It’s no secret that Google has been planning to break into the game industry for some time. In October 2018 they opened up Project Stream to the public. This allowed players to stream Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey via Google Chrome. Many were impressed at the time (myself included) and wanted to know more about what the software giant had planned for the gaming community. Now we know.
Today, Google announced its new gaming platform, Stadia. It will be available on desktops, laptops, televisions, tablets, and smartphones. It was made it clear that a console will not be required in order to use Stadia.
Stadia is not a piece of hardware that consumers need to purchase in order to use. Rather, it is a streaming platform that will be available across different devices that will provide players instant access to their games. It will also integrate YouTube Capture, streaming, and sharing. At Stadia’s launch, Google aims to have games stream in 4K at 60 FPS for both playing and sharing streams, with the goal to eventually support 8K at 120+ FPS.
Google’s Phil Harrison showcased how players will have the ability to access a game within seconds. There will be no having to wait for hours for downloads to complete! He also demonstrated Stadia’s ability to allow players to bring their gaming seamlessly from one platform to the next. You might start a game on your computer and then continue on your phone when you leave the house! Later, on the stage at the press conference, Harrison showed the same game transitioning from a laptop to a phone, a tablet and finally to a ChromeCast on a TV. All of this was done without any delay or the need to download the game.
Players will be also to play games on Stadia with their existing controllers so if you have a PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch controller, you should be okay. A keyboard and mouse will also work. Google also introduced the Google Stadia Controller.
The Stadia controller connects through Wi-Fi directly to the game that’s being played. It has a capture button, which will save game clips to YouTube, either privately or to the world, and a Google Assistant button. The Google Assistant can be used by players to use the built-in microphone and access in-game features created by developers. The controller also has the Konami Code on the back of it.
Stadia is scheduled to launch in the US, Canada, the UK, and Western Europe sometime in 2019. There are plans to expand to other countries beginning in 2020. There is no information available regarding cost for either the streaming platform or for the controller.