The last months of 2020 have left a promising horizon ahead of the platforms of streaming video game in 2021 with the consolidation of Google Stadia, the launch of Amazon Luna and the announcement of xCloud for PC and iOS in spring 2021.
Google Stadia in 2021
Without a doubt, Google Stadia has taken the lead in the video game streaming niche, after its launch at the end of 2019. A launch that left more shadows than lights and that hinted that the platform was very green. However, 2020 has been a great year for Google Stadia, since it has managed to introduce a good part of the functions promised in its official announcement and today are already a reality.
In fact, Stadia has been the platform that has been best strengthened with the launch of Cyberpunk 2077, last December, and this is reflected in the opinion of the players on social networks, commenting on the good gaming experience on the platform. To this must be added that with the pre-purchase of Cyberpunk 2077 Google gave away a free Stadia Premiere pack consisting of a Stadia Controller and a Chromecast Ultra, which has resulted in a masterful move to attract thousands of players to its platform, and more after the disastrous launch of the game on consoles, where many have chosen to return the game and buy and play it on Stadia.
In 2021, Stadia already has tens of thousands of devices in the home, a large number of gamers and a fairly healthy popularity, which has cost it to turn around the entire long year of 2020. Therefore, 2021 looks very promising for Stadia, and these will be the main novelties that will arrive this year 2021:
- Ubisoft+ in beta in more countries and official launch worldwide, probably in the second half of the year or the end of 2021.
- Stadia rollout in Latin America and Asia: Google Cloud recently announced new regions in Chile and Saudi Arabia.
- Native app for Android TV, officially announced by Google for the first half of 2021 for the new Chromecast with Google TV.
- Raytracing in compatible video games, which will involve a hardware update of Google servers with compatible graphics cards. This hardware update has been rumored to be the 2nd. generation of Stadia or “Gen 2”.
- Expansion of the game catalog, with the arrival of titles such as Far Cry 6, FIFA 21, Madden NFL 21, Hitman 3, Riders Republic, Chorus, Resident Evil Village, ARK Survival Evolve, Outriders, Dirt 5, Humankind, Chris Tales, Young Souls, Hello Engineer and Disco Elysium.
- New Free-to-Play Games: Featuring Hyper Scape and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege that Ubisoft is working to integrate into Google Stadia.
Amazon Luna in 2021
Last September, Amazon Luna, Amazon’s “streaming game” service, was launched to everyone’s surprise, with a slightly different bet than Google Stadia, its main competitor.
The Amazon Luna model is the closest to the “Netflix” model of video games, along with xCloud, offering a catalog of games in exchange for a monthly fee of $6. The Stadia model is different since it has free games and the Stadia Store where you can buy games without having to pay a monthly fee to use the platform to play them, although Google also has Stadia PRO a monthly subscription of $10 with a catalog of games that is increasing month after month.
There is no doubt that the launch of Amazon Luna has been more mature than the launch of Stadia since they have opted for a closed Beta phase only in the USA. If we add to this that it already has a native App for Fire TV devices and PC, as well as WebApp to access through browsers on iOS, Android and PC, it seems that Amazon Luna is on par with Stadia with less time of lifetime.
Here we discuss the news of Amazon Luna for 2021:
- Launch of Amazon Luna in more countries, as well as the Ubisoft+ channel.
- 4K resolution.
- Integration of Twitch to broadcast the games from Amazon Luna, just like Google Stadia has done with YouTube.
- Increase in the catalog up to 100 games, since there is currently a reduced catalog of 50 games in the Beta phase.
xCloud in 2021
At the beginning of December, Xbox announced through its Xbox Wire news blog, the news for 2021 in the Cloud Gaming platform focused on bringing xCloud to more devices, more specifically to PC and iOS devices .
These are the news of Xbox Game Pass and xCloud for the year 2021:
- EA Play on Game Pass for PC is coming in early 2021.
- xCloud for PC and iOS devices (or what is the same Game Pass in the cloud) will be launched in the spring of 2021 in the form of WebApp through the browser, as has happened with Stadia and Geforce Now that have had to opt by this type of application to deploy your applications on iOS.
- Games confirmed to hit Game Pass in 2021: The Medium, Halo Infinite, Psychonauts 2, The Ascent, The Gunk, Warhammer 40K: Darktide, Exomecha, Scorn, Skatebird, Dead Static Drive and The Good Life. Although it is mere speculation, there is also the possibility that the Game Pass catalog includes more Bethesda games, after the purchase of the study by Microsoft, so that more titles of the Fallout, Wolfenstein or Doom IPs may that end up coming to Game Pass.
- Ubisoft+ could be integrated (according to recent rumors), as has happened with EA Play, in xCloud as part of the Game Pass Ultimate package, which includes the option of Cloud Gaming on Android devices. Unlike EA Play, which does not entail any cost for Game Pass subscribers, it is to be expected that, to access the Ubisoft+ catalog, you will have to pay the Ubisoft+ monthly fee of $15 or 15€ per month for being subscribed to it.