Google has officially announced its plans for a video game streaming platform called Stadia, which will offer games-on-demand streams through the cloud. Stadia is scheduled for this year's launch, allowing games to be streamed across a variety of very low-friction devices. It could be a very important thing for future games.
The platform aims to bring together games, watching and developing games on a single platform. As an example, you could watch Assassin's Creed Odyssey on YouTube and then play streaming in "just five seconds." Things like game updates, patches, and system requirements are not actually a problem as the game runs on Google's servers, not your local device.
Google vice president Phil Harrison promised that the technology would work on desktops, laptops, televisions, tablets and phones. In one demonstration, the same demo was shown on Chromebooks, smartphones, tablets, and televisions, the latter through a Chromecast Ultra HDMI streamer. At launch, it will stream 4K at 60 FPS with surround sound and HDR support. In the future, Google plans to support 8K resolution and frame rates of over 1
You can use existing controllers on laptops and PCs, and Google will offer its own Stadia controller. The Google Stadia controller connects to the device you're currently playing on, and it includes a special Google Assistant button for referencing walkthrough videos when you're stuck.
Google also announced a partnership with Unreal and Unity with middleware developers like Havok. Id Software's Marty Stratton set the stage to announce that Doom Eternal will come to Stadia. Google also announced it is setting up its own studio called Stadia Games and Entertainment, led by former Ubisoft and EA studio boss Jade Raymond, who will create exclusivity for the platform.
The presentation contained some important features. With "State Share" you can create moments in which friends or spectators can stand out from their own status in a game. "Crowd Play" allows viewers of a stream to join a queue to participate in the multiplayer game themselves. Both must be activated by the developers.
Google first noticed an interest in game streaming last year when it partnered with Ubisoft for Project Stream. The service allowed testers to fully play Assassin's Creed Odyssey through their Chrome browser. Since then, the rumors about "Project Yeti" have only intensified.
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