First and foremost Stadia is the plural form of stadium, and now, it is also Google’s new video game streaming platform. It is not a console, but a service that will let you stream games to any screen with a Wi-Fi connection via Chromecast, Chrome Webbrowser, or Pixel devices.
It promises to deliver games at 1080p at 60 frames per second at launch, with HDR, 4K and 8K resolutions in the future for gamers that have TVs ready for the next level of graphical prowess. All of this will be available to the public something later this year, with a bigger announcement providing more information this summer.
How Does it Work?
There will be no console needed to run Google Stadia. It will stream directly to your screen, but you will have to get the new Stadia game controller to play on your TV. According to Google, you will never have to worry about installing or updating again because Google handles that at its data centers via the cloud.
For optimal performance, Google recommends an internet speed of 25 Mbps, which is an obtainable speed you can get in most American cities, and only about 35 Mbps for 4K and 8K gaming. During the Stadia presentation Tuesday morning Phil Harrison, Vice President at Google, demonstrated how Stadia could run Assassin’s Creed Odyssey at 1080p 60 fps. He started on a phone, then switched over to the laptop at the exact moment he stopped playing, to finally finishing on the TV. Stressing that you could play anywhere and how you wanted throughout the day. As long as you have the aforementioned Wi-Fi Connection.
No Console, but New Controller?
The new controller is how you access Stadia for your TV or PC. It connects to the Google servers and claims it will bring up the desired game in five seconds or less. It is a dual along controller with three color schemes already announced. One interesting feature is the Google assistant built into the controller that allows you not only search and start games but bring up YouTube videos of the game you’re playing to watch how to get past a difficult section or beat a boss.
You can also stream and watch streams via Stadia and with the controller, you can hop into the same game a streamer is playing at the instance they are in the game Google claims. Their goal is to further break down the barrier between gamer, streamer/content creator, and game developer. You will also be able to use any 3rd party USB controller when gaming on PC and laptop.
Well, it’s anyone’s guess. Whether Stadia is a huge success or a bust it is definitely presenting some interesting concepts. Personally, with only two triple-A titles announced, Doom Enteral and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and no real way to promise same day releases as consoles I’m hesitant to get excited.
There are too many unknowns. How much will it cost? How well does your internet connection need to be? Will multiplayer truly be crossplay across all games and platforms? Will they truly have their own studios and exclusives? These are just a few of the questions we have, but time will tell all. With other big names like Sony and Microsoft also working on their own streaming projects, it definitely seems like where gaming will be going at some point, and Google clearly wants to be the frontrunner here.