Google Reveals Cloud-Based Gaming Platform Called Stadia

This game streaming service promises instant access to 4K gaming via PCs, tablets, smartphones and more.
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During GDC 2019, Google revealed Stadia, a new video game streaming platform that will let users play high-end 4K games not just on PCs and laptops, but on almost any internet-connected media device, including TVs, tablets, smartphones and Chromecast. 

Google looks to compete with the likes of PlayStation and Xbox by offering users access to blockbuster games without the need for an expensive PC or console. Essentially, any modern device that is able to stream video via a web browser can be transformed a high-end gaming device thanks to Stadia. 

Play Games Instantly from Anywhere

During its keynote event at the Game Developer Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, Google demonstrated gameplay on a low-cost laptop as well as a Google Pixel 3XL smartphone, among other common devices.

The new cloud gaming service will launch later this year alongside a brand new controller designed specifically for use with Stadia. While not required (existing controllers and mouse-keyboard setups will be compatible), the Stadia controller will connect directly to the service via built-in Wi-Fi without having to first link to the user’s streaming device, promising the fastest possible connection to your game.

Besides the obvious benefit of not having to buy expensive hardware, Stadia promises several other advantages over traditional console and PC gaming, such as the ability to switch between devices without interrupting the game, lack of game installs or updates, and drastically reduced load times with games launching in as little as five seconds.

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Google also demonstrated a new ‘Play Now’ button that will appear on YouTube, allowing you to go from watching a game trailer to playing that game in seconds. Stadia plans to use YouTube as its live gameplay streaming platform, allowing viewers to enjoy the same video quality as the person playing the game.

So Far, So Good

The main concern with game streaming is latency; the amount of time it takes for the game on screen to respond to your button inputs. After all, you’re effectively playing a game on PC hardware that’s hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away. 

But Stadia has been tested by reputable media outlets as having input latencies comparable to an Xbox One X, which is incredibly impressive for a cloud service. It will be interesting to see how Stadia performs under the unpredictable conditions of home internet connections. 

Although it’s safe to assume the service will utilize some form of subscription model, Google has yet to reveal Stadia pricing information.

Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has already been tested publicly on the service via an earlier beta, and respected developer id Software also revealed at GDC that its upcoming release, Doom Eternal, will run on Stadia in full 4K resolution at 60fps with HDR enabled.

Stay tuned as we expect more Stadia-related game announcements in the coming months. And don't forget to check out today's best deals for video games and consoles, courtesy the Slickdeals community.


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About the Author
Mike Jackson Contributor

Mike Jackson has been writing for high-profile publications for 16 years, primarily in the video game industry, but also covering tech. Mike is an obsessed video game hoarder with hundreds of games spanning a 30-year collection. An entire room in his house is dedicated to Super Mario, and he thinks the Nintendo Switch is “the best invention in human history.” Counseling may be necessary.


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