Cloud Gaming: Google Stadia, Lets You Play Without Installing the Game
Google Stadia: this is the official name of the streaming gaming service presented today by Google on the stage of the GDC (Game Developer Conference). But perhaps defining it as a game streaming service is an understatement. Keeping in mind gaming hardware and user experience about which you can read here, Google has created it to be an ecosystem for everyone, for those who want to watch video games, for those who want to play video games and even for those who want to develop them. In short, a real revolution, at least on paper.
Project Stream was therefore only the tip of the iceberg, a tip that still allowed for the streaming of triple games such as the last Assassin’s Creed at 1080p and 60 fps. And the CEO of Ubisoft was present at the presentation of Stadia given the precious collaboration of the French publisher in the new Google project. Google’s goal is to make gaming accessible to everyone, to use Chrome, a platform capable not only of allowing navigation but also the use of web-apps, to allow access to as many players as possible. You can use a laptop, a desktop PC, a mobile device or a TV with Chromecast, and switch between them like nothing.
One of the strengths of the service is the Instant Access. Imagine watching a gameplay video on YouTube and seeing the Play button appear. Pressing the button within 5 seconds you will be projected inside the video game. Extraordinary, isn’t it? YouTube in effect becomes a hub where games can be discovered and played. And Stadia is not a console, it is not a hardware platform, it is something accessible from just about any device.
Google Stadia Controller
There is however hardware peripheral: a controller dedicated to Stadia that, among its peculiarities, has a dedicated button to stream YouTube to what you are playing. There is also a button to access a voice assistant (there is a microphone on the controller) that provides extra information about the video game you are facing. Any examples? It gets stuck in a Shadow of the Tomb Raider tomb, through Google Assistant you ask for help and on the screen, you see a video solution that helps you step by step to overcome the obstacle.
Google Stadia Resolutions and Processor
This is made possible by Google’s data centers around the world. According to the managers on stage, it is literally years that the company is experimenting with the service. And hold on tight: at the launch Google Stadia will support streaming games up to 4K and 60 fps, and in the future support for 8K games up to 120 fps will come!
And the graphics power of the machines on which the games to which we will be streaming will be installed? It is hardware, called by the Google itself “GPU Stadia” with greater graphics power than that of an Xbox One X or PS4 Pro: 10.7 TFLOPS, against the 6 of Xbox One X and 4.2 of PS4 Pro. The Stadia GPU has 56 computational and HBM2 memory units. The CPU is a 2.7 GHz x86 custom processor accompanied by 16 GB of RAM.
During the presentation on stage, a manager of id Software also rose. DOOM Eternal will be among Stadia ‘s launch titles and will run at 60 fps in 4K. The game will be shown in action to those present at the conference. The game will run on a single GPU stage. The performance of the hardware signed Google seem phenomenal, so much to allow the simulation of the change in real time of the flows of fluids (imagine two fighters that challenge each other under a waterfall moving the waters) and much more without undergoing slowdowns. There is even talk of Battle Royale with thousands of players.
Developers will also have the ability to enable cross-play for their titles, allowing Google Stadia users to challenge players on every existing gaming platform. And cross-play leads us to multiplayer: online games will obviously be available. And what about the partners on board the project? Quite a lot, enough to convince virtually any video game developer, ditto for the graphics and physical engines: Unity , Havok, Unreal Engine, CryEngine, Enlighten.
Google Stadia Features
- Play wherever you want, when you want: play on any device, including laptops, desktop computers and selected phones and tablets. A high-speed Internet connection is required
- New game modes via YouTube and beyond: switch from a video to a game in seconds, with even more innovative experiences soon available for selected games.
- Up to 4K HDR at 60 fps: play as you like, with amazing HDR graphics and smooth viewing. Viewing in 4K HDR at 60 f / s depends on the bandwidth. The gaming experience may vary depending on the quality of your Internet connection.
- Play immediately: no updates or downloads are required. Start playing right away.
- Constant improvement: Stadia’s cloud-based infrastructure evolves to meet the needs of YouTube players, developers and creators.
Google also today announced Stadia Games and Entertainment, a company that will take care of bringing new games and experiences to Stadia. And at the head of this division, there will be nothing less than Jade Raymond, a leading figure in the videogame industry we told you about not too long ago. First party games will arrive from various partners in collaboration with this new division of Google, and to confirm it is the same Raymond on the GDC stage. Google has already sent over 100 Stadia dev kits to as many software houses and at the moment there are over 1,000 “creatives” and engineers who are actively working on titles for the new platform.
Output and prices
But when will Stadia arrive? Exact date unknown but it will be later this year in the USA, Canada, UK and most of Europe. It is a paid service. In fact, every game could be managed as a single purchase. Unfortunately, at the moment there are few details on the pricing and controller.