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Google Cloud and C3 AI partner to provide industry solutions that will address real-world challenges in financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, supply chain, and telecommunications

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. and SUNNYVALE, Calif.Sept. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — C3 AI and Google Cloud today announced a new, first-of-its-kind partnership to help organizations across multiple industries accelerate their application of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. Under the agreement, both companies’ global sales teams will co-sell C3 AI’s enterprise AI applications, running on Google Cloud.

The entire portfolio of C3 AI’s Enterprise AI applications, including industry-specific AI Applications, C3 AI Suite®, C3 AI CRM, and C3 AI Ex Machina, are now available on Google Cloud’s global, secure, and low-latency infrastructure, enabling customers to run C3 AI on the industry’s cleanest cloud.

Going forward, C3 AI will also work closely with Google Cloud to ensure that its applications fully leverage the accuracy and scale of multiple Google Cloud products and capabilities, including Google Kubernetes Engine, Google BigQuery, and Vertex AI, helping customers build and deploy ML models more quickly and effectively.

C3 AI’s enterprise AI applications, built on a common foundation of Google Cloud’s infrastructure, AI, machine learning (ML) and data analytics capabilities, will complement and interoperate with Google Cloud’s portfolio of existing and future industry solutions. Customers will be able to deploy combined offerings to solve industry challenges in several verticals, including:

  • Manufacturing: Solutions to improve reliability of assets and fleets with AI-powered predictive maintenance, improve revenue and product forecasting accuracy, and improve the sustainability of manufacturing facilities and operations through optimized energy management.
  • Supply Chain & Logistics: Solutions to help supply-chain reliant businesses understand risks in their supply networks, maximize resilience, and optimize inventory accordingly.
  • Financial Services: Solutions to assist financial services institutions in modernizing their cash management offerings, improve lending processes, and reduce customer churn.
  • Healthcare: Solutions to improve the availability of critical healthcare equipment via AI-powered asset readiness and preventative maintenance.
  • Telecommunications: Solutions to improve network resiliency and overall customer experience, while reducing costs and the carbon footprint of operations.

“Combining the innovation, leadership, scale, and go-to-market expertise of Google Cloud with the substantial business value delivered from C3 AI applications, this partnership will dramatically accelerate the adoption of Enterprise AI applications across all industry segments,” said Thomas M. Siebel, C3.ai CEO.

“Google Cloud and C3 AI share the vision that artificial intelligence can help businesses address real-world challenges and opportunities across multiple industries,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO at Google Cloud. “We believe that by delivering C3 AI’s applications on Google Cloud, and by partnering to address specific industry use cases with AI, we can help customers benefit more quickly and at greater scale.”

“Organizations across industries are accelerating their digital transformations with cloud-based solutions, purpose-built to deliver specific business outcomes,” said Ritu Jyoti, group vice president, AI and Automation Research at IDC. “This new partnership between C3 AI and Google Cloud represents an acceleration of this trend, as the two companies partner to expand the application of AI-powered solutions in the enterprise.”

“This is fundamentally game-changing for the hyperscale computing market,” said Jim Snabe, former co-CEO, SAP AG. “Google Cloud is changing the competitive discussion from CPU seconds and gigabyte-hours, to enterprise AI applications producing enormous value for customers, shareholders, and society at large.”

Additional resources

About C3.ai, Inc.
C3.ai, Inc. (NYSE:AI) is a leading provider of Enterprise AI software for accelerating digital transformation. C3 AI delivers a family of fully integrated products: C3 AI Suite, an end-to-end platform for developing, deploying, and operating large-scale AI applications; C3 AI Applications, a portfolio of industry-specific SaaS AI applications; C3 AI CRM, a suite of industry-specific AI CRM applications; and C3 AI Ex Machina, a no-code AI solution to meet the needs of citizen data scientists. Learn more at: www.c3.ai.

About Google Cloud
Google Cloud accelerates organizations’ ability to digitally transform their business with the best infrastructure, platform, industry solutions and expertise. We deliver enterprise-grade solutions that leverage Google’s cutting-edge technology – all on the cleanest cloud in the industry. Customers in more than 200 countries and territories turn to Google Cloud as their trusted partner to enable growth and solve their most critical business problems.

 

SOURCE Google Cloud

For further information: press@google.com; or C3 AI Public Relations: Edelman, Lisa Kennedy, 415-914-8336, pr@c3.ai

GOOGLE – Need a better night’s sleep? Meet the new Nest Hub

A little over two years ago, I was part of the team that created Nest Hub, Google’s first smart display. Since then, we’ve been exploring ways to make these devices even more helpful. We know people already come to Google for information and tools to help them live healthier, happier lives, and we’ve specifically noticed more and more questions about sleep, exercise and health. So we decided to bring these kinds of solutions to our second-generation Nest Hub, while also improving what people already love about it.

Ashton Udall
Product Manager, Google Nest

Published Mar 16, 2021

The Nest Hub you love, but better

The new Nest Hub’s speaker is based on the same audio technology as Nest Audio and has 50 percent more bass than the original Hub. Fill any room with music, podcasts or audiobooks from services like YouTube Music, Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora — or enjoy your favorite TV shows and movies with a subscription from providers like Netflix, Disney+ and YouTube TV. With Quick Gestures, you can pause or play content at any time by tapping the air in front of your display.

Nest Hub has all the smarts and helpfulness of Google Assistant. And similar to Nest Mini and Nest Audio, it now comes with a dedicated on-device machine learning chip which moves some Assistant experiences from our data centers directly onto the device, so responses to common commands become faster over time (U.S. only).

The new Nest Hub also shows all your compatible connected devices in one place. And with a built-in Thread radio, Nest Hub will work with the new connectivity standard being created by the Project Connected Home over IP working group, making it even simpler to control your connected home.

New sleep features for better rest

The Nest Hub has always helped you tackle the day; now, it can help you rest well at night. Many of us don’t get enough sleep, which comes with some real risks.

As a father of two young kids, I’m especially passionate about sleep. I know I’m much more able to show up and connect with my family and the people in my life after a healthy amount of rest. In recent years, sleep trackers have become a popular solution. But we wanted to offer an alternative way for people who may not want to wear something to bed to understand their sleep.

We knew people felt comfortable with Nest Hub at their bedsides thanks to its camera-free design, so we went to work. The result is Sleep Sensing, an opt-in feature to help you understand and improve your sleep:

Understand your sleep: Sleep Sensing uses Motion Sense (powered by Soli low-energy radar technology) to analyze how the person closest to the display is sleeping, based on their movement and breathing — all without a camera or wearable. Sleep Sensing can also detect sleep disturbances like coughing and snoring or the light and temperature changes in the room with Nest Hub’s built-in microphones and ambient light and temperature sensors, so you can better understand what’s impacting your sleep.

Every morning you’ll receive a personalized sleep summary on your display, or you can view your sleep data anytime on the Nest Hub by asking, “Hey Google, how did I sleep?” Sleep Sensing can also connect to your Google Fit app on Android and iOS devices, so you can see your sleep summary alongside your other health and wellness information.

Get help for better sleep: Understanding your sleep is an important first step, but you may still have questions about what you can do to get better sleep. Sleep Sensing provides tailored bedtime schedules and personalized suggestions developed by a team of sleep scientists and using guidance from organizations like the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Compiled after several nights of analysis, these suggestions point out notable aspects of your sleep, educate you on why they’re important and provide suggestions to improve.

Built with your privacy in mind: Sleep Sensing is completely optional with privacy safeguards in place so you’re in control: You choose if you want to enable it and there’s a visual indicator on the display to let you know when it’s on. Motion Sense only detects motion, not specific bodies or faces, and your coughing and snoring audio data is only processed on the device — it isn’t sent to Google servers. You have multiple controls to disable Sleep Sensing features, including a hardware switch that physically disables the microphone. You can review or delete your sleep data at any time, and consistent with our privacy commitments, it isn’t used for personalized ads.

Sleep Sensing on the second-gen Nest Hub is available as a free preview until next year. We’ll also be looking for ways to work with Fitbit’s sleep-tracking features in the future.

Even if you don’t enable Sleep Sensing, you can still fall asleep and wake up easier with Nest Hub. The display dims to make your bedroom more sleep-friendly, and the “Your evening” page helps you wind down at night with relaxing sounds. When it’s time to wake up, Nest Hub’s Sunrise Alarm gradually brightens the display and increases the alarm volume. If you need a few more ZZZs, use Motion Sense to wave your hand and snooze the alarm.

Sustainable design that matches any room

The new Nest Hub comes in a variety of colors to complement any room in the house: Chalk, Charcoal, Sand and the new Mist. It features an edgeless glass display that’s easy to clean and functions as a beautiful digital photo frame. And continuing our commitment to sustainability, Nest Hub is designed with recycled materials with its plastic mechanical parts containing 54 percent recycled post-consumer plastic.

The second-generation Nest Hub is $99.99 USD. It can be preordered online in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France and Australia at the Google Store and other retailers starting today.

GOOGLE AR & VR – Experiment with AR and VR made for the web

Experiment with AR and VR made for the web

Zebedee Pedersen
Creative Technologist, Google Creative Lab

Published Apr 06, 2021

Augmented and virtual reality are opening up the possibilities of how we interact with the world and information around us. WebXR brings together AR and VR on the web to make them more convenient and widely accessible.

Today on the Experiments with Google platform, we’re launching the new WebXR collection to showcase what is possible with this technology — from helpful utilities to get things done, to playful and immersive experiences:

Sodar helps to visualize social distancing. By activating a personal augmented reality radar from your browser, you can see what six feet (or two meters) looks like in any environment.

With Measure Up, you can calculate the length, area and volume of the things around you without using a tape measure.

Floom is a fun new way to explore the planet, built with WebXR and Google Maps. Open your browser to tunnel through the earth and see what’s on the other side.

And coming soon, Picturescape turns your Google Photos library into an immersive gallery so you can explore your memories in augmented reality.

All you need to try these experiments is a supported Android device and the latest Chrome browser.

Check them out now and submit your own at g.co/webXR.

How Su Mei Teh moved from financial services to Google

Su Mei giving a presentation on stage. In the foreground is a podium with the Women Techmakers logo.

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Su Mei Teh, the Asia Pacific Head of the Payments Product Operations team, based in Singapore. Su Mei shares how she moved from financial services to tech, and how the critical thinking and business management skills she honed applied to multiple roles at Google

What does your typical work day look like right now?

It’s usually full of meetings due to the collaboration between teams: They’re based across 12 offices in 8 timezones! I generally start the day with video conference meetings with colleagues in California and end the day meeting with colleagues in Europe. In between, I carve out time for focused work, such as writing a strategy document or reviewing a financial model.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Outside of Google, I spend time with my family and volunteer with a variety of causes. I’m a founding member of the Singapore chapter of the Asian Google Network, an employee resource group that supports professional and personal development for the multicultural Asian community in Google. I also re-discovered my joy of singing by joining the Musicians @Google Singapore group.

How did you find the transition from financial services to Google?

When I got the offer to join the Google Ads team, I was in disbelief. Up to that point, I thought that my chances were slim as I had no prior digital ads experience and felt branded as a financial services professional. Thankfully, the critical thinking and business management skills that I had acquired could be applied in Google as well.

You don’t need to have a computer science or engineering background to be in Google. Google is such a diverse company with many products and services, which require many functions to support its operations and growth. Sales, project management, financial controlling, strategy, operations, legal, etc. All these are roles we have in Google that don’t require prior tech experience!

What has your experience been with internal mobility (moving to different teams) within Google?

My first role at Google was strategy and operations management on the Google Ads team. After a few years I wanted to get closer to the heart of product development, so I moved to payment product operations. I also wanted to satisfy some of my entrepreneurial appetite in a team that was essentially a start-up within Google. Lastly, payments and fintech (financial technology) were rapidly growing sectors. It was, and still is, an exciting time to be in that space.

What inspires you to come in (or log on) every day?

I’ve been working on a very fun (though intense) project — the relaunch of Google Pay in Singapore. We completely reimagined the Google Pay app to be more immersive and rewarding for our users. I learned to work with a lot of ambiguity, and picked up some new know-how in the process. It’s been heartening to receive compliments from friends at how much they love Google Pay.

What’s one thing you wish you could go back and tell yourself before applying?

I wish I had applied to Google earlier. I was filled with skepticism about my chances given I assumed my financial services experience wouldn’t be relevant. Speaking to people in Google really helped me realise that there were a large variety of roles, many of which made use of the skills I built elsewhere.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?

As with any job, there is an element of timing, so monitor Google’s career site and program alerts for roles you are interested in. While you wait for the right opportunity, build up your knowledge and work on better articulating the value and impact you can make so that you can avoid last-minute cramming when an interview opportunity comes along!

Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 pack 5G speeds and so much more

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Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 are here, packing more helpful Google features into phones backed by the power and speeds of 5G1. From Google’s latest AI and Assistant features, to the biggest ever batteries we’ve put in a Pixel, to industry-leading camera features, Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 join our much loved Pixel 4a in providing more help at a more helpful price.

5G speeds at affordable prices

5G is the latest in mobile technology, bringing fast download and streaming speeds to users around the world. Whether you’re downloading the latest movie2, listening to your favorite music on YouTube Music, catching up on podcasts with Google Podcasts or playing a game on Stadia, Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 will provide you with fast speeds1.

YouTube, YouTube Music and Google Podcasts on Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 also give you access to the content you want when you don’t have connectivity by pre-downloading content via 5G when you don’t have WiFi connectivity1.  For more information go to g.co/musicdownloads.

New camera, new lenses—same great photos

Ask any Pixel owner and they’ll tell you: Pixels take great photos. Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 are no exception. These phones bring Pixel’s industry-leading photography features to the next level.

  • Ultrawide lens for ultra awesome shots: With a new ultrawide lens alongside the standard rear camera, you’ll be able to capture the whole scene. And thanks to Google’s software magic, the latest Pixels still get our Super Res Zoom. So whether you’re zooming in or zooming out, you get sharp details and breathtaking images.
  • Better videos with Cinematic Pan: Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 come with Cinematic Pan, which gives your videos a professional look with ultrasmooth panning that’s inspired by the equipment Hollywood directors use.
  • Night Sight in Portrait Mode: Night Sight currently gives you the ability to capture amazing low-light photos—and even the Milky Way with astrophotography. Now, these phones bring the power of Night Sight into Portrait Mode to capture beautifully blurred backgrounds in Portraits even in extremely low light.
  • Portrait Light: Portrait Mode on the Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 lets you capture beautiful portraits that focus on your subject as the background fades into an artful blur. If the lighting isn’t right, your Pixel can drop in extra light to illuminate your subjects.
  • New editor in Google Photos: Even after you’ve captured your portrait, Google Photos can help you add studio-quality light to your portraits of people with Portrait Light, in the new, more helpful Google Photos editor.

Save time with Hold for Me

Pixel has even more helpful features to save you time thanks to Google Assistant. Every month, Call Screen helps people with more than 25 million calls, saving people 2 million minutes, and Duplex helps users with a variety of phone tasks including reservations and getting business information.

Now, with a preview of Hold for Me on Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 in the U.S., Google Assistant can wait on the line for you whenever you call a toll-free number and a business puts you on hold. Built on the smarts of Duplex and Call Screen, this new feature lets you go back to enjoying the things that matter to you, and Google Assistant will notify you once someone is on the line and ready to talk. And Hold for Me works on your device, so the entire call is private to you. Goodbye endless hold music, hello more free time.

Animated GIF showing Hold for Me on a screen, with Google Assistant waiting on hold. Assistant puts the text "Don't hang up, someone's talking to you" on the screen, and a button with the option to "Return to call" lights up in green.

Stay connected and entertained with Duo

To make it easier and more enjoyable to stay connected to the most important people in your life, the new HD screen sharing in Duo video calls lets you and a friend watch the same video, cheer on your favorite teams together and even plan activities—all while being thousands of miles apart. And coming soon with Duo Family HD mode, you’ll be able to keep kids entertained and engaged with new interactive tools, like coloring over backgrounds, while you video chat.

Image shows two young men using Duo to video call, and sharing videos their each watching on their screens so they can watch together in the call.

A smarter way to record and share audio

Last yearRecorder made audio recording smarter, with real-time transcriptions and the power of search. Now, Recorder makes it even easier to share your favorite audio moments. Since Recorder automatically transcribes every recording, now you can use those transcripts to edit the audio too. Just highlight a sentence to crop or remove its corresponding audio.

Animated GIF showing the Recorder app highlighting transcripted text from a recorded call.

Once you have something you want others to hear—say a quote from an interview or a new song idea—you can generate a video clip to make sharing your audio easier. To improve searching through your transcripts, smart scrolling will  automatically mark important words in longer transcripts so you can quickly jump to the sections you’re looking for as you scroll. But most helpful of all? Recorder still works without an internet connection, so you can transcribe, search and edit from anywhere, anytime.

The biggest Pixel batteries ever

Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 also have all-day batteries that can last up to 48 hours with Extreme Battery Saver3. This mode automatically limits active apps to just the essentials and lets you choose additional apps you want to keep on.

And now, the specs

Like all Pixel devices, security and safety are paramount in Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5. Both devices come with our TitanTM M security chip to help keep your on-device data safe and secure, and both phones will get three years of software and security updates. Pixel’s security features received a perfect score on a recent analyst scorecard4.

Plus, Pixel 5 is designed with the environment in mind; we used 100 percent recycled aluminum in the back housing enclosure to reduce its carbon footprint

When you purchase a Pixel 4a (5G) or Pixel 5, you’ll also get Stadia and YouTube Premium trial for three months, 100 GB of storage with Google One for three months and Google Play Pass and Gold/Silver Status on Play Points. See g.co/pixel/4a5Goffers or g.co/pixel/5offers, as applicable, for more details.

Pixel 4a (5G) will be available in Japan on Oct. 15 and eight other countries starting in November. Pixel 5 will be available in eight countries starting Oct. 15, and in the U.S. and Canada starting Oct. 29.

Looking for the Pixel that’s right for you? Head to the Google Store now.

Image shows a comparison chart comparing the Pixel 5, Pixel 4a with 5G and Pixel 4.

1 Requires a 5G data plan (sold separately). 5G service and roaming not available on all carrier networks or in all areas. Contact carrier for details about current 5G network performance, compatibility and availability. Phone connects to 5G networks but 5G service, speed and performance depend on many factors including, but not limited to, carrier network capabilities, device configuration and capabilities, network traffic, location, signal strength and signal obstruction. Actual results may vary. Some features not available in all areas. Data rates may apply. See g.co/pixel/networkinfo for info.

2 Download speed claims based on testing videos from three streaming platforms. Average download time was less than 60 seconds. File sizes varied between 449MB and 1.3GB. Download speed depends upon many factors, such as file size, content provider and network connection. Testing conducted in an internal 5G network lab and on pre-production hardware in California in July/August 2020. Actual download speeds may be slower.

3 For “all day”: Maximum battery life based on testing using a mix of talk, data, standby and use of other features. Testing conducted on two major carrier networks using Sub-6 GHz non-standalone 5G (ENDC) connectivity. For “Up to 48 hours”: Maximum battery life based on testing using a mix of talk, data, standby and use of limited other features that are default in Extreme Battery Saver mode (which disables various features including 5G connectivity). Testing conducted on two major carrier networks. For both claims: Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 battery testing conducted by a third party in California in mid-2020 on pre-production hardware and software using default settings, except that, for the “up to 48 hour claim” only, Extreme Battery Saver mode was enabled. Battery life depends upon many factors and usage of certain features will decrease battery life. Actual battery life may be lower.

4 Based on 2020 analyst research funded by Google LLC.

Designed to bring real-world achievements to the virtual, the Adidas GMR Template is an engaging activity tracking technology app.

Soccer cleats insoles come in a pair of two, with a single Google Jacquard tag to place on the insole of the dominant foot.

ADIDAS X GOOGLE GMR TEMPLATE

Designed to bring real-world achievements to the virtual, the Adidas GMR Template is an engaging activity tracking technology app. Soccer cleats insoles come in a pair of two, with a single Google Jacquard tag to place on the insole of the dominant foot.

Machine learning algorithms recognize physical movement in the field, following kicks, shooting power, distance traveled, and speed. This data is then passed from GMR to EA’s FIFA mobile game, which will offer unique challenges and milestones to reach each week (think of kicks or miles run), ultimately using real-world performance to enhance the Mobile Ultimate Team. of the user. .

According to IHS Markit, the global console market grew from $42 billion in 2017 to $47 billion in 2018, buoyed by a record high in the digital content and services sector. The sale of digital games, downloadable content and games as a service raked in $32 billion last year. That pinnacle is expected to be broken this year with nearly $34 billion in revenue generated.

Game on: Google Stadia and Others Press Play on the Future of Gaming

A pair of newcomers — Google and Apple — are entering the gaming space in a big way, taking on Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony. Not resting on their laurels, Sony and Microsoft have “next generation” consoles on tap for 2020 releases, while Nintendo is readying a lower-priced Switch to target a broader console gaming audience.

In the traditional console video game business, the bestselling devices of all time like Sony’s PlayStation 2 (155 million units sold worldwide) and Nintendo’s Wii (over 101 million sold globally) have only reached a fraction of the potential gaming audience, according to Jack Buser, director of games, business development at Google.

Mobile phones using the data cloud, retro style.

Google is targeting billions of gamers globally with its new cloud-based streaming service, Stadia, launching later this year. “The long-term vision is to take Stadia anywhere you might have YouTube,” Buser explains.

That YouTube connection goes even further, as Google demonstrated at the 2019 Game Developers Conference (GDC). It showed gamers watching a video game trailer or Let’s Play video on YouTube jump into gameplay immediately by clicking the “Play Now” button. Buser says this opens up opportunities for streamers and YouTube gaming influencers, who can now invite fans into their games with the click of a button.

Considering that consumers watched over 50 billion hours of video game content on YouTube in 2018, and over 200 million fans watch YouTube gaming videos daily, that’s a powerful marketing tool. Because Stadia is cloud-based (using Google’s global network of data centers), gamers can seamlessly transition from gaming on their living room TV to their laptop to their mobile device — using their same Google account. Doom Eternal, an intense 4K first-person horror shooter from id Software, was demonstrated at GDC across multiple platforms.

 

Stadia will stream games in 4K running at 60 frames per second. Buser says all that’s needed is an internet connection of 30 megabits per second. Stadia will automatically optimize the gameplay experience to the highest quality based on your bandwidth, Buser adds.

Researchandmarkets.com says more than 189.3 million smart TVs are in the global market. Each of those TVs now becomes a high-end gaming system, thanks to Stadia’s powerful hardware stack, which combines server class GPU, CPU, memory and storage. Buser adds that Google’s data center infrastructure means Stadia technology will never become obsolete, which is an issue with current game consoles, PCs and mobile devices.

While there will be a free version of Stadia offered, users can pay $9.99 a month to get free games, exclusive discounts and the ability to stream up to a 4K resolution.

Further, the Stadia controller connects the gameplay experience across any device, and Google.

“The controller also includes a button for instant capture, saving and sharing gameplay in up to 4K resolution,” Buser says. “And it comes equipped with a Google Assistant button and built-in microphone.”

Stadia’s success will revolve around pricing and exclusive games, according to Joost van Dreunen, managing director of Super Data Research, a Nielsen company. “The hopeful utopian perspective here is that as cloud gaming delivers on its promise of facilitating play of any high-quality game on any device, the market will grow,” says van Dreunen.

“We already see the positive benefits this had for music and video. And Stadia’s initial leadership team suggests that they are serious with industry luminaries like Phil Harrison, who held key positions at both Sony (where he oversaw 13 studios, including Sony’s most successful) and Microsoft, and Jade Raymond, who’s held executive positions at Ubisoft and EA. It suggests that Google may go about cloud gaming differently than it has with other forms of entertainment.”

Buser says a team of global developers are creating exclusive titles for Stadia, including games designed specifically to take advantage of YouTube integration. “Because these games are running in Google gaming data centers, which are all connected, we can support large-scale multiplayer games where thousands, if not millions, of people are playing in a single connected world, and you can jump into this world through YouTube from any entry point,” Buser explains.

The evolution of gaming into the digital space continues with Google’s commitment to gaming. Piper Jaffray analysts Michael J. Olson and Yung Kim forecast that by 2020 game software sales will be completely digital as streaming and subscription models become more popular.

“Google’s announcement marks a key milestone in the game industry’s history,” says van Dreunen. “It is in part because video games have become a mainstream form of entertainment that a non-endemic participant like Google has an opportunity to enter,” he adds. “It also gives us part of a vision of the future in what we traditionally know about console gaming is starting to evolve. After digitizing gaming software over the last decade, the industry is now starting to digitize its hardware.”

It’s Game on with Apple Arcade

While Apple has incorporated game developers like Epic Games and its Infinity Blade mobile franchise into past press conferences, the company has never gone all-in with gaming until now. Apple is launching a subscription-based service this fall that will immediately impact the free-to-play mobile, desktop and TV gaming ecosystems, which has enticed huge audiences from franchises like Candy CrushFortnite and Hearthstone with the ability to generate income through in-game purchases.

“The Stadia controller connects the gameplay experience across any device, and Google is rolling it out with its service.”

Apple has not confirmed its subscription pricing, leaving fans wondering if there will be a handpicked collection of all-you-canplay games with no ads, additional purchases or ad tracking. The service will feature new and original games from studios of all sizes, as well as exclusives from veteran game creators like Hironobu Sakaguchi (the Final Fantasy series), Ken Wong (Monument Valley) and Will Wright (The Sims series).

“The App Store is the world’s biggest and most successful game platform. Now we are going to take games even further with Apple Arcade, the first game subscription service for mobile, desktop and the living room,” says Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing. “We are working with some of the most innovative game developers in the world to create over 100 new and exclusive games to play across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV.”

Apple is not just handpicking the games in Apple Arcade, but also contributing to the development costs and working closely with creators to bring the games to life. The service will feature games from Bossa Studios, Cartoon Network, Finji, Giant Squid, Konami, Mistwalker, ustwo games and dozens more.

Apple Arcade will introduce a collection of brand-new games that will not be available on any other mobile platform or in any other subscription service. Rather than pay up front for each game, a subscription will give players the opportunity to try any game in the service without risk. Since every game includes access to the full experience, including all game features, content and future updates, no additional purchases will be required. Every game is playable offline, and many games offer support for game controllers. Because subscribers can play Apple Arcade games across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV, they can pick up where they left off in a game, even if they switch devices. New games will be added to the service on a regular basis.

“The subscription-based service is a deviation from what has allowed Apple to become an absolute juggernaut in the industry: by offering premium titles for a fixed monthly fee, it effectively forfeits the free-to-play revenue that drives its success,” says Super Data Research’s van Dreunen. “Nevertheless, Apple is looking to build on its success in mobile gaming by adding a new business model and playing a more significant role outside of mobile.”

Sony Confirms Next Gen PlayStation for 2020

While PlayStation 4 remains the best-selling console of the current generation of hardware (over 96 million units sold), Sony has spent the past four years developing its next PlayStation device. The PlayStation 5, which is the anticipated name for the latest in Sony’s long line of successful hardware, will ship in 2020.

Sony skipped the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) for the first time. But the hardware giant confirmed its next generation console is heading to store shelves next year via an exclusive Wired Magazine interview with Mark Cerny, Sony’s PlayStation architect.

Sony recently shipped development kits to game studios worldwide, so games are in the works from both internal Sony studios and external developers, with titles that will take advantage of the machine’s powerful new AMD chips. For those techies out there, the CPU (central processing unit) is AMD’s Ryzen line, while the graphics processing unit (GPU) is AMD’s Radeon Navi technology.

What this means for gamers is visuals beyond anything PS4 Pro can deliver in 4K with high dynamic range (HDR). In fact, PS5 will support 8K, which opens the door for legions of gamers who will soon have a reason to upgrade from their 4K TVs to an 8K model.

But Cerny also focused on an incredible leap of audio technology with the new console, the one area that advanced processing power failed to significantly upgrade in the transition from PS3 to PS4. Sony has been working with immersive surround sound audio with its PlayStation VR hardware, which has sold over four million units to date. “Presence,” a key term in delivering a completely immersive experience in virtual reality, is something that Sony is focusing on for its non-VR experiences with the new PlayStation, says Cerny. Gamers will be able to hear enemies sneaking up from behind. When alien spacecrafts rush overhead in the game, it will be completely immersive.

Another element that Cerny promised will separate the new console from any previous generations is the inclusion of a powerful internal solid-state drive (SSD). As games become larger and more complex, even disc-based titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 require massive amounts of data to be stored on a hard drive and then accessed when moving from one area to another in the game world. What once took 15 seconds to do — and forced game makers to create cut scenes or custom lobbies to mask the loading times — will now require a fraction of a second.

Microsoft Cross-Platform Gaming

Over the past few years, Microsoft has been touting cross-platform gaming within its Xbox and Windows 10 ecosystems with its Xbox Play Anywhere platform and more recently its Xbox Game Pass digital titles. One price allows gamers to play games like Forza Horizon 4, Crackdown 3 and Sea of Thieves on Xbox One or Windows 10 devices. Now the tech giant is testing Project XCloud, a gamestreaming technology that Kareem Choudhry, corporate vice president of Gaming Cloud at Microsoft, says will complement its console hardware and give gamers more choices.

“We love what’s possible when a console is connected to a 4K TV with full HDR support and surround sound — that remains a fantastic way to experience console gaming,” Choudhry says. “We also believe in empowering gamers to decide when and how to play.”

Choudhry envisions a future where gamers can seamlessly access content on their phone, tablet or another connected device. “True console-quality gaming will become available on mobile devices, providing the two billion-plus gamers around the world a new gateway to previously console- and PC-exclusive content,” Choudhry says. “We can achieve this vision with the global distribution of Microsoft’s data-centers in 54 Azure regions and the advanced network technologies developed by the team at Microsoft Research.”

At this year’s E3, Microsoft unveiled some basic details about its next generation console, currently titled Project Scarlett. Complete with a custom-designed AMD processor and other next-gen upgrades, the console is expected to arrive in the 2020 holiday season. Accompanying its release is the game Halo Infinite, the next installment of the blockbuster Xbox-exclusive series.

Like Sony and its PS4 Pro, Microsoft offered a slight upgrade to its Xbox One console in 2017 with its Xbox One X and Xbox One S. Microsoft also launched the Xbox One S All Digital Edition last year, which stripped away the disc drive. All of these consoles support 4K gaming with full HDR.

“We’re excited about our ability to deliver a best-in-class global streaming technology,” Choudhry says.