It doesn’t seem so strange that Google is shutting down Stadia, its long-suffering cloud gaming service. It seems strange that Google opened a cloud gaming service in the first place. Sure, some of the pieces were already there. Google has a cloud. Google serves games and apps to mobile devices. Those games could now work from the cloud. Next stop… gaming console

There was always something missing in Google’s path from A to Xbox. Google was not a big hardware company, and other gaming companies have specialized in hardware. The last software-centric gaming company was Sega. Sega was the first to bring online gaming to consoles, but even though it made great hardware, and some of the best first-party gaming titles around, Sega couldn’t make a gaming platform profitable. 

A Google Stadia controller (Image credit: Future)

Today’s gaming consoles are mostly made by gigantic electronics companies with multiple divisions, including hardware, software, content and services. Nintendo manages to stay afloat in the turbulent market, but its consoles don’t compete on graphics power or extensibility. It needs to constantly innovate in other ways, and the company has long seemed in danger of disappearing suddenly. The way Stadia was suddenly gone.

If Google will kill Stadia, is our Pixel safe?