On March 19, 2019 Google held their own event in the heart of Game Developers Conference (GDC), and announced Stadia. Google’s Stadia isn’t a game console, it’s actually a streaming service with livestreaming capabilities built-in.
In the lead-up to Stadia’s announcement, Stadia was hyped up as two things: A livestreaming platform and/or Netflix-like streaming, and a console. One of those is true: Stadia is a streaming service akin to Netflix, but for Video Games. It is also has livestream capabilities built right into the ecosystem. You already can livestream from any console – PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and your mobile phones. It’s not, however a game console, you can stream from any device – your mobile phones, your tablet, your computer, your monitor (provided it is connected to the internet), or your TV.
Stadia was demonstrated at their event, using not just a mobile phone, it was demonstrated on a slew of devices, including a low-end gaming rig. I’ll embed the full livestreamed video so you can see for yourself what the hubbub was about…
Google says that Stadia can handle up to 4k resolution, and 60 frames per second (4k/60fps). However, Google says it can increase that threshold to 8k resolution, and 120 frames per second. It’s been speculated that you’ll need a 25MB per second connection to get the bare minimum for your game streaming. Google is an enormous company with datacenters all around the world, with fiber optic cable connection routed through those buildings.
Google beta tested UbiSoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in 2018 as Project Stream. They invited UbiSoft to their GDC2019 to support the announcement, and event. id Software was also invited to support, and talk about Stadia. id Software claims that Doom Eternal is playable on Stadia.
During the presentation, Google claims that you can transfer your current game to another device. You can share your current play session with the community. Another feature allows you to ask for help from another player to help you with a puzzle, boss, or area.
From the developer perspective, you can have your game showcased on your own YouTube channel; Once you’re finished with a trailer of a game, you can press “Play Now,” and it’ll take you into the game. Google claims that, with Stadia, “The internet is your store.” Google showed off how their vision of viral marketing for your game can work. Or will work. Whichever way. I’m not keen on how they’ll accomplish this.
Google also unveiled their controller, despite Stadia not being a game console. The controller has WiFi embedded into the controller, and it’ll connect to the Stadia servers. However, Google has not ruled out your current or pre-existing controllers such as Xbox, PlayStation, and/or other controllers from other manufactures, they also implied that there’s also keyboard/mouse support.
Google’s Stadia launches sometime in 2019. No prices, price points, or pricing models were unveiled, but Stadia launches this year in some areas of the world such as U.S., parts of Europe, U.K., Canada.