Ever since the announcement for Google Stadia came out, the futuristic game distribution system has been making waves in popular culture as to whether it would be viable and who would be the core demographic it’s aimed at. The competition is stiff with three giants of console gaming – Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo standing against the as-yet-unlaunched technological drive to offer cloud gaming as a service. However, the internet giant has an ace up its sleeve to compete against the likes of these established gaming houses, and it comes in the form of device agnosticism.
The massive amount of up-front capital that a gamer has to invest in a console is the most amount of money they are likely to have to put out during their entire time owning the hardware. Consoles can be quite expensive, and on launch day they might command hefty price tags that may or may not decline as time goes along, based on demand. Stadia’s ability to run on anything that supports input and has an HD screen is likely to make it an attractive option to players who don’t like putting out that kind of money on a console that is limited to playing console-specific games.
Trade Tariffs Hurting Consoles
The recent tariffs against China have severely impacted the profitability of the console market, with manufacturing parts from China being victims of the massive hikes in price. Surprisingly enough, all three major console manufacturers issued a joint statement in June 2019 regarding the impending rise in the cost of consoles thanks to the US government’s trade war against the Asian superpower.
While this isn’t good news for console gamers, it creates a unique atmosphere for Google to exploit when Stadia comes online. If the trade war isn’t yet over, the internet giant’s offering for gaming that can be run on virtually any system is likely to get noticed by many gamers. The only downside is that many console gamers look forward to having device-exclusive releases on their systems, an issue that Google has only partially addressed in the past. Provided that Google could develop the requisite exclusives to support their release, they could become a real threat to console manufacturers going forward.