phone. It’ll end up with a web client to run on iOS devices.

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3 minutes ago, ZOK said:


Hang about, you can use Gamepass without any hardware now? Explain how please, I’ll get in on that.

 

Unless you mean you can subscribe to Gamepass if you already own an Xbox or PC that you can hook up to the telly, because if that’s a requirement it’s not the same thing at all, unfortunately.

You can subscribe to Game Pass Ultimate without owning any hardware besides a controller and stream the majority of the library to any android device. It's great, but imo not ideal until it also allows you to stream to something wired (like a dongle, a telly, a PC, or indeed the Xbox itself) but it's still early days. It has way more potential than Stadia in many ways, but it's not there *yet*. 

 

Edit: some games even support touch controls but the ideal way is connecting an Xbox controller via bluetooth.

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Ah okay, so in the future I could theoretically play Gamepass stuff on the telly via iOS through the LG’s Airplay app, for example? I would be all over that.

 

Any chance they will introduce a Gamepass app like they are doing with Stadia?

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53 minutes ago, Isaac said:

 

But now you can do this with hundreds of games for £11.99 using game pass and xCloud.

 

That's the problem really. Without exclusives Stadia has no USP, now that both Microsoft and Sony offer competing services.

 

And Microsoft's one is great.


I don’t get the point your trying to make. I have Game Pass, but it’s not the same at all. I can’t play it on my iPhone, or my Mac, and I can’t play games like Cyberpunk 2077 with a one-off cost. That’s its USP for me.

 

Also, buying a few games on Stadia doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy both services when Game Pass streaming comes to more platforms.

 

Now if MS ever allowed you to buy any game digitally to download/play on an Xbox and also stream as flawlessly as Stadia on any other device you own and with no additional cost, I’d be interested in buying some. That’s when things might get a bit tricky for Stadia.

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36 minutes ago, ZOK said:

Ah okay, so in the future I could theoretically play Gamepass stuff on the telly via iOS through the LG’s Airplay app, for example? I would be all over that.

 

Any chance they will introduce a Gamepass app like they are doing with Stadia?

They're building it out slowly together with expanding Game Pass itself. In theory, everything you say there is very likely what they're aiming for long-term. They've either mentioned the idea of an Xcloud dongle themselves or it's been heavily rumoured. That's also part of the reason for buying Bethesda, not just to expand their GP library on the Xbox itself but also be able to say that anyone, even people without a console or capable PC, can play Elder Scrolls 6 on any screen with a GP sub (which includes Xcloud at no additional cost). If Sony would ever allow it, they would probably love to roll out a Game Pass app on the PlayStation console.

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46 minutes ago, ZOK said:


Hang about, you can use Gamepass without any hardware now? Explain how please, I’ll get in on that.

 

Unless you mean you can subscribe to Gamepass if you already own an Xbox or PC that you can hook up to the telly, because if that’s a requirement it’s not the same thing at all, unfortunately.

 

https://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-game-pass/cloud-gaming

 

Works really well, but is currently Android only thanks to Apple's stupid storefront rules (they are launching a web app to get around this later this year).

 

16 minutes ago, Paulando said:


I don’t get the point your trying to make. I have Game Pass, but it’s not the same at all. I can’t play it on my iPhone, or my Mac, and I can’t play games like Cyberpunk 2077 with a one-off cost. That’s its USP for me.

 

Also, buying a few games on Stadia doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy both services when Game Pass streaming comes to more platforms.

 

Now if MS ever allowed you to buy any game digitally to download/play on an Xbox and also stream as flawlessly as Stadia on any other device you own, I’d be interested in buying some. That’s when things might get a bit tricky for Stadia.

 

As I mentioned to Zok, the web app is coming this year, and you can even play on your iMac now - just download Blue Stacks and away you go.

 

@Mr. Gerbik you can already stream to something wired - the app runs perfectly fine on Android TV (although it needs to be sideloaded as it's not currently on the store yet).

 

I have played it fine on my NVidia Shield TV.

 

This is potentially why Google gave up - Microsoft are pretty much there already.

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Where the lack of exclusive content is going to hurt Stadia is in growth and encouraging people to switch. You can get so far on “look how nice streaming is!”, in much the same way Microsoft could shift a few Xboxes by pointing out it has a network socket and a hard drive, but nothing gets people to dip their toes in like an exclusive.

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4 minutes ago, Alex W. said:

Where the lack of exclusive content is going to hurt Stadia is in growth and encouraging people to switch. You can get so far on “look how nice streaming is!”, in much the same way Microsoft could shift a few Xboxes by pointing out it has a network socket and a hard drive, but nothing gets people to dip their toes in like an exclusive.

That’s true, it’s just good business sense. 

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5 minutes ago, Alex W. said:

Where the lack of exclusive content is going to hurt Stadia is in growth and encouraging people to switch. You can get so far on “look how nice streaming is!”, in much the same way Microsoft could shift a few Xboxes by pointing out it has a network socket and a hard drive, but nothing gets people to dip their toes in like an exclusive.

 

I think this is Google stepping away from even aiming this at consumers.

 

This is now an engine / network tool pitched at developers, rather than users.

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10 minutes ago, Isaac said:

 

I think this is Google stepping away from even aiming this at consumers.

 

This is now an engine / network tool pitched at developers, rather than users.

Yeah that's the most likely outcome. The people defending Stadia saying it will just continue as normal, and that exclusives don't matter, overlook that this outcome is the same as if they completely cancelled it - your direct access to the service will disappear alongside your puchases.

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  • footle changed the title to Google Stadia - “now a Game Pass killer: The Crew 2 >>> Forza Horizon”

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