Good news for online game lovers! Google reveals its new Stadia cloud gaming services.
Google launched Stadia cloud gaming service at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco on 19th March 2019.
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Sundar Pichai, Google CEO introduced the Stadia during a special keynote at GDC. Pichai spoke about Stadia and said that Google will stream games to all types of devices. He also added that Stadia will stream games from the cloud to Chromecast (Chrome browser) and Pixel devices. Google will launch it in Canada, UK, USA and Europe later this year.
Stadia offers instant access to play without the need to download or install any games. The games will be stream-able on TVs, phones, desktops, tablets and laptops.
Google also demonstrated seamless movement of game from a phone to a table and to a TV using Google powered devices. Additionally, Google will be launching a new Stadia controller to power the game streaming service. The controller will look like a cross between PS4 and Xbox controller and will work with the Stadia service by connecting Wi-Fi directly to the game session in the cloud. This may help with latency and allow seamless moving of a game from device to another. You may use one button to capture and share clips directly to YouTube and another button to access Google Assistant.
Google is leveraging its global infrastructure of data centers to make sure that servers are close to players across the world in order to power the cloud streaming. This is a boon for Stadia as it lowers latency to enable games to be streamed effectively.
At launch, Google expects to support up to 4K at 60fps over an internet connection of approximately 25Mbps of bandwidth. Google is also planning to support up to 8K resolutions and 120 fps in the future.
Google is partnering with AMD to build customized GPU for the datacenters. According to Google, the chip will deliver 10.7 teraflops of power. Additionally, each Stadia instance will be powered by a custom 2.7 GHz x 86 processors with 16GB RAM.
Doom Eternal will be the first game to be launched on Stadia service and will support 4K resolution, 60fps game play and HDR. Doom Eternal will be available on Nintendo Switch, OC, Xbox One and PS4. Stadia will embrace full cross-platform play which will allow the developers to enable cross-platform multiplayer and game saves and progression.
Google also unveiled a great way for game developers to design the title with their own unique idea on Stadia. The developers can simply drop an image in to the video frames of the game and get the same style throughout with this machine based learning.
Google is also using State Share that allows players to easily share moments and even share the exact link to a part of the game. Dylan Cuthbert, founder of Q-games, is building a game using State Share feature.
Google is relying on YouTube to push gamers to its cloud service. In 2018, over 50 billion hours of gaming content was watched on YouTube, so Stadia users can capture, highlight and share directly on YouTube and also let viewers to play alongside creators. This is possible due to the Crowd Play feature that also includes a lobby system that allows users to match up with YouTube content creators.
Furthermore, Google is creating its own game studio exclusive for Stadia, Stadia Games and Entertainment. Google said that it already has more than 100 studios equipped with development kits for Stadia with over 1000 engineers and creative personnel working on the titles on the service.
Although Google revealed Stadia, it has not yet disclosed other dates of when it will be available. Also, it did not reveal about its price or the number of games the service will have. However, Google is expected to reveal more details soon.
Google is also set to face stiff competition from its rivals from the gaming services such as Microsoft, Amazon, Nvidia, Sony and Valve. Valve is in fact, expanding its Steam Link game-streaming feature that will allow user to stream the Steam games from a PC to any other device through the Steam Link app or Steam Link Hardware.
Will Stadia live up to the expectations of thousands of users? Let's wait and watch!