CHENNAI: As if there weren’t enough consoles in this world, Google showcased their minimalist Stadia controller last week. This magical new controller is supposed work via WiFi across platforms. Google Stadia has its benefits. It foresees a future where we can see a game’s trailer, and click to play no matter what the actual console and graphic requirements might be. You don’t even have to actually download the game. It streams it. In 4k. Even if the gamer owns a primitive laptop.
I’m just hoping Google complements this amazing utopian technology with access to inexpensive high speed WiFi networks worldwide. Google seems to have used Ariana Grande’s famous ‘I want it, I got it’ hook in the way it currently aims to take over the gaming market. The experiments with gaming and ‘immersive experiences’ goes way back. You might remember Lightsaber Escape, a Chrome experiment which transformed our phones into lightsabers that could interact with the PC screen. However, a more structured version of their cross platform gaming idea was available to the public shortly before the release of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, through ‘Project Stream’. But they aren’t the only ones to have come up with Cloud Streaming services.
There is PS4 remote play (which only works with Sony phones), Steam Link (for the wider audience, supporting low latency streaming to our phones), and Microsoft’s Project xCloud (who might enlighten us more on this come E3). The silent move towards game streaming is in the offing. Even Nvidia, realising the slowing need for dedicated hardware to run high end games, is slowly moving towards ‘Nvidia GRID’. What would the realistic future be? I might use the You- Tube Gaming app and find PewDiePie (who might not be the most subscribed YouTuber when you read this) streaming a random horror game. If Stadia does work, I’d not just be watching him play it. But in the words of Ariana Grande (heavily paraphrased), I might also be able to ‘See it, click it, play it, pay for it’.