Two more major tech players, Verizon and Amazon, may be entering into the already crowded list of companies that plan to launch mobile game streaming services. According to The Verge, Verizon Wireless is already testing its own game streaming service with a small number of customers. The people who are selected reportedly get an NVIDIA Shield Android TV set-top box for the test, but The Verge says Verizon plans to eventually expand this streaming service to Android smartphones.
The story also includes screenshots from the service, which has the rather unimaginative name: Verizon Gaming. The images show a list of impressive PC and console games, but the screenshots are most likely placeholders. Based on emails sent to testers, it sounds like Verizon is more concerned with basic game streaming performance at first with this test. The service is currently is using Wi-Fi, but it’s more than likely that Verizon will roll out this service on its wireless network when it gets its 5G hardware fully up and running. The Verge reports that this small test version with the Shield TV box will conclude by the end of January.
Meanwhile, The Information reports Amazon is also working on its own game streaming service. There’s not much information on this service in the report, other than Amazon has reached out to game publishers to see if they would be interested in offering their titles for this venture. Amazon is certainly well positioned to launch such a project, as its cloud-based Amazon Web Services already has a ton of experience streaming content for companies like Netflix. It also owns Twitch, the gamer-centric live video streaming service. The report does say Amazon is not looking to launch its game streaming service until 2020 at the earliest.
Verizon and Amazon will be entering a field that is full of competitors who have already revealed their plans for streaming games with cloud-based set-ups. Both Microsoft and EA announced at E3 2018 that they have separate plans to stream games to smartphones. Microsoft later revealed that its service, with its codename Project xCloud, would begin public trials sometime in 2019.
In October, Google announced and launched a public test of Project Stream, which allowed people to stream and play the full version of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on a PC, Mac, Linux, and even a low-end Chromebook via the Chrome browser. That tech test is scheduled to end on January 15. So far, Google has not yet revealed what it plans to do with Project Stream.
Of course, Sony already has its own game streaming service, PlayStation Now, which allows PlayStation 4 and Windows PC owners to stream and play hundreds of classic and current PS4 games for a monthly fee. Sony has never revealed how many subscribers it has for PlayStation Now. NVIDIA also has its GeForce Now service, which lets people purchase PC games on Steam and other services, and then lets them play those games remotely on their PC, Mac and their Shield TV box. That service is still in a closed beta test.
January 13, 2019 at 10:15AM