The past weeks surrounding Google’s official entry into the video game scene has been interesting following the several rumors that have spawned leading up to this year’s Game Developers Conference. Today, Google has officially revealed their new platform, Stadia.
Unlike Microsoft’s Xbox or Sony’s PlayStation, Google did not showcase a base unit at their recent keynote. Instead, newly announced Stadia is a streaming service that is said to be more accessible to players from all over the globe. “When we say for everyone, we really mean it. It’s one of our most cherished values at the company,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated on stage.
Shared throughout the hour long keynote, Google revealed the type of potential the new gaming platform will be able to reach with Stadia. Using the tech giant’s data centers, Google plans to bring some of the most popular games to over 200 countries through Stadia via Google Chrome. Applying to any device that can use the browser: which varies from computers to phones, tablets and even televisions.
Currently Google’s Project Stream supports Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey with 1080p visuals and a stable 60 frames per second framerate, but by launch Stadia is said to extend the resolution to output to 4K due to running with a 10.7 GPU teraflops which steeps over competing platforms. Google promises Stadia to support 8K resolution and 120 frames per second following the service’s official debut.
Among the integration with Google Chrome, YouTube also plays a major role with Stadia and how players interact with games on the video platform. Allowing players to jump into games via a YouTube video with the simple click of the ‘play now’ button and will launch the user into the game within five seconds. Other features presented is Crowd Play which allows viewers to hop into the creator’s game lobby or even queue them for the next available game.
Streamers and developers will even be given the ability to drop players into a certain point in a game either it being a challenge or just a specific location for any game available on the service. Cross-platform play also took the stage as Google Vice President Phil Harrison shares that the feature will be supported as well as the option to transfer saves from other platforms. Which platforms exactly will be support has not been shared as of yet.
For how gamers will play on Stadia, Google revealed the Stadia controller which can connect to any device through Wi-Fi. With three variant colors to choose from, the controller also offers a capture button to save gameplay to YouTube and an Google Assistant button which gives control to the company’s A.I. to look up walkthroughs or other content with the controller’s built-in microphone.
Reflecting on our previous reporting on the then unrevealed platform, Ubisoft as well as id Software will be present at the keynote. Now it is confirmed that the two developers along with Take-Two, Q-Games, and Tequila Works will be supporting Stadia by migrating their titles to the stream-centered service.
Introduced for Stadia’s first-party developer is Stadia Games and Entertainment: with former Ubisoft and EA executive Jade Raymonds as the developer’s Head. For what games will come from the new studio is currently unknown, but more will be revealed in the coming Summer.
It’s best to still take the previous gossip for Sega’s involvement with Stadia as a rumor until official word is made by either Google or Sega. As it has yet to be debunked, do not take it as fact until then. With more on what games will be coming to the platform in the following season, we could still see the Sonic publisher make an appearance for the upcoming service.
Pricing for Google Stadia has yet to be revealed, but according to revolving rumors share that it will be an subscription-based payment similar to Netflix or Xbox Game Pass. The new platform is said to release sometime in 2019.