Walmart’s Game Streaming Service, Which Was Never Announced, Detailed In New Documents

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The Epic v Apple lawsuit is currently underway, and several very interesting pieces of information about Epic and Apple’s businesses have already come to light. What no one could have expected was that the trial would also reveal that Wal-Mart is apparently working on a games streaming service.

As reported by The Verge, previously confidential Epic emails have detailed the experience of playing Wal-Mart’s service, codenamed Project Storm. Epic co-founder Mark Rein discussed actually going hands-on with Project Storm all the way back in April 2019, right around when rumors of the service first began popping up. In the email thread, Rein described the experience as similar to “playing on PS4 and superior to playing on Android or iOS.”

A handful of other details about the service were revealed as well, although they should be taken with a big grain of salt since these emails were sent in 2019 and Wal-Mart may have significantly shifted its approach since then. However, they still give an interesting glimpse into what may be Wal-Mart’s first big push into the games industry. For example, Rein said that Wal-Mart may sell a clip that can attach to a phone to hold an Xbox controller, and that it would sell the clip for very low prices. In addition, a pitch slide shared in the thread shows that Wal-Mart was trying to get many third-party publishers and developers on board.

The slide also shows that Wal-Mart planned to bring Project Storm to all sorts of different devices, including tablets, phones, and TVs. The diagram also includes what looks like a smart watch, which is obviously unusual considering playing games on a watch would be nearly impossible. In any case, the service seems in theory fairly similar to Amazon Luna or Google Stadia, although Rein said that it might undercut its competitors in price.

Wal-Mart apparently had planned to roll out a beta of the service back in late 2019 or early 2020. However, The Verge report states that the pandemic has put launch plans on hold.

The Epic v Apple lawsuit has just gotten started and is planned to last three weeks. You can check out all of the news from Epic v Apple in our roundup here. In addition, if you want an intro to what’s going on, we’ve put together a primer on the Epic v Apple suit.

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