Google is looking to change the way we think about gaming, starting with where and how you can do it.
The tech giant unveiled its latest addition to the video game industry today with a new streaming platform called Stadia. During a keynote press event during the 2019 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, CA, Google detailed the platform, promising that it would eventually bring all the different types of gamers out there in the world together.
Essentially, Stadia is a type of gaming platform that runs via streaming only, with no console or PC needed. You don’t need to download games or use a disc or cartridge. Everything is available via Google’s servers, and you can play anywhere from your smartphone to a low-end laptop.
It’s meant to offer high-resolution gaming at 4K with 60 frames per second in many instances thanks to Google’s network, which means it doesn’t matter if your computer is fast enough or powerful enough to run your favorite new game, because Google is handling the heavy lifting.
“This new generation of gaming is not a box,” said Google’s Head of Gaming Phil Harrison (former Xbox head) during the event. It’s true that this could very well be what’s next. All you need to do is select a game and play, but it may not be that easy for everyone at first, especially anyone without a super-fast internet connection.
This isn’t the first attempt anyone has made at bringing streaming to the masses on a large scale like this, but it could be one of the most successful. Only time and hands-on experience with the service will tell, especially since effective game streaming will rely on low latency and a high-speed internet connection that doesn’t lag terribly.
Given that it’s meant to work with TVs, laptops, phones, PCs, and even utilize its own controller, there are a lot of variables to consider with Stadia. But it’s certainly an interesting idea that’s well worth exploring.
It will launch later this year, though there isn’t a concrete release date just yet. It won’t be a worldwide release at first, only dropping in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe at first, but eventually you can expect it to go elsewhere, if it’s like the rest of Google’s product, even in its early stages.
Right now, it appears the public has mixed opinions about Google’s new tech.
Stadia launches 2019 and honestly I think it has pretty huge potential
Up to 4K HDR 60fps
Google Assistant support
Built-in YouTube streaming
Hotlinks to exact point in-game points
— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) March 19, 2019
Stadia looks interesting… I just hope it leads to a world where I'm not forced to use Windows for gaming 🐧
— Andy Richardson (@andyrichardsonn) March 19, 2019
#Stadia Consoles seem doomed to turn into nothing more than computers with a proprietary streaming service attached, so there's no excuse that consoles are holding us back from cross-play now. It is technically possible, so lets do it and go full cross-play for everyone's sanity.
— Angry Whiskers (@AngryWhisker) March 19, 2019
The announcement of the #Stadia is silly to me because just recently a friend just streamed-played You Don't Know Jack to me and a group of other friends and the lag was an absolute pain.
We were all in the same country and we all had fiber internet.
— Mumi (@Code_Nova_0) March 19, 2019
Google’s Stadia platform might actually get me into gaming.
The tech is perfect for integration into my life-flow.
Ready for titles
— Josiah Tschetter (@Josiah8118) March 19, 2019
Google #Stadia looks interesting, but I am pretty sceptical about the input lag. Playing the game before buying it is the killer feature.
— Viktor Ketipov 🔜 GDC (@xk1p1x) March 19, 2019
Problem with Google Stadia: I don’t like being online.
— Matt Patches (@misterpatches) March 19, 2019
It’s difficult to tell whether Stadia will revolutionize gaming as we know it right now, but it’s certainly got a lot going for it. We’ll have to reserve judgment until we can give it a proper try ourselves.