It would be complicated to do a Google Stadia vs. Apple Arcade vs Microsoft Project xCloud since each of these services have their advantages and disadvantages, but they have one thing in common; They have opted to change the videogame industry taking advantage of the fact that the vast majority of mobile games are empty, without purpose, they lack the brightness, depth, gameplay, and storytelling of titles compared to game consoles and PCs dedicated to this category. Sure, there are some exceptions, but for the most part, it’s unlikely that a mobile game will keep you busy for long.
Fortunately, with the recent announcements of Google Stadia, Apple Arcade, and Microsoft’s Project xCloud, it is very likely that the mobile gaming experience will go through a true renaissance. Two of these services provide the joy of triple-A games on our smartphones thanks to the transmission, while the latter adopts a very different approach that, hopefully, will yield similar results.
Google Stadia vs. Apple Arcade vs. Microsoft Project xCloud? Let’s see this!
Prices: Stadia Pro – $ 9.99, up to 4K / 60fps; Stadia Base: free, buy your own games
Technical Requirements: Internet connection at 35 Mbps for 4K HDR / 60fps transmission; Desktop computers, laptops, tablets, phones (exclusive to the Pixel series at launch) capable of running a Chrome browser.
Release: Stadia Pro – Fall 2019; Stadia Base – 2020
The search giant announced that it will launch directly into the market of video games in the cloud with its ambitious Stadia service, which will arrive at some point in late 2019 with a price and catalog not disclosed until now.
Basically, Stadia downloads all the processing power to Google’s large servers and allows it to transmit to almost any device in your home that can run the Chrome browser, including smart TVs. In addition, you do not need to download anything, just press touch and, in a matter of seconds, you will play on the platform of your choice. Since the game runs on Google’s data center hardware, you do not need a powerful device to play, just a stable Internet connection. In terms of performance, Google promises the performance of up to 10.7 teraflops of GPU, which is more than the 6 teraflops of Xbox One X and the 4.2 teraflops of the PlayStation 4 Pro combined.
The goal of Stadia is to bring the games that are now restricted to PC owners or powerful consoles to a much wider audience, and we are not just talking about phone users. Google promises that its service will be able to transmit games in 4K, 60fps and HDR color at launch, but it is said that Stadia will be able to scale up to 8K and 120FPS in the future. Something amazing!
A limited catalog of games
But Stadia is not just a transmission service, it’s more of a decentralized platform. This means that you can not really play any game that you like, but only those that Stadia supports.
Along with the great revelation of Stadia, Google announced its own control for the service of transmission of games. You would not necessarily have to buy it, but it will help you enormously with the states in which your wireless control will connect directly to your data center and run the game on the screen of your choice. In addition, it comes with a dedicated sharing button that allows you to take screenshots during your game sessions, and a Google Assistant button that will allow you to access the practical voice assistant. Google says that thanks to control, you can jump into your game in less than 5 seconds, without loading, authentication or prolonged synchronization between you and the game.
While you can have Stadia running on any hardware that can run Chrome and have access to high-speed Internet, the latter will be the final limiting factor between you and your game without delay. In case your Internet connection is far from being fast and stable, the transmitted video will deteriorate quickly. Google says that Stadia is smart enough to know when her connection is becoming restless and will automatically reduce the quality of video streaming as quickly and as low as possible to ensure she still receives enough game information her way. Whenever the worst happens, that is, if your connection goes down, Stadia will wait a few minutes to reconnect, and if this does not happen, you will go back to your last checkpoint once your Internet is back online.
Probably the biggest problem with Stadia at the moment is Google’s reluctance to extend the service to a greater number of mobile devices. Yes, at launch it will only be available for the Pixel 3 / Pixel 3a series even though most of the other flagship Android models share the same internal hardware like Google’s top-shelf devices. Hopefully, Stadia will not remain exclusive to the Pixel for long.
Prices: n / a
Technical requirements: iPad, iPhone, Mac, Apple TV
Release: autumn 2019
Apple Arcade was announced at the “It’s Showtime” event on March 25 along with Apple News + and Apple TV +. Apple Arcade will live as a separate new tab within the App Store and will consist of more than one hundred games designed by experts that will be exclusive to the Apple Arcade service. Once the service is launched, new games will be added continuously. You will have to pay a monthly fee that until now the price is unknown; but you can also play any game of Apple Arcade for as long as you want and on any Apple device that you prefer, whether iPhone, iPad, Apple TV or Mac.
Some of the high profile developers who will develop games for Apple Arcade are Konami, SEGA, Disney Studios, LEGO, Cartoon Network, Digital Return, Gallio, Sumo Digital, Klei Studios (Do not starve, Oxygen not included), Finji ( Night in the Woods), Annapurna Interactive, Bossa Studios, Giant Squid, Mistwalker Corporation, Snowman, two games and many, many others. Definitely a very important selection of game creators that will definitely define the quality in regards to the games.
You can play on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV or Mac
Naturally, all Apple Arcade games will be perfectly optimized to play on Apple hardware and will have similar and intuitive mechanics and game interfaces. This would be one of the strongest qualities of Apple Arcade against Google Stadia: all games will be developed from scratch for Apple iOS / macOS systems and will be quite intuitive to play on all platforms.
Fortunately, the teasers for all the games that will be available in Apple Arcade seem very varied and intriguing and are far from their usual “indie gait simulator”. It’s not that the latter is bad or something, but a service like Apple Arcade surely needs variety to attract the widest possible audience.
However, since all Apple Arcade games are exclusive, none of the triple-A games that are on the verge of popularity on the PC and the console will now come to Apple Arcade.
Microsoft Project xCloud
Price: n / a
Technical requirements: Xbox console
Released: October 2019
Microsoft’s streaming service, whose code name is xCloud, will allow you to stream any Xbox game through Azure’s cloud servers. xCloud is not as ambitious a service as Google Stadia is, and it really is about one thing: transmission. When you are away from home, xCloud will use tons of Xbox One X motherboards to process and transmit the Xbox games you have on a portable device that you have with you ; When you are at home and are still willing to broadcast, xCloud will delegate the processing task to your own Xbox console and not to the cloud, which will allow you to stream your favorite games no matter where you are in your home.
This is a very direct and easy to understand the concept that seems a bit less innovative than Stadia, but it is that simplicity that makes it much more feasible and is likely to be successful in the long term.
You can play it on a wider range of smartphones
So far, few technical details have been revealed about xCloud, but it is already clear that it can be used in a much wider selection of mobile devices than the launch of Google Stadia. In E3 2019, xCloud was demonstrated on Galaxy devices, but will surely be available on other devices. What happens with the iPhone? It remains to be seen.
In addition to using your dedicated control of Xbox One, you can also control your games with the superposition of on-screen controls that Microsoft has developed. xCloud will dynamically adjust the frequency of frames and the resolution of your games depending on the power of your Internet connection.
At launch, xCloud will allow you to play about 3,500 games. So as you would see it would be useless to raise in a ring to Google Stadia vs Apple Arcade vs Microsoft Project xCloud since each one counts great qualities.
Tell us what do you think about this new videogame revolution, where everyone points to online games and streaming content?