Cloud gaming services are one of the most important technology topics this week, and yet you would not necessarily expect Walmart to enter the fray. The announcement from Stadia, your next Google gaming service, is already being intercepted by a report at US Gamer . "Several sources familiar with the plans of Walmart, who wish to remain anonymous," say USG that at least Walmart is exploring the possibilities of launching its own service of games in the cloud to compete with users as the of Google.
If you think about it, it's not at all improbable. As one of the largest retail corporations in the world, Walmart surely has the capital to finance a pet project like this. What is even more interesting is that Walmart has shown that it is theoretically capable of executing the type of infrastructure required: it has six giant server farms that contain confidential customer information and company data.
Google's Stadia platform will rely heavily on similar data centers, the same type that other technology companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft manage and use for their own services. But it's worth noting that Walmart is not keeping the cloud in the company: it recently joined a five-year partnership with Microsoft to use Azure and Microsoft 365 products throughout the company in projects geared towards machine learning, artificial intelligence and data platforms, and Microsoft is building its own game transmission service.
What's more, Walmart just lost its CTO Jeremy King on Pinterest after leading the company's technology arm, called Walmart Labs, for almost eight years. Because he was monopolizing the company's interest in cloud computing, and Microsoft seems to be intervening, it may not be a good omen for a cloud computing pet project as a supposed service of streaming games.
There is also the fact that Walmart's reputation in the player community is not "save money, live better", but rather "unbearable". When Walmart first tried to market and launch its own gaming computers under the brand name Overpowered, by partnering with Esports Arena (a company with the first field dedicated to electronic sports in the US), problems like bad Construction quality and customer service were factors that affected the launch of the company. I know he was not a fan of his gaming laptop.
Walmart also shelved plans to launch a video streaming service that would compete with Netflix, as reported by CNBC in January. Therefore, there is also evidence that Walmart can easily withdraw from such a company.
The Verge approached Walmart for comments, but to no avail. Meanwhile, I wonder how competitive this new and interesting panorama of cloud gaming services will be.