With Apple Arcade set to be launched in the fall and Google Stadia in November, 2019 is geared up for revolutionary times, as far as gaming is concerned. These platforms provide a breath of fresh air to Console, PC games and mobile games (readily available in several app stores). Since the latter games are free to download, with in-app purchases, they get their money from ads and downloadable content (DLC). People who are looking for a gaming experience sans these two, can consider the Apple Arcade and Google Stadia.

In the following lines, let us take a look at both of these individually so as to gain an understanding of how they can affect the gaming industry:

Apple Arcade

After Apple’s announcement in late March this year, there have been numerous speculations about how it’s Arcade is going to influence the gaming segment. Following are some of the features which make it a novel offering by this technology giant:

  • Subscription Model – Based on the Amazon Prime/Netflix model, this service is to be made available on a monthly subscription basis. It is compatible with any iOS devices, mobiles, iPads and televisions included. People who own them can download over 100 top-end games from renowned studios. Since this is a paid version, there will be no ads and IAP (in-app purchases). 
  • Games that matter – It is said that there is a lot of work behind the games that are being included as part of the subscription. These are meant to offer better gaming experience so that users do not have to search for any other avenues for their needs. Many industry experts involved in game development are a part of this process and this shows to prove that Apple is considering all aspects of games for redefining user-engagement.
  • Importance to privacy – As with most of their products/services, this Apple gaming Arcade comes with stringent privacy policies. Safety is a major concern in any such models and hence, steps are being taken to ensure that user information is kept secure at all times.
  • Widespread – According to the initial plan, Apple Arcade is set to be launched in over 150 countries including Asian countries as well. Therefore, most of the game lovers from around the world will not be left out in the bargain.

Google Stadia

Google was the first one to announce Stadia in the GDC held this year in March, before Apple came up with Arcade a week later. The beta version of Google Stadia is out and this is a ‘cloud to live streaming’ model. Here is a list of the vital features which are meant to make it unique:

  • Cloud based – As mentioned earlier, this is a cloud game streaming service. Using Google Chrome or YouTube, gamers can live stream the games that they wish to play on multiple devices such as mobile, PC, console, tablet, etc. that run on Chrome. They have promised streaming at 4K which is impressive. 
  • Offline mode available – Users can download games of their choice and play them offline too. This is something which has met with a lot of cheers from players who are constantly on the move.
  • Limited release – The Google Stadia is expected to be released only in the US, UK, Europe and Canada. This makes it less accessible when compared to the Arcade as the players in Asia and several other countries will not be able to make use of the said services.
  • Pay for games as you go – Users will have to pay for the games that they wish to download and stream on Stadia. There is a plan to release a library of free games in the future. However, the timelines are not defined.

Comparative study

As far as the Apple Arcade is concerned, the game developers are not allowed to release the 100 odd games anywhere else, as of now. The representatives have mentioned that this will change over time, though the dates aren’t yet specified. However, with Google Stadia, the entire games’ list can be played on other platforms. Another notable feature is device compatibility. The Arcade is being designed for iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple TVs, whilst Stadia can be used by anyone who has a device running on Chrome.

Gamers who are looking for an experience that takes them to a different strata can consider one of the aforementioned services/platforms. They are bound to bring about a sea of change to the way games are pursed and the industry needs to wait and watch for its effectiveness in attracting the target audience and retaining it for a considerable amount of time. The commencement of these two can prove to be pioneering in gaming as a whole.