Google Stadia just launched this week, and the game-streaming service has already been criticized for a poor game selection, sub-par performance, questionable pricing and business practices, and even for killing Chromecast Ultra units. These issues appear to be no worry to Amazon, however, as it appears the retail and tech behemoth is preparing to announce its own competing service in 2020.
CNET reported this week that Amazon will announce a game-streaming service next year, and that it has already begun recruiting staff from other major technology companies as it moves toward launch. Unsurprisingly, the plan is for the unnamed service to integrate with Twitch streaming and other Amazon services. Google heavily implemented YouTube into Stadia, with options to start a game from a streamer’s save state or jump into their multiplayer session right from a stream. Neither of these features is available at launch, however.
Thus far, Amazon has had an extremely difficult time breaking into the video game industry. It canceled several high-profile games prior to their launch, including Breakaway, and reportedly laid off dozens of developers during this year’s E3, along with more canceled projects.
Some of Amazon’s creative leads have also left the company for other studios. This includes Clint Hocking, who returned to Ubisoft to direct Watch Dogs Legion, and Portal designer Kim Swift, who now works at Electronic Arts. If we are learning anything from the Stadia launch, it’s that Amazon will need to have several high-profile and exclusive games ready in order to get players to subscribe, and the service can’t destroy data caps.
Amazon and Google won’t be the only companies vying for your game-streaming dollar. Microsoft is also currently in the preview phase of its Project xCloud service, which already boasts more games than Stadia and will feature special control schemes when played via mobile devices. Unlike its competitors, Microsoft is also not marketing xCloud as a replacement for home consoles, but instead as a service to complement them. You will also be able to stream games you own on your Xbox One console to your phone for free, using the Xbox as a private server.
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