A woman plays a video game using a virtual-reality headset at an arcade in Shanghai.

A woman plays a video game using a virtual-reality headset at an arcade in Shanghai.

A Netflix for video games?

Google Stadia made waves at this year’s E3 Gaming Convention. It’s a streaming service for games where subscribers can log in and play.

You don’t need an Xbox or PlayStation. There’s no lengthy download process. Just open a new Chrome browser tab and you’re good to start playing.

It’ll launch in November of 2019, and it already has over 4,000 developers on board.

Sounds good, right? But how much of a cough game-changer might this new subscriber payment model be? Stadia won’t start out with all games being subscription-based. Writing for The Verge, Sean Hollister notes, “Primarily, Google tells us you should expect to buy, not rent cloud games for the same retail prices you’d find on other platforms like PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, and Steam.”

Hollister concludes his piece by saying that “we don’t know if Stadia is any good yet. We hope to find out soon. But either way, it seems like the cloud gaming wars are nearly here.”

And how will this level of accessibility affect the traditional gaming industry?

We wrap up our Game Mode series by looking at this technology and how it and other developments could define the future of gaming. And we’d like to hear from you directly, gamers: what changes and innovations would you like to see?

Contact us here.

Produced by Morgan Givens.

Guests

  • Kyle Orland Senior gaming editor, Ars Technica; author, "The Game Beat: Observations and Lessons from Two Decades Writing About Games"; @KyleOrl
  • Gabe Gurwin Contributor, Digital Trends and Upload VR; @gamingangelgabe

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