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Walmart may launch its own game streaming service

Look out, video game world — a new challenger may be approaching with its own game streaming service. And unlike Google, Sony, and Microsoft, this company will sell you a gallon of milk, too.

According to GamesIndustry.biz, Walmart has had designs on starting a game streaming service for quite a while, and has more recently been talking with developers at GDC 2019 to gauge interest. It wouldn't be Walmart's first rodeo in terms of streaming, as the company owns Vudu, which sells movies and TV shows online. And Walmart is no stranger to gaming, either. The company has been selling consoles and games for a long time, and believe it or not, actually publishes its own magazine and game section on the store's website.

A game streaming service, though? That's another beast entirely. Running a service like Vudu takes a lot of work on the technical end, and that just involves piping high-definition video to the customers requesting it. If Walmart wants to get into game streaming, it'll have to make an even bigger investment in infrastructure, and try to figure out how to bring latency down to an acceptable level.

That last point is something that Google is working hard at with Stadia but still hasn't perfected, and that's Google. Microsoft is undoubtedly tweaking Azure for everything its worth to eliminate input delays for xCloud. And PlayStation Now, as impressive as it is, still hasn't figured out a way to make its service good enough for games that aren't primarily single-player experiences.

We're sure Walmart has enough money to throw at the problem, but it almost seems like it would be easier for the company to make an acquisition of some kind in order to get a better handle on the tech and catch up to Google, Sony, and Microsoft — that is, if Walmart hasn't been working on the project already. Who knows: maybe Walmart has a monster streaming service waiting in the wings, ready to cannonball into the pool when we're least expecting it.

We'll let you know should we hear anything more about Walmart's game streaming ambitions.