During their keynote at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) today, Google unveiled their new cloud based gaming service. It’ll be called Stadia and will launch sometime in 2019. Google is known for introducing insanely ambitious projects, and this one may be their most ambitious yet. Stadia aims to bring players their favorite games, no matter what screen they happen to be in front of.
The basic premise behind Stadia, is to essentially be like the Netflix of gaming. Gamers will be able to access a full library of titles from Google’s cloud servers across ANY device they use. That means you’ll be able to play the same titles through Google Chrome, your Pixel device, and Chromecast. Phil Harrison, who’s a former Sony and Microsoft Executive laid out Google’s lofty goals for the service.
Harrison said Google will use their exiting influence through Youtube to “amplify” Stadia. What this means specifically, is when you watch a video pertaining to a certain game, you’ll now get a pop-up that will offer you the ability to play that title immediately. There’ll be no need to download or install anything, just instant access to your favorite games.
Stadia will also run mostly independent of gaming dedicated hardware. Users will essentially be able to access titles on desktop, laptop, smartphones, tablets, and TVs. There is ONE piece of hardware gamers may be interested in however, and it happens to be central to the overall experience with Stadia. The Stadia controller will give gamers an added boost in functionality with dedicated buttons for access to the Google Assistant, and a button to share directly to YouTube. It looks almost like an Xbox controller so gamers will be immediately familiar with it.
Google remained relatively tight-lipped about the release date or pricing of Stadia, but they were adamant that it will release in 2019. Google will also be utilizing their own Global Data Servers to help insure gamers get connected to servers as close to them as possible. This will also help ensure lower latency as Google says Stadia games will be available to stream in up to 4K resolution at 60fps at launch. They plan to expand to 8K at 120fps in the near future. All you’ll need is an internet connection of at least 25Mbps, and you’re good to go.
Google Stadia will be available later this year, but you can check out their official reveal trailer below: