Walmart Reportedly Looking Into Entering The…Game Streaming Market

Posted on March 22, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Cloud, Games with 10 Comments

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.

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Comments (10)

10 responses to “Walmart Reportedly Looking Into Entering The…Game Streaming Market”

  1. Lewk

    *Checks my calendar to see if it's April 1st.*... "Nope. Huh?" ?

  2. dcdevito

    "so it would be a little weird if Walmart opts for Microsoft’s cloud to power its game streaming service"

    Not the new Microsoft, that looks for partnerships - this actually makes sense in the Nadella era

    • SocialDanny123

      In reply to dcdevito:


      I think this is a very smart play by Microsoft. By allowing subscription services on Xbox One like EA Access, but still have a traditional purchase will help retain third parties onto the Xbox platform and stop competitors like Stadia and Amazon service.


      So it could mean that Walmart's service or any other game streaming service that is hosted on XCloud will be played natively on Xbox Consoles but both the traditional purchase copy on the MS Store and the Walmart Service is streamed via XCloud servers.

  3. j_c

    It seems like companies with more than a few billion dollars take meetings to consider getting into just about every market just for fun. I wouldn’t be surprised if WalMart executives sit around at lunch, look at their asparagus and then ten minutes later it leads to having “high level talks” about getting into fast food, organic food, dog food, plant food, farming, manure and pesticide businesses. Then they get into their cars and five minutes later they are on the phone looking into flying cars, self driving cars, electric cars etc.


    When it comes to tech especially WalMart seems to want to try everything and it never really works.


    It’s amazing all the things these companies consider doing with their money other than raising their level of customer service or paying workers more money.

  4. locust infested orchard inc

    I absolutely thrilled and delighted to be able to officially announce here on Thurrott.com that we, Locust Inc., in collaboration with our partners, shall be launching a gaming streaming service, named Flow™. See us as E3 !!!


    Everyone else appears to jumping into this territory, so we thought, what the hell, might as well follow the leader of pack (Microsoft) hoping we can do a better marketing job then they can.

  5. BBoileau

    A rare opinion piece from Mehedi. I like that you mostly write with facts, but appreciate that you do cast some opinion every now and then. It especially good when you disagree with Paul, because he needs it sometimes and Brad’s to squeaky clean with limited pushback on him.

  6. mattbg

    This sounds frivolous, but there's some sense in Walmart just needing to establish themselves as a digital brand, and digital services (whatever they are) are one way to do that.

  7. Bats

    This is GREAT news. Like I've said and believe, the more the merrier. The more "players" in this space equals more competition which equals lower costs and higher quality. I welcome it and I applaud Walmart for getting in the game.


    It's hard to tell how Walmart is going to fare against the "Cloud Kings", Amazon and Google, because of their affiliation with Microsoft. That's because Microsoft's "Cloud" is business-centric. Let's not forget, Microsoft doesn't have experience when it comes to massive amounts of data and bandwidth that.....Google has. Google and Amazon both have streaming services that is being used by all people around the world with Youtube, Youtube TV, Amazon Prime, etcetera. Microsoft doesn't. After all, isn't this what cloud gaming is all about? Not just the equipment, but the bandwidth. It'll be interesting to see where Walmart goes with this. Will they partner with the Microsoft or do something else?

  8. prabhat_800

    Oh great this is really a good news

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