Tag Archive | "Gaming"

Google Unveils Stadia Game Streaming Platform and is Dead Serious About Eliminating Barriers and Making High-End Gaming Accessible for Everyone

Google CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled their Stadia game streaming platform at the 2019 Game Developers Conference in San Fransisco today. Stadia is designed to bring high-end gaming to Chrome and other devices and aims to eliminate the many barriers to gaming. It will likely be a subscription service similar to Netflix but focused on games that can be played without a console right in Chrome or other devices.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, introduces Stadia, Google’s new streaming gaming platform at the 2019 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco:

Biggest Impact of Gaming is How it Pushes Technology Forward

Perhaps the biggest impact of gaming is how it pushes us to make big leaps in computing and networking power, high fidelity graphics, and the infrastructure that supports it all. All of it is pushing computing and technology forward and I find it really exciting. At Google, we have always believed that technology should adapt to people. Not the other way around. We’ve been building towards this vision for some time. For example, when we launched Chrome a decade ago we envisioned that it could be a modern platform for web applications. We wanted to bring the power of the web to everyone including use cases that seemed impossible at that time like high-quality games.

Finally, we are making progress towards that goal. In fact, over the last two years, we’ve been hard at work on game streaming technology. Last Fall, we launched our first public test with Project Stream. But a technical test wasn’t the whole view of our ambition. It was probably the worst kept secret in the industry. Internally, we were actually testing our ability to stream high fidelity graphics over a low agency network. We learned that we could bring a triple-A game to any device with a Chrome browser and an internet connection, using the best of Google to create a powerful game platform.

Google Committed to Paying Billions to Game Developers

When we say best of Google, it always starts with our cloud and networking infrastructure. Our custom server hardware and data centers can bring more computing power to more people on planet Earth than anyone else. Today, we are in 19 regions, and in over 200 countries and territories connected by hundreds of thousands of miles of fiber optic cables. The best of Google also includes our open platforms that allow us to reach billions of people. With Google, your games will be immediately discoverable by over two billion people on a Chrome browser, Chrome Books, Chrome Cast, Pixel Devices, and we have plans to support more browsers and devices over time. That’s in addition to all of the people playing and watching games across YouTube and Google Play.

When we build these ecosystems, we always take the approach that we only succeed when our partners do. Collectively, our partners across web, Google Play, and YouTube have earned more than $ 110 billion over the last four years alone. We are committed to this approach here as well. So now, we have focused on our next big effort, which is to build a game platform for everyone. And, when we say for everyone, we really mean it. It is one of our most cherished values as a company. Be it Android or Chrome or AI, we are dead serious about making technology accessible for everyone.

Google is Dead Serious About Eliminating Barriers

But, if you think about games, there are a lot of barriers for users to play high-end games. Beautiful graphics really need high-end consoles or PCs. And games don’t have instant access. Think about the way the web works. You can easily share a link and it works seamlessly. We want games to feel that way too. Instantly enjoyable with access for everyone.

I think we can change the game by bringing together the power and creativity of the entire community, people who love to play games, people who love to watch games, and people who love to build games. That means all of you. We are really excited to work with you. We want to build a platform and we want you to show us what’s possible. And together, I think we can create a new games experience powered by best of Google and built for everyone.

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Oculus Exec Yelena Rachitzky Talks About How VR Can Move Beyond Gaming

Most virtual reality products are aimed at gamers because there is an automatically understood natural fit. Can VR move beyond gaming? Oculus executive produce of experiences at Oculus offers her insights.

Yelena Rachitsky, Executive Producer, Experiences at Oculus, a virtual reality technology company owned by Facebook, was recently interviewed by TechCrunch writer Lucus Matney:

It’s Not Just About Content, Technology is Making it Easier

We’re focusing a lot more on more highly interactive content and marrying concepts that were understanding from gaming into more narrative approaches. Instead of shooters and strategy, how do we use these mechanics of understanding on how our body works, natural intuitive mechanics to create pieces that people actually want to come back to, pieces people actually enjoy and don’t feel like they are playing a game necessarily.

So we’re marrying that knowledge also with the form factors, I think a few people have mentioned Quest which is something we’re super excited about, so it’s not just the content it’s also the technology that’s coming and making it easier.

Technology is Also Working to Make Things More Intuitive

A lot of technology is also working just to make things much more intuitive. It’s a combination of how we’re approaching content being more compelling, more intuitive, more interactive, more emotional, with the form factors in the hardware. The thing I’m really interested in is how we approach experiences that have very more natural intuitive interactions versus a lot of button pressing.

I gave this talk at Oculus Connect recently about embodiment and what makes us feel like something’s ours when they connect with an object and there’s this reality, our Facebook Reality Labs research talks about something called object believability, and we really believe that we’re picking up an object if it’s something that we recognize that we’ve done in the real world.

The Hard Part of VR is That We Are Holding Controllers

The hard part about VR is that we’re actually holding controllers in our hands. So how do you make your brain believe that you’re actually picking up those objects? People have approached this in different ways. With  Job Simulator (by Oculus) you have big hands that you press with really really big buttons. There’s something very rewarding about that. Then there’s a game that the studios’ team did called Lone Echo which they put a lot of effort into how the hands formed themselves around objects because if you’re seeing your hands actually shift in the way that they should in real life your brain believes that and it becomes super rewarding.

With a lot of the projects we’re creating we’re still experimenting, we still don’t know a lot of this stuff, but we’re going all the way from fully interactive to still slightly linear. There’s not a magic formula to it, everything’s just about the intent that you want to create and then all the tools that you use for VR that push forward that intent.

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When It Comes To Mobile Gaming, The Freemium Model Pays

In an app store that just hit 15 billion downloads, there is now hard data to suggest that games offered for free actually generate more revenue than paid games. Sound counter-intuitive? It’s not when you think about it in the …


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