New Challengers Approach: Apple vs. Google

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Published April 9, 2019
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The Montclarion
This graphic, created by Adrian Maldonado, depicts how Apple Arcade and Google Stadia innovate the future of gaming. Photo courtesy of Apple and Google

When it comes to the technology industry, Apple and Google are known for being rivals. This rivalry has just expanded to a new territory: Gaming. Both companies have recently announced their own gaming service, each with its own unique concept. Just like a game controller, the fate of these companies will lay in the hands of the gamers.

At the 2019 Game Developers Conference, Google announced their new gaming platform, Stadia. Stadia is a cloud gaming service for playing AAA tiles that is capable of streaming video games in 4K HDR resolution at 60 frames per second and being playable on multiple devices, such as laptops, desktops, select phones and tablets as long as it has the Google Chrome application and a high-speed internet connection.

In the near future, Google is planning to support 8K resolution with up to 120 frames per second. No updates or download is required to play a game, the only thing needed is to watch a gameplay video on YouTube. The video offers a button to “play now” that jumps directly into the game in a matter of seconds. Users can also join the video games of other users that are streaming games through YouTube.

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The new Google Stadia controllers come in a variety of colors. Photo courtesy of Google

Google Stadia can be played with existing new controllers on a PC, but during the conference, Google unveiled its own special Stadia controller. This new controller has special features in order to make the gaming experience more memorable. The new features included in this new controller are a smart device detection, a share button and a Google Assistant button.

During the 2019 Apple Event, the company announced Apple Arcade, a monthly Netflix-like video game subscription that brings over 100 exclusive iOS tiles, such as upcoming indie games and AAA franchises to your device. Some of the confirmed lineup for Apple Arcade include “Sonic Racing,” “The Artful Escape,” “Hot Lava,” “Where Cards Fall” and many others.

This monthly subscription has no ads, no in-app purchases and the user can play from a wide variety of video games which will be constantly updated with new titles. Unlike Google Stadia, Apple Arcade can be played offline, just as long as the video game application is downloaded beforehand. Additionally, a single subscription gives users access to share their service with six other people at no extra cost.

Apple is handpicking and contributing to the development cost of the games in Apple Arcade and will be working closely with the developers to bring their ideas and concepts to life. The service will include games from companies such as SEGA, Cartoon Network, Konami, LEGO and many more.

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“Team Sonic Racing” features many Sonic characters in a racing game. Photo courtesy of Apple and SEGA

When asked about Google Stadia and Apple Arcade, Montclair State University students had a lot to say about these companies stepping into new territory. Faisal Bukhari, a sophomore majoring in information technology, is doubtful on what the goals are for Google Stadia and Apple Arcade.

“It seems like Apple and Google are just trying to make money off gaming instead of actually getting into the gaming industry to make their fans happy,” Bukhari said. “It might be a good idea having games in a cloud service, which seems to be the next step for gaming since physical copies are becoming irrelevant now that you can buy it digitally, but I’m not convinced yet and probably won’t be subscribing to either of them.”

Joseph Galan, a senior majoring in exercise science, seems to be interested in some of the games Apple Arcade will offer. However, he is still not fully on-board with this new idea.

“My first impression of Apple Arcade was slightly disinterested. I’m not a huge gamer and only certain games genuinely excite me, like ‘Elder Scrolls’ and ‘Fallout,’” Galan said. “It seems very similar to Xbox’s Game Pass but with original games. I will admit that some of the original games look pretty good to be played on my iPhone.”

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Apple Arcade can be played through many different devices. Photo courtesy of Apple

Galan thinks that this is definitely a big step for the gaming industry’s future but he’d rather be loyal to Microsoft instead.

“As for Google Stadia, I was admittedly astounded by the idea of having virtually no barrier between internet surfing and instantaneous gaming,” Galan said. “I’m not sure if I’m ready for that kind of change. I have been a faithful Xbox gamer since the first one came out, and I don’t see myself giving up on my Xbox and all my achievements any time soon.”

As many students are not fully convinced on these services, Kamran Ahmad, a senior majoring in psychology and minoring in sociology, is willing to give these services a try. He is interested in how other video game companies will react toward these services.

“When I saw the Stadia, my first impression was that it would make Sony and Microsoft step their game up for the next console generation,” Ahmad said. “I’ll be sure to try both Stadia and Apple Arcade when they come out. I have an iPhone and it would be cool to see Apple implement iPhone into the upcoming software.”

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“Where Cards Fall” is a coming-of-age story exclusive to Apple Arcade. Photo courtesy of Apple

More details on the Google Stadia will be released this summer and the platform is expected to be released in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and most of Europe in late 2019. Apple Arcade will launch in the fall of 2019 and is set to be released in over 150 countries. Pricing details for Google Stadia and Apple Arcade have not been announced.

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