Google shuns Middle East with new Stadia gaming service
Last night saw Google unveil "the future of gaming" in the form of a new streaming service that lets you play proper games from any device anywhere in the world. Well, except if you're in Asia or here in the Middle East.
Yes, Google's Stadia gaming service will be a little bit like Netflix, and will harness the Big G's massive server farms to handle the graphical heavy-lifting. Then it will wirelessly fling that game to your device, including smartphones and devices compatible with Google Chrome. But not here it won't.
Google has kept quite on how pricing will work (it will either be free, cost a set subscription or work more like the Android Marketplace) as well as the release date (a rather vague "at some point this year"). But they have said that when it does arrive the service will work in the United States, Canada, the UK and Europe. So not here in the Middle East then.
The service itself will come baked in with all of Google's major services - including YouTube, where thousands upon thousands of hours are spent watching video gamers. The service will work via regular mouse and keyboard, as well as via special Stadia controller - which looks very similar to an Xbox One controller. The same Xbox One controller that you should probably hang on to if you live in the Middle East, because you ain't going to be swapping it out for a new Stadia one anytime soon.
The Big G said that it has been testing Stadia for the past few months, and had perfected streaming Assassin's Creed Odyssey publicly. Interestingly, that Assassin's Creed game was released here in the Middle East. But Stadia will not.
Of course, Stadia won't be limited to just one game. It will play a plethora of them (although Google was tight-lipped on who exactly has signed on to the service). The company demonstrated a clip of someone watching a YouTuber then clicking a 'Play Now' button which instantly brought up Stadia. Odds are that particular YouTuber wasn't in the Middle East, because Stadia won't be available here.
Elsewhere Google demonstrated moving gameplay across phone, tablet and then to television, all pretty seamlessly. Apparently, the technology that allows this to happen lies in Google's cloud servers, which handle the heavy lifting that your bog-standard CPU and graphics card would normally deal with. That's probably why Stadia is not coming to the Middle East and Asia anytime soon, as a vast majority of its servers are in the US and Europe.
Google Stadia will be released later this year (but not here in the Middle East).
But that's fine, we're not bitter or anything.