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Apple Arcade and Google Stadia: the future of the gaming industry

Google vs Apple | Kevin Valdez | The Ticker

Google and Apple lead the future prospect of gaming as they announce ambitious plans to build virtual stadiums readily available for everyone to enjoy.

Named Stadia, Google intends to build a stadium of video games not like Yankee Stadium, but a cloud streaming service that will allow everyone to enjoy high end video games without having to invest in expensive gaming gear and consoles. 

Unveiled at the Game Developers Conference, Google advertised the ability to play games on any smart device or TV, watch a video on a game and then instantly join the game you were watching.

The gaming platform is built for YouTube users to stream and be able to make lobbies for watchers to join the actual game. 

Under Google’s new Stadia and Entertainment Studio, hundreds of Stadia-exclusive games have been promised.

One new title, “Doom Eternal,” was shown running on Stadia during the conference.

Currently, Stadia will only be available through Chrome, Chromecast and Android devices. Google promised plans to increase accessibility to other devices, however, when these plans will be implemented is yet to be known. 

This, among many other ambitious promises, means the unveiling left more questions than answers.

How much a subscription to Stadia costs or when it will be released has not been revealed.

In Cupertino, California, Apple is also working on its own project: “A gaming subscription service featuring over 100 new and exclusive games from renowned creators Hironobu Sakaguchi, Ken Wong, Will Wright and more.”

Called Apple Arcade, the service offers access to many games designed for originality and quality for free, without ads, data harvesting or microtransactions.

Utilizing the already successful App Store, Apple Arcade will give access to hundreds of thousands of games already available on the platform with a single subscription. 

Netflix-style subscriptions by two tech behemoths could open up gaming to millions who can’t afford pricey equipment. But which is the future of gaming?

However, Apple Arcade is not just a selection of existing games, but is collaborating with many other well-known companies and developers like Lego, Cartoon Network, SEGA and Konami to develop high-quality and immersive gaming experiences to subscribers of Apple Arcade.

“We are working with some of the most innovative game developers in the world to create over 100 new and exclusive games to play across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV,” according to senior vice president of Apple’s Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller.

In line to Apple’s software design, Apple Arcade will provide simple and easy access to a large collection of games that can be enjoyed by over half a billion people already using the App Store.

“Netflix-style subscriptions by two tech behemoths could open up gaming to millions who can’t afford pricey equipment.

But which is the future of gaming?” asks video games editor at the Guardian, Keza MacDonald.

Apple and Google join a competitive field where Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass and Sony’s PlayStation Now already exist.

So what do Stadia and Apple Arcade have to offer?

Apple Arcade solves a rising issue of the devaluing of online games, especially mobile ones where paying $3 can be seen as too much, and free, cheaply made games flood the App Store. 

By offering a subscription that offers quality games only available to its devices, Apple’s investment could mean bigger profits for creative and skilled game developers.

Google’s Stadia on the other hand aims to free video games from expensive consoles by allowing games to be played on any device at any time, even during a stream on YouTube.

According to MacDonald, “The games industry has been through many technological revolutions, from the invention of 3D graphics to the emergence of online playing, but the games themselves — rather than the technology — have always driven success.” 

It is safe to expect that the quality of the games released by these tech giants will determine who will lead the future of the gaming industry.

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