We no longer buy DVDs and if they still have CDs, they are likely to be covered in dust on a shelf. These days it is also easier to buy video games on the Internet through consoles or PC services like Steam, than in a physical store.
But what about the game consoles? Could they disappear too? Google bets that s. The tech giant launched this Tuesday
its Stadia video game service in the United States, a streaming platform that allows players to enjoy the latest titles with
Little more than a good internet connection and a Google Chrome browser.
What is Stadia and how it works – Source: Youtube
But Google does not believe that Stadia is a step too ambitious.
"We are not the only ones who think about this"
"I don't think what we are doing is particularly revolutionary when you value what is happening in the music, television and film industry," Google Vice President Phil Harrison, who previously worked for Sony, told the BBC.
"They went from being packaged products – discs, CDs, DVDs, Bue-rays – to almost exclusively online and streaming experiences." And he believes that Google will be just the first of many companies to discard consoles and disks forever and make the switch to streaming services from the browser.
"I don't think this innovation is going to change the world from night to morning," he added. "But I think it is the direction we have to go and that it is a prosperous future for the videogame industry to create this kind of streaming experience." "We are not the only ones who think about this."
Stalia does not work like Netflix, with a subscription that gives you access to all its content. Instead, players can access the platform by paying for games that they then play through an integrated YouTube service. The service only gets rid of consoles.
But it faces Xbox (Microsoft), PlayStation (Sony) and Nintendo, the three big names in the industry with millions of loyal fans,
They have similar proposals under the sleeve. Phil said that Google wants to move video games "out of a plastic box under the TV" and that Google's vast experience in technology makes him a strong rival. "We don't come without studying," he said.
"We built Stadia with more than 15, about 20, years of (experience in) data centers and innovation on Google's Internet."
Without "expensive" hardware
Phil thinks players will notice the benefits of Stadia in his pocket, and says it is a much cheaper way to play video games without having to buy the latest graphics cards for PCs or new consoles.
"It allows more players to have access to the latest games and the best games without the need for those complicated and expensive pieces of hardware, which, let's not forget, also require updates, patches, installations." "All that nonsense that revolves around games disappear."
Phil says that the games he has enjoyed most at Stadia now are Destiny 2, but titles like Red Dead Redemption are the ones that really show everything the service can do.
"In testing phase"
"When you have the opportunity to play a sophisticated game like Red Dead Redemption 2 on a phone with internet and the pixels are perfect, it is one of those great moments in the (video game) industry when you see this is a leap forward."
However, everyone is convinced that the transition from video games to a space without devices occur with the launch of Stadia.
"My point of view is that we are all in the testing phase," said BBC Phil Spencer, executive vice president of Microsoft Gaming and head of the Xbox brand, on the BBC's Click program. "We are pioneers in this technology and we have the feeling that it will take many years for this technology (from Google) to become a dominant trend."
"The best place to play is on your local device, your console, your Xbox connected to the TV. And that is the case for many years."
. With Stadia (t) Google wants to make video game consoles obsolete – LA NACION