IF YOU'RE A GLUTTON FOR DISAPPOINTMENT, get ready to sign up for Google's Stadia game streaming service that'll have a mere 12 games on it at launch.
OK, perhaps we're being a tad hyperbolic. But Stadia will go live on 19 November sporting a mere clutch of demanding games, while the rest are a tad basic. Assassin's Creed Odyssey is a bit of a PC pusher, but Just Dance 2020 ain't.
And the games on the launch list aren't particularly new either. Destiny 2 has been out since late 2017, while Rise of the Tomb Raider came out in 2015; that's like 50 in game years.
The full game lineup is as follows: Assassin's Creed Odyssey,
Destiny 2: The Collection, GYLT, Just Dance 2020, Kine, Mortal Kombat 11, Red Dead Redemption 2, Thumper, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, Samurai Shodown.
The most interesting game in the list is Red Dead Redemption 2. Not only is it a stunning game and one of our favourites from the past 12 months, but it's also only just made its debut on the PC. Thus far there have been reports of it being a little janky on PCs, so if Google can ensure it runs smoothly at high resolutions and frame rates on Stadia, then it might have a so-called 'killer app' for the game streaming service.
It's also worth noting that this is but an initial launch lineup, and once Stadia is up and running, it'll inevitably get more games added to it, likely in rapid succession.
Also, Google has bucket loads of cash and a healthy audience of YouTube game streamers to tap into and get promoting Stadia. So we don't expect its somewhat lacklustre launch lineup to stymie Google's game streaming ambitions.
What could bork things for Stadia is Microsoft's Project xCloud game streaming service, which has a massive catalogue of Xbox titles to tap into as well as Microsoft's gaming experience. But Project xCloud is only out in the wild in the form of a public beta, with no concrete date set for a full release.
The next big gaming battle looks like it's set to happen in the streaming arena. We've got no bets on who'll be the winner, but either way, it could shake-up the gaming world a fair bit as 2020 rolls around. µ
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