After weeks of rumor and speculation, Google has finally unveiled its plans for a gaming platform, an online, cloud-based game streaming service called Stadia.
At the Game Developers Conference 2019, held in San Francisco, California Google revealed that the Stadia is a cloud gaming platform that aims to rival established gaming consoles and platforms such the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC as well as revolutionize the way video games are played. The Stadia, previously known as Project Stream will be available first in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Europe later this year. No word has been given yet regarding Asia and the rest of the world.
A Hero’s Welcome
The name Stadia is one of the plurals of the ancient Greek word Stadium. This implies that the new platform from Google aims to become a showcase of the incredible feats and battles.
At the Game Developers Conference 2019 held on Tuesday, Google Gaming head honcho Phil Harrison, took to the stage and unveiled the visionary new platform stating that “This new generation of gaming is not a box”
The revolutionary new platform offers a way to stream games directly to any smartphone, tablet, laptop or TV without the need for a physical console or a copy of the game. By its definition, cloud streaming will also eliminate the need for downloading games as well. Google’s hardware will handle the running and storing of the games leaving your device of choice free of the usual hardware limitations–all you need to have is a stable internet connection and your’re good to go. The Stadia will keep track of your inputs through the web from any of your preferred controllers, mouse/keyboard as well as the optional Google Controller that has been circulating the web in the recent weeks.
Will It Go the Distance?
Right out of the gate, the Stadia has already made a lot of ambitious new promises. For one, it claims that the total control of the flow of data will out right eliminate any form of cheating and hacking, an issue that has plagued even the most successful multiplayer games, most recently the stellar Apex Legends. In his keynote speech at GDC, Phil Harrison has also described an ideal future where one could watch a trailer for a game, click on a link and immediately be playing it. Other promises regarding links have been thrown out there such as Twitch functionally where you’re watching your favorite streamer and you click a link to join them immediately in the game no matter what they’re playing. Google has also promised that it would be possible for players to create and share links to their game progress or to certain points in the game allowing friends to pick up where they left off. This is all on top of the promise of providing an absolutely latency-free, gaming experience even at 4K at 60FPS. Right now, only time will tell if the Stadia will be able to make good on these promises.
Google and the Stadia is not the first to chase after the dream of a cloud gaming platform. As early as 2010, a company called OnLive tried to do the same, but ultimately was not successful due to the technology’s limitations at the time. Many similar companies and services such as Shadow, LOUDPLAY, Geforce Now and Playstation Now tried to follow suit but were met with meager support at best. However, with the technological muscle as well the immense financial backing that Google has behind it, the Stadia might actually succeed in finally making the cloud gaming dream a reality.
Catch the whole Google GDC announcement here!