- Google officially unveiled its first major video-game initiative on Tuesday.
- It’s called Stadia, and it’s a video-game streaming service as a platform.
- Google said its central goal with Stadia is to make gaming accessible for as many people as possible.
Google unveiled a major gaming initiative on Tuesday named Stadia. It’s set to launch at some point in 2019.
The service is built on Google’s cloud network and promises to enable Netflix-like streamed video games to be played on its Chrome platforms, including the Chrome web browser, Chromebooks, and other Chrome-powered devices, such as Chromecast.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai introduced the service with a video showcasing the company’s gaming goal: to create “a game platform for everyone.”
To that end, Google is using cloud technology to power high-end blockbuster games remotely.
The idea is simple: Instead of having to own an expensive game console, you could play those games on devices you already own – without sacrificing the graphics quality you expect from big-ticket new releases.
Google demonstrated Stadia on stage in San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference, with Phil Harrison, a vice president at the company, showing an example game – “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” from Ubisoft – running across a variety of devices. The game allowed the player to pick up and move from device to device seamlessly, without having to do anything.
This is a core component of Stadia: being able to play the same games across all devices.
Google is also creating a piece of hardware – the Stadia controller:
The controller is a kind of system in itself, with WiFi and Google Assistant included. Google said it can be used directly with various Chrome-powered devices as a controller for streamed games.
The Stadia controller resembles a blend of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 controllers – the shape of an Xbox One gamepad with the thumbstick layout of the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4.
So what kind of graphics is Stadia capable of producing? Google said it offers more power than any video-game console on the market.
To that end, Stadia is said to offer games at 4K resolution, with 60 frames-per-second speeds and surround sound. The first game announced for the service is an upcoming “Doom” game, “Doom Eternal” – a game intended to showcase the technological capability of Google’s new streaming platform.
Google is also promising cross-platform support for gaming so that anything developed for Stadia can be played with players on competing platforms, such as Xbox and PlayStation.
One particularly unique feature of Stadia is something called “State Share,” which enables specific game moments to be linked, like a website, and shared.
For example: A video-game streamer could share a link to viewers that could then be clicked, thus allowing viewers to jump directly into the same spot in their own game.
Another feature, named “Crowd Play,” enables the same link functionality to work with matching players together. The same viewer of the example stream above could click a Crowd Play link and join up with the streamer to play a game together, for instance.
In addition to launching the game platform, Google also announced Stadia Games and Entertainment – a first-party video-game development studio headed by the former Ubisoft executive Jade Raymond.
“Stadia will be a driving force defining the future of games and entertainment,” she said.
There is no official launch date for Stadia other than 2019, and no price or list of available games was provided.
Check out the full announcement right here:
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