Google just launched its new gaming service Google Stadia, and we must admit, it blew us away. Basically, it means gaming via the internet, so no more hassle with gaming consoles and annoying HDMI cables. No, you just need Google’s Stadia Wi-Fi gaming controller, a Google Account, a loaded Credit Card, and you can game anywhere you want, directly from your browser.
Yes, from your browser. This means, for example, that you’ll be able to watch a game trailer on YouTube, which then has a button next to it which says play. By clicking that button, the game is purchased automatically, and ready to stream. The opportunities are rather mindboggling. You can play anywhere in the world where there’s a WiFi connection; hotels, planes, libraries, wherever you are, you’ll have all your games with you, always, at any time, forever. Which is also a bit depressing if you think it through. Goodbye books.
So, how does this thing work? According to Google, Stadia only takes 5 seconds (!) to launch a game on your browser , and will be playable on all platforms such as laptops, desktops, TV, tablets and phones. Basically on everything with a screen, Wi-Fi and battery. No console is needed; this is Cloud Gaming with Googles gigantic datacenters as your console. As you can see in the top video, you can instantly switch your game from laptop to phone. Without lag, the game will switch from one platform to the other, which is quite amazing.
Fun fact; the controller is not connected to the screen you’re playing on, but connected via Wi-Fi to the datacenter, so it recognizes the platform you’re playing on and adjusts the settings automatically, which is even more quite amazing.
Let’s talk specs. Will this thing be a 240p disaster? Not quite. In a 2018 test, Stadia ran on 1080p, 60fps, carrying full stereo sound. Google promises 4K (!) when the thing launches. Yes, 4K Cloud Gaming. Interesting fact; the computer you are using now probably has an Intel Processor, which is the absolute market leader. Stadia was developed with competitor AMD, which is a potential blow for Intel, which already has somewhat of a problematic year.
So, are our friends from Xbox, PlayStation and Alienware now crying in a corner, since their platforms have become obsolete? No not yet, but Sony does see Cloud Gaming as a threat. One issue is, that the Stadia is dependent on Wi-Fi, which is hugely inconsistent and not fast enough in a vast amount of homes. This is an issue for now, but could be solved in the future. Furthermore, Microsoft is developing xCloud Gaming, so we might see market saturation like the movies and series streaming services.
— Stadia (@GoogleStadia) 19 maart 2019