Last week we wrote about autonomous video games where visual elements of video games are self-created via machine learning. This week’s news is equally inspiring whereby Google announced its massively-scaled cloud gaming entry “Stadia” which perhaps only Google could pull off. See our “Key Takeaways” and more below.
- KEY TAKEAWAYS:
- Revenue model and pricing were not disclosed. We believe a subscription revenue model with in-game purchases. Stadia to be released at year-end 2019.
- Custom AMD GPUs will power Stadia. 4K resolution streams at 60 frames per second (“fps”), with surround sound. 10.7 GPU teraflops, compared to 4.2 and 6.0 from a PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, respectively.
- Market Opportunity: Approximately 2.5 billion gamers globally (TEK2day estimate).
- Content Consumption: More than 50 Billion hours of gaming content watched in 2018.
- YouTube and Google Pay integration: Gamers may access games from any device with a Chrome browser (more than 2 billion people with Chrome browsers and GOOG plans to support non-Chrome browsers over time), and an Internet connection. No console required. Stadia will integrate with YouTube. More than 200 million logged-in YouTubers watch games each day – a built-in Stadia audience. Games will be tagged with a “Play Now” button so that users may jump in immediately. YouTube is the most popular social media platform among teens (see the table below or access full study HERE). Stadia’s gaming activity will only strengthen YouTube’s popularity and provide more data inputs to GOOG’s best-in-glass machine learning capability. Stadia will also integrate with Google Pay.
- More on YouTube: Over 1.9 Billion logged-in users visit YouTube each month and every day people watch over a billion hours of video and generate billions of views. More than 70% of YouTube watchtime comes from mobile devices. (source: YouTube).
- Minimal friction to the User Experience: At launch, gamers may access Stadia across desktops, laptops, TVs, Chromecasts, tablets, and phones. Stadia will support keyboard and mouse input as well as controllers. Users may switch screens during game play.
- Competitors: Amazon is expected to launch a cloud gaming service that will leverage the Twitch streaming platform and AWS. Microsoft is expected to do the same later this year via Xbox. Walmart may jump into the fray as well.
- Unique AI & ML capability: Sure Amazon’s cloud – AWS – has Google’s scale. However, Google is the undisputed AI and Machine Learning leader, which ought to translate into a competitive edge for Google as it relates to the in-game experience as well as service delivery. Games are rendered in real-time in Google’s cloud without input latency. Games reside in Google’s data centers and won’t reside on the public cloud.
Some have referred to Stadia as the Netflix of gaming. Sure, there may be similarities from a business model standpoint. However, there are a number of companies that could replicate Netflix’s technology platform from a storage capacity and throughput standpoint. That’s not the case with Stadia where the scale of Google’s cloud combined with Google’s AI & Machine Learning leadership enable the company to achieve technological feats that no other company could replicate at the present time.