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Google Launches Stadia, Bolsters Initiatives in Gaming Space

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Alphabet’s GOOGL division Google finally launched its much-awaited cloud-based video game streaming service, Stadia.

Stadia allows users stream games online on devices like smartphones, laptops, desktops and tablets utilizing Chrome web browser. Users can also play games on their televisions with the aid of Chromecast media stick connection.

The service currently offers 22 games which include titles like Assassin's Creed Odyssey and NBA 2K20. Google has introduced premium version of Stadia called Stadia Pro for now and is gearing up to launch free HD version in 2020.

We note that Stadia Pro costs $9.99 per month and streams 4K videos at 60 frames per second. Further, the company has launched the service in 14 countries such as the United States, Canada, Norway, the U.K., Germany and France.

Google’s Aggressive Stance

The search giant has been aggressively eyeing the video game market for quite some time now. Its latest move bodes is in sync with its strategy of expansion in the gaming market. Further, the company is developing 450 games currently, which will be released on Stadia in 2020 and beyond.

Apart from Stadia launch, Google recently announced its gaming initiative, Project Stream, in an effort to strengthen presence in the gaming industry.
The new project that is currently in beta stage will offer subscription-based streaming service for AAA video games, which usually includes graphically-rich content.

The service will enable users to play these games on their desktops or laptops just by signing into their Google accounts. It will only require Google Chrome and a reliable Internet connection.

Additionally, the company has teamed up with video game publisher UbiSoft Entertainment to stream Assassin’s Creed Odyssey via Chrome. Currently, Project Stream will allow selected players to play and test the service for free.

Further, Google is aggressively looking into deals with game developers to bring interesting games to its platform.

We believe all the abovementioned endeavors are likely to aid the company in capitalizing on the prospects of the game market.  Notably, higher consumer spending on video games globally is one of the primary factors driving the market. 

Alphabet Inc. Price and Consensus

Strengthening Competition

Google with its growing gaming initiatives is likely to pose a serious challenge to other tech companies like Microsoft MSFT, Sony SNE and Amazon AMZN to name a few, which are also leaving no stone unturned to make their presence felt in this alluring space.

We note that Stadia launch is likely to provide Google a competitive edge against Microsoft, which is gathering steam to launch Project xCloud next year.

Notably, Microsoft, which owns a video gaming brand — Xbox, is currently working on Project Scarlett in an attempt to develop a streaming box that will offer streaming services for video games on Xbox console with the support of its cloud platform, Azure. Moreover, Project Scarlett strives to deliver 4K games at 60 frames-per-second.

Sony has its cloud gaming subscription service, PlayStation Now, which offers a huge library of video games for streaming on PlayStation 4 and PC.

Meanwhile, Amazon owns huge game portfolio and offers video game streaming services via its Twitch platform.

Nevertheless, Google’s Project Stream and Stadia are likely to be more consumer-friendly as users will not be required to purchase any costly game consoles or gaming PC to play high-end video games. The company is likely to gain traction in gaming space driven by its robust Chrome and gamer-friendly services.

Currently, Alphabet carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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