It's Game Developer's Week and Google just stole the show with a game streaming service called 'Stadia' that challenges the current status quo of the gaming industry. The service will let users stream AAA demanding games to PC, Mobiles, Tablets, Chromecast and Laptops from the cloud and is expected to launch sometime in 2019.
Having said that, the streaming service is not scheduled to launch in India anytime soon. There are many contributing factors such as low internet speeds and general infrastructure that is currently not up to the mark when compared to the US, Canada, UK, and Europe. If you want to know how Stadia works and what all it can do, you can read all about it here.
However, India is one of the fastest growing markets for internet services where the country is the second largest market for smartphones. India also has the cheapest internet plans across all service providers which has increased the number of internet users in India tenfold. For Google, this is potentially the biggest untapped market as mobile gaming in India has become the preferred choice of platform for Indian gamers.
© MensXP/Akshay Bhalla
With the sudden success of PUBG Mobile, demand for gaming smartphones has increased ever since the phenomenon took over the country. It proves that India has a huge pool of gamers on smartphones that have made games like PUBG a huge success.
Smartphone gaming is extremely important for Indian customers and Google's new service can potentially provide AAA gaming to an audience that can't afford to build their own PCs or buy new consoles. For many, it will be a first-time experience that will no longer be exclusive to the affluent or passionate gamer.Gaming Is Expensive In India
Gaming is an expensive affair in India and if you want to get a real feel of India's gaming scene, Akhil Arora from NDTV paints the true picture in his piece here.
Games are generally sold in India for $60 ( a direct conversion) for an audience that does not earn in the same currency. The story gets worse for hardware because of India's harsh import duties and taxes on gaming consoles. As NDTV points out “A salaried middle-class Indian has to work 9-14 times more to afford a PS4.”
It's a real problem here that can be resolved by Google's Stadia platform. Not only does the streaming service makes games accessible and cheaper, but it also lets users play games on devices they already own. For the first time in India's gaming industry history, AAA gaming can be mainstream and affordable thanks to services like Stadia.What Are The Barriers?
Let's face it, India does not have the required infrastructure to support game streaming at the moment, at least on a large scale. Even though ISPs now offer Gigabit connections, it's still not as widespread as it should be. Having said that, India is on the path of rapid Digital development with companies like Jio making fibernet accessible and affordable for the average Indian. Latency is the obvious issue here that needs to address which we can only know when Google Stadia launches.
Coming back to smartphone gaming, 5G is said to support smooth game streaming, however, we won't see 5G services launch in India before 2021. In fact, we don't even know how well game streaming will run as it has not been tested in the real world yet.
Having said that, the future does look bright for Google Stadia in India, as the country's infrastructure is growing at a rapid pace and doesn't look like it will slow down anytime soon. Sure, it may be a few years away but sooner or later, Google Stadia will change the game for an average Indian gamer.
Are you interested in Google's Stadia platform? Would you like to play AAA games on your smartphone or tablet? Let us know in the comments what you think about Stadia.ee