Just a week after Google’s landmark announcement of its Stadia cloud gaming and integration service, Apple debuted its Arcade game subscription service at its Cupertino headquarters.
The big revelation at the first major event this year by the tech giant, Apple Arcade is a subscription service that will let Apple users enjoy games across a wide range of products: the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV.
Named Arcade for its ability to help users discover games – and for developers to be discovered – the service will feature 100 new and exclusive games that Apple has collaborated with creators on.
Apple Arcade VS Google Stadia
|Apple Arcade||Google Stadia|
|Compatible Platforms||iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV||Google Chrome on any device|
|Games||More than 100 exclusive, new games.||Existing titles like Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Doom Eternal, NBA 2K|
|Implementation||Downloads; add-free; offline play||Cloud-based gameplay via Google servers|
|Pricing||TBA; monthly subscription||TBA|
|Launch date||Fall 2019 in more than 150 countries||By 2019, limited to US, UK, Europe and Canada|
This is the greatest difference between the two services – in large part owing to the modus operandi of the two companies.
Where Google Stadia, with its cloud computing mojo, can run on almost any device that runs Google Chrome, Apple Arcade is limited to the company’s iPhones, iPads, Mac devices and Apple TVs.
In other words, where Stadia is aimed to bring top-notch titles to more people with its cloud computing capabilities, the Arcade aims to bring more games to its existing body of Apple users.
Apple Arcade boasts an all-original batch of games from an all-star line-up of game developers working in close collaboration with the company. Google Stadia, however, is slated to bring existing top titles like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, NBA 2K and Doom Eternal to all kinds of devices.
Cloud vs Local
The other main difference is that Google’s service is primarily cloud-based. While that means that devices with basic capabilities can support more demanding titles, it also means that the games cannot be played without an internet connection.
The Stadia Controller is a piece of kit that will allow easier interaction with games, along with direct access to controls for screen capture – but it is entirely optional.
The Apple Arcade will not face such limitations, though, as it models its current App Store-based model where users can download games for offline use – which means games will instead be limited by hardware.
While Google has not announced the pricing plans for its Stadia service, it remains likely that they would charge through subscription plans or on a per-title basis to monetise this resource-intensive idea.
Apple, on the other hand, will be charging via a subscription model, but promises to eliminate ads and additional paid content. It is also possible to create a family account, which will grant parents control over parental controls that include their children’s gaming screen time, too.