Briefing

With Stadia launch, Google enters the streaming game fray

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The California-based company hopes to conquer the cloud-based subscription gaming market. Those wishing to use it this year will have to fork out US$129.99, which buys a Stadia controller, a Chromecast dongle and a three-month subscription for two. Another subscription package, at US$9.99 a month, will be available next year. (CNN)

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Talking point: Though streaming gaming platforms have previously failed, Amazon and Microsoft are planning similar forays into what is fast becoming a competitive market. Google said the computer power of its many data centres will provide a high-speed, blip-free gaming experience on a wide mix of platforms, from TVs to computers to its own Pixel phones. Many analysts remain unconvinced, noting that console gaming industry leader Sony has a wider online game selection—over 650 to Google’s current 22—and an existing footprint in the marketplace. Stadia’s success will likely depend in part on its ability to produce compelling exclusive games; its first development studio will be in Montreal, home to an already-competitive tech job market.