During Google’s presentation during GDC 2019, it was announced that Google would be revealing a new gaming platform called Stadia. It’s a platform powered by “the best of Google” that aims to combine the experiences of players, developers and content creators in a way that no other platform has.
Stadia is a game streaming service that’s designed to offer instant access to play, reducing the slog of those pesky downloads and patches. Integrated within Chrome, the idea is that players can go from watching a YouTube video about Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey to playing the game within seconds.
Players will then able to enjoy that experience across phones, tablets, TV, PCs and more, using any controllers and keyboards you have, but of course there’s the official Stadia controller if that’s your bag. The controller looks fairly standard, but can directly connect to your game session through wi-fi to offer the most seamless experience, and comes equipped with a capture and Google Assistant button.
Stadia will be powered by Google’s extensive data centers that are located across the globe, with coverage across more than 200 countries. One of the biggest barriers to game streaming so far has been latency issues, but Google’s vast infrastructure ensures the best possible experience for most users. On launch, Stadia plans to support up to 4K and 60fps streaming, with plans to support 8K and 120+ fps in the future.
Stadia also plans to offer simultaneous streaming to YouTube at 4K and 60fps, ensuring that your gaming sessions are forever recorded, which should make quality content creation much easier for more users across the world. Players can also use Stream Connect to allow players access to the perspective of other players, with an example being a co-op experience titled The Night Forest developed in-house at Google.
Along with direct streaming, capturing and highlight, content creators will also be able to enable a Crowd Play feature, designed to make it easier for content creators and fans to play game with each other.
One of the new features showcased was State Share, which allows players to create moments of incredible speed-runs, no damage boss fights or insane combos, then sharing them with the world as a challenge for other players to do better. Players will able
As far as the technical aspects go, Stadia is backed by a 10.7 teraflops GPU, which is bigger than the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro combined, so you know the graphics will look lovely. Stadia can also support multiple GPUs, leading to some insane graphical capabilities. Google have also partnered with the likes of Unreal, Unity and more to ensure that developers are given the proper tools they need to get the most out of the Stadia platform.
Developers will also have the ability to enable cross platform play for Stadia, allowing users to experience games with other platforms, even going so far as to port game saves from one platform to another. Developers can also utilise Style Transfer ML which utilises Machine Learning to create new art styles for video games. We’re sure that won’t lead to any monstrosities at all. Machine Learning has never created horrors.
As for confirmed games, DOOM Eternal was confirmed to launch on the platform, with id Software’s Marty Stratton taking to the stage to confirm that it’ll run at 4K/60fps, with a live stream confirmed for later today. There was also a demonstration of a fully destructible multiplayer sandbox, which just seems like the biggest flex on Crackdown 3 ever.
Google have also formed their own game development studio, Stadia Games and Entertainment, which will be led by industry veteran Jade Raymond. The studio will work to design games and experiences that’ll be exclusive to the platform.
All in all, Stadia seems like it could be the next big revolution in gaming, but there’s still a few unanswered questions. Despite the fact that Google have data centers around the world and the infrastructure to support 4K streaming, not everyone has a stable enough internet connection to fully enjoy an always online experience like Stadia. Sometimes, being able to play offline is more convenient. Also, if it doesn’t have anything comparable to Achievements/Trophies, why should we even bother? I’m kind of not joking.
Stadia will be launching this year, first in the US, Canada, UK and most of mainland Europe. What are your thoughts on the Stadia? Let us know in the comments!