Google Announces Stadia

Google held a live stream earlier today where it unveiled its approach to gaming. It wants to bring players, developers, and those who love watching games, all in one place. To do so, Google created Stadia, a platform for everyone who enjoys games to come to one location.

The conference started with Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, introducing how they first attempted to test how well they could stream high-end graphics on the Google Chrome browser, using the internet. Google first tried this technology with Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, last October. This attempt had been a test to see how well they could stream a game onto their browser, without interpreting a gamer’s playing experience.

Stadia will reportedly give players the option to jump into their favorite, triple-A game with a click of a button, and have it load up within five seconds. Players can play their game on any device with a screen with access to a Google Chrome browser and an internet connection.

Google demonstrated this in real time by using a laptop, a smartphone, and the lowest quality computer they could find on the market using this technology. All three of the devices were able to run Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. The game supposedly ran at 1080p, 60 frames per second, with high-quality sound. Google is planning to have the games to stream at 1080p, 4k, and then 8k, as the host spoke about 8k being an inevitable future.

Stadia ControllerThe event also showed off the new Stadia controller, which almost looks exactly like an Xbox One controller. However, there are two new buttons, located near the start and menu options. These buttons grant the player the opportunity to speak to developers about receiving assistance, and the other allows the player to stream their game.

Google also announced they are partnering with Unreal Engine, Unity, and Havoc, along with a massive list of partners to bring games to Stadia.

Later in the stream, an ID representative arrived on the stage to share how Doom Eternal plays on Stadia, as Stadia was built on the Vulcan engine, as was the 2016 Doom game. The ID developers are showcasing Doom Eternal at their GDC 2019 booth, running on Stadia, at the event.

A huge point Google brought up was the difficulty game developers deal with when it comes to gamers playing in a multiplayer space. Google says with Stadia; they’re going to have a higher quality experience, and have enabled cross-platform play. Players can even bring over their game saves between consoles.

The final discussion came from the head of YouTube Gaming, Ryan Wyatt, and how Stadia melds for content creators. Wyatt highlighted how content creators want more ways to interact with their viewers and engage their audience while they play. With Stadia, Wyatt said content creators have the chance to enable cloud play where content creators can play multiplayer games with their audience members. Audience members can hit a “join now” button on the live YouTube video, and wait in a lobby to jump in.

The Google event highlighted how Stadia was made to not only benefit gamers who do not have high-end gaming PCs, but the creators who use the games to engage with others, and the developers who created them.

Google has shared they plan to launch Stadia this year in 2019, first in the United States, Canada, UK, and parts of Europe. The developer hardware has already gone out to gaming development studios.

You can expect more details about Stadia this summer.