Does Google See Stadia Competing With PlayStation and Xbox?

Google’s Phil Harrison on if Stadia is meant to be a part of the current or next-gen console race.

As we learned at the Google Stadia reveal earlier this week, Google’s new gaming platform isn’t a game console but rather a streaming service. But despite that, as one console generation ends and we look ahead to the next PlayStation and Xbox, does Google see its new platform as competing with them?

I spoke to Google’s Phil Harrison about just that, wondering if Google launching Stadia this year, while most speculation has made us expect next-gen consoles next year, meant Google saw Stadia as a direct competitor. More than anything, it seems Google is more concerned with Stadia creating “a bigger opportunity” for the industry at large than trying to supplant other platforms.

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“I don’t believe in order for Stadia to win that somebody has to lose,” he said. “I think that in order to grow this industry and this thing that we love, which is playing games, if Google does this right we can make a bigger opportunity for everybody in the games industry. That’s what iIm committed to doing.”

Harrison is well aware of gaming history’s past, of course having been an executive at several companies, Microsoft and Sony included, previously. But for him, rather than trying to “beat” the consoles in a war, he’s working to bring Google’s vision of what the future of gaming looks like to life quickly.

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“We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Nintendo and Sony and [Microsoft] and Sega and Atari and name your other console,” he said.

We’re part of an industry, but we have a strong vision of the future. And we want to get to that vision of the future and bring a huge amount of opportunity to even more people.”

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Google’s eagerness to get to that vision of the future has led to an announced 2019 release window for Stadia, with Harrison reiterating the promise from earlier this week about a consumer-focused Stadia showcase this summer.

But while we wait for more information about Stadia’s price, games, and more, be sure to read more from our interview with Phil Harrison:

We also got to go hands-on with both the Google Stadia controller and with playing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on Google Stadia itself.

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Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s News Editor, PlayStation lead, and host of Podcast Beyond! Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.

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