Google shook up the gaming world with the recent announcement of its brand-new Stadia service at GDC 2019. Stadia is Google’s proper foray into the gaming industry, though the concept behind it is rather ambitious as Stadia is a fully-fledged game streaming service. Google began the presentation by boldly stating that “the future of gaming is not a box”, and then proceeded to explain multiple times why it thinks a service like Stadia is the best direction for the industry to go in.
All of this fanfare has generated quite the reaction from investors. Both Nintendo and Sony saw dips in their shares following Google’s presentation, with Nintendo dropping 2.99 percent and Sony taking a slightly larger hit at 3.01 percent. Does this mean that Stadia poses a legitimate threat to the console industry?
Patience is a virtue
Hearing of a company’s stock price dropping (or rising) isn’t really anything new. Investors tend to be very reactionary when situations like this arise. As a result, this shouldn’t be taken as a sign that traditional consoles are in trouble.
While Google may have given a very bombastic presentation, Stadia still has yet to prove itself. The service won’t be available until later this year, and even then, only users in specific regions (USA, UK and most of Europe) will initially have access to it. Only at that time will the industry be able to see just how viable of an option Stadia is. Google has already garnered quite a bit of high-profile partners like Ubisoft, Epic Games, and Unity, but Stadia will need to build a solid, healthy user-base before it can be reasonably be seen as a contender or even a replacement for a traditional console or PC.
Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch is still selling remarkably well and both Sony and Microsoft are in the process of putting on the finishing touches to their (soon-to-be-revealed) next-generation consoles. Clearly, traditional gaming systems aren’t going anywhere—at least not for another generation. So, perhaps after 2025 (at the earliest) it will be a legitimate concern as to whether we’ll all still be playing on our own systems. As for now, Stadia, like the other game streaming services, are in a very early phase of life.