Cloud gaming might be the big project that Google was trying to pull of in a field that features Microsoft and Amazon as competitors, but it is also an idea that was the dream of another unexpected company: US retailer Walmart.
This comes as details of Walmart’s planned Project Storm surfaced during the ongoing trial between Epic and Apple over the latter’s exorbitant iStore fees, as detailed by The Verge:
I played Walmart’s demo on an Android phone (with an Xbox controller) and the experience felt like playing on PS4 and superior to playing on Android or iOS. They’re going to sell the clip for a crazy low amount, they were saying something like $2.
The planned idea for Walmart’s cloud streaming service included the company running the service on Windows, with third-party game launchers like Steam, Uplay, Origin, Epic Games Store, Battle.net, and Bethesda Launcher supported. Exactly which cloud service providers it would use in the background was detailed at least in the information shared with Epic at the time.
Walmart seemed pretty far along with its plans for designing the service and trying to make it viable in a way that was far cheaper than Google’s Stadia and probably had a better chance of securing gamers. As to why the service didn’t go ahead or even if Walmart is still intending on launching the service in the future isn’t clear. Given though that Walmart is not experienced in the cloud and gaming space, it’s likely that it would’ve needed to rely on a lot of partners to try and make a success of it, and it was in discussions with Epic in an effort to use its infrastructure and expertise.
Having a big retailer like Walmart in the cloud gaming space could be a good change of pace for both the company and the industry in general, though it could be a big gamble as well. That might be the reason why nothing has come of the idea since it was first tabled.
Last Updated: May 5, 2021