Companies have deemed technology improved enough that cloud-based gaming can become a reality. Even Walmart, apparently.

US Gamer is reporting this week that Walmart is exploring the idea of launching its own cloud-based gaming service at some point in the future. The publication is basing the report on multiple unnamed sources, each of which has confirmed that Walmart is indeed working on the idea. However, at this point the report seems to indicate that this is just about testing the waters for now, rather than ramping up production for a soon-to-be-released product.

“Multiple sources familiar with Walmart’s plans, who wish to remain anonymous, confirmed to USG that the retail giant is exploring its own platform to enter in the now-competitive video game streaming race. No other details were revealed other than it will be a streaming service for video games, and that Walmart has been speaking with developers and publishers since earlier this year and throughout this year’s Game Developers Conference.

Walmart’s discussions with developers for its streaming service have been secretive, and it’s unclear how far along the service is in-development. But our sources are confident that this is a space Walmart is trying to move into.”

If this is something Walmart is genuinely considering, it would have some interesting competition right out of the gate. Google just announced Stadia, which is its own cloud-based gaming service that’s designed to offer up top-tier titles in seconds — no matter what (supported) device you’re playing it on. And then there are reports that Verizon is planning on launching its own gaming service in the near future as well called “Verizon Gaming“. And then there is Microsoft which is also working on its own effort in this vein.

The shift to video games for streaming content is a big one. However, Walmart does appear to want something to stream to consumers. Back in January there was a report that Walmart had abandoned plans to launch its own video streaming service, which would go up against Netflix and Hulu.

Our Take

This is probably going to be just like the standard streaming options out there already: so many different options it might feel like it’s too much. It feels like it will be inevitable that exclusives will become a big deal for these services down the road, too, in an effort to differentiate.

We Want to Hear From You

Are any of these streaming services of this nature something you’re interested in? One has to imagine it’s all going to come down to pricing, whether it’s a monthly subscription or if the service is free and players have to buy games individually.

[via US Gamer]