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What just happened? Samsung is joining the long list of companies offering game streaming services. The Korean tech giant will deliver the cloud product through its Linux-based Tizen smart TV platform, which is good news for current and future owners of its television sets.
Samsung made the announcement at its Developer Conference keynote. The company didn't spend very much time talking about the service, though Yongjae Kim, Samsung's Senior Vice President of Visual Display Software R&D, said, "To diversify your game selection on Samsung Smart TVs, we are developing a new Cloud Game Platform [...] This means that soon you will be able to enjoy games without purchasing high-end hardware, and developers can easily apply Samsung Smart TV's seamless, immersive experience to new games."
Samsung has been here before—kind of. Back in 2012, the company struck a deal with Gaikai to bring the latter's cloud gaming service to its televisions. There was a beta launch, but the whole thing fell apart when Sony bought Gaikai for $380 million to work on PlayStation Now.
The idea of a TV-based game streaming service often conjures images of mobile-quality titles. However, Kim's mention of high-end hardware suggests Samsung's offering could be something closer to Stadia.
Samsung will be entering an incredibly competitive market. In addition to the aforementioned Stadia, which has been struggling since Google closed its first-party game studio, Xbox is going to be building its services directly into TVs and streaming sticks. Elsewhere, Nvidia's GeForce Now just added a high-performance option that utilizes the RTX 3080, offering 1440p at 120 fps streaming. Will Samsung stand out from the crowd? We'll have to wait and see.