Move over Azure.
Google Stadia was today detailed by the company, a streaming service that will let you stream games to your TV, phone, laptop or PC.
What is Stadia?
Launching in 2019 in the United States, Canada, UK and most of Europe, the service is pretty much like recent rumours described it, a stand-alone platform that allows you to play games on your TV, phone, laptop or PC. Stadia’s essentially a cloud-based platform that lets you move from screen to screen, streaming games to it and the controller you choose to use.
Google also said that Stadia’s cloud-based processing power can be used to up the quality of things like split-screen co-op, as data processing will be handled by Google’s data centres and not a specific console. The CPUs in Google’s data centres are custom, running at 2.7Ghz and with 16GB of RAM. They’ll be pulling 10.1 teraflops, in comparison to the Xbox One X’s paltry 6.
“What that means is a synchronized state across a very high volume of players, where innovations like distributed physics can be built into your games,” Google’s Phil Harrison said. “Where battle royale games can go from hundreds of players today, to thousands of players tomorrow. And yes, no cheating, and no hacking.”
Players will also be able to take advantage of a feature called Share State, in which a clickable URL can instantly boot up a game in the exact conditions the save point was recorded under. As an example, a player could be watching a friend or streamer play a game and ask for a Share State to start playing the game themselves from that very point.
The Stadia controller and streaming
While you can use Google’s new Stadia controller to connect to your platform of choice and access streaming features, you can also use your own controller (or keyboard and mouse) of choice. Google’s controller connects to your console via Wi-Fi and synchronises your play session with Google’s data centres around the world.
If you’re into streaming, Stadia also allows a player to stream their play session to YouTube at the click of a button (on the dedicated Stadia controller, that is). Google also confirmed that YouTube integration supports real-time streaming at 4K and 60 FPS (frames-per-second), and will eventually cater to 120 FPS and 8K. If you’re watching a game trailer on YouTube, you’ll be able to hit a “Play Now” button using Stadia and immediately jump into supported games, Google said as part of its presentation today.
The Stadia controller also features a Google Assistant button which can be used to “get help from the assistant for special in-game features integrated by developers.”
Can it run Doom?
Yes. Already, it’s been confirmed that Doom Eternal will support Google Stadia, running at 4K and 60 FPS with HDR using the new technology.
The important thing to note here is that games will need to be developed with Stadia in mind; this type of support doesn’t just happen. Luckily, Google today announced Stadia Games and Entertainment, a first-party studio that will develop its own games at the same time support third-party studios to get games Stadia-ready.
With my dodgy internet connection, this sounds a little too good to be true; what do you think of Stadia? Not that it matters here in Australia; we’re not a launch region, so we’re left looking to our friends overseas to see how it actually works when available.
There’s a lot to process here, so we’ll be back and breaking this information into digestible chunks soon.