- Google gave the keynote address on Tuesday at the annual Game Developers Conference.
- As expected Google unveiled its big push into video games, including a streaming service and even a piece of hardware.
- Business Insider attended Google’s keynote. Check out all the announcements below.
Google gave the keynote address at the 2019 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, where the tech giant unveiled Stadia, which it calls its “vision for the future of gaming.”
Business Insider attended Google’s big keynote.
We rounded up all the announcements as they happened; check it all out below.
1:03: Google CEO Sundar Pichai takes the stage, and immediately tells the crowd he’s not a big gamer. Off to a great start, Sundar!
1:05 PM: Pichai talks about how games are used to test artificial intelligence, or simulations for educational scenarios like driving, which can be deployed in the real world.
1:06 PM: This is a really plush setup. Nice work, Google!
1:07 PM: Pichai mentions Project Stream, the software released late last year that let people play “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” in the Chrome browser. Pichai explains how the test was used to help Google create an accessible gaming experience that provides low latency but high resolution.
1:09 PM: Google wants build a game platform for everyone. “We’re dead serious about making technology accessible to everyone,” Pichai says, adding that games aren’t instantly enjoyable because you need high-end hardware for a great experience.
1:10 PM: Google says it wants to build a single unified experience for people who play games, people who watch games, and people who make games.
1:12 PM: Google unveils the name of its gaming experience: Stadia.
1:12 PM: Pichai welcomes Phil Harrison onstage to talk about Google’s vision for the future of games.
1:15 PM: Harrison acknowledges the CEO and cofounder of Ubisoft, who is in the audience. He thanks Ubisoft’s team for partnering with Google on bringing “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” to Stadia.
1:17 PM: Stadia offers instant access to play games, to “reduce the friction between getting excited about a game and playing a game.” You only need the Google Chrome browser, an internet connection, and a basic laptop to play high-end games.
1:21 PM: Harrison shows how you can pick up the same game, at the same point, on multiple devices: a computer, a tablet, and a TV.
1:22 PM: Google wants people to be able to use the devices they already own, including their favourite controllers. But Google also made its own special controller for Stadia.
1:22 PM: The Stadia controller comes in three colours, but the controller itself offers features unique to the platform.
1:23 PM: For instance, the Stadia controller has a button for the Google Assistant. Press it, and you can summon the Assistant to perform certain actions specific to Stadia, like giving you tips or hints for certain games.
1:25 PM: Stadia will be able to stream games up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second to your computer, TV, or tablet, and Stadia makes a second copy of the same quality for YouTube, so you never have to tone down the quality of your videos if you want to repost them.
1:27 PM: Google and AMD made a custom GPU to power Stadia’s data centres, and it apparently blows away the console competition.
1:28 PM: Google partnered with Unreal and Unity to bring their game engines to Stadia, and Google will be using lots of popular middleware, like the Havok engine, to ensure developers have access to all their favourite tools.
1:30 PM: Google invites Marty Stratton on stage from id Software, the developer of fast-paced games “Doom” and “Doom Eternal.”
1:32 PM: Stratton says the next “Doom” game will play on Stadia at 4K with HDR at 60 frames per second.
1:35 PM: Google says Stadia will support cross-platform play, and given its ability to scale, will allow developers to expand games. 100-person games like “Fortnite” could turn into 1,000-player battles royal.
1:37 PM: Google said multiplayer experiences, including split-screen co-op games, will be easily executable via Stadia. Games don’t suffer performance penalties because of the number of people playing, since Stadia can simulate individual instances for each player. It all requires very little effort on the part of the developer, too.
1:41 PM: Google is building machine-learning tools for game developers but also artists. Google’s tools can help apply style to a game as well as the structure.
1:44 PM: Google talks about how Stadia provides tools for content creators, making it easy to clip and share moments in games without needing to do much work.
1:46 PM: Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s head of gaming, comes onstage.
1:47 PM: Wyatt says Stadia can help people forge deeper connections with their audience by allowing them to game together. Content creators can share links to what they’re playing, and people can jump in and play with their favourite creators.
1:56 PM: Google announces that Stadia has built its own arm to develop games and entertainment, and will be led by Jade Raymond. “I’m excited to announce that as the head of Stadia Games and Entertainment, I will not only be bringing first-party game studios to reimagine the next generation of games; our team will also be working with external developers to make sure the next-gen technology you see today available to partners big and small.”
2:00 PM: Stadia will launch in 2019, first in the US, Canada, UK, and most of Europe. “This is the first step in the journey, and we’ll be connecting with you again in the summer to talk about the games you’ll play at launch and beyond.”
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