Walmart is reportedly looking into a potential game streaming service. The company has apparently been in talks with game developers and publishers since the start of this year, and it’s also been talking with developers at the Game Developers Conference, according to USGamer.
With Google just announcing its Stadia game streaming service earlier in the week, there’s been a lot of talk around game streaming lately. Walmart entering the game streaming service would be…interesting. For one, the company isn’t known for gaming and even though it released its own gaming laptops under the Overpowered brand, it’s not something the company has much experience with.
Walmart obviously has the resources and funds to build a game streaming service, but that’s only part of the picture. Details about the service are practically non-existent, and it’s also not clear how long the service has been in development for.
The company also looked into a Netflix-like video streaming service in the past, though those plans were later shelved.
What could be more interesting here is the infrastructure behind the game streaming service, if Walmart does actually end up making this a real thing. Considering Walmart is using Microsoft Azure for its cloud products, there’s a chance Walmart could rely on Microsoft’s cloud power for its game streaming services. But Microsoft is also working on its own game streaming service, so it would be a little weird if Walmart opts for Microsoft’s cloud to power its game streaming service.
And as I said earlier, the cloud power behind the service is just part of the picture, and regular data centres won’t be enough to power such a system. Walmart would need to build specialised hardware that’s capable of powering game streaming at a level that can compete with the likes of Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud. And that requires a lot of expertise and talent.