Yesterday, at the ongoing Game Developers Conference (GDC), Google marked its entry in the game industry with Stadia, its new cloud-based platform for streaming games. It will be launching later this year in select countries including the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Europe.
Thanks for all the kind words 🎮💖
— Stadia (@GoogleStadia) March 19, 2019
GDC 2019 is a five-day event, which commenced on 18th of this month at San Francisco, CA. It is the world’s largest game industry event which brings together 28,000 attendees to share ideas and discuss the future of the gaming industry.
What is Stadia?
Phil Harrison, Google’s Vice President, and GM, announcing the game streaming platform said, “Our ambition is far beyond a single game. The power of instant access is magical, and it’s already transformed the music and movie industries.”
Stadia is a cloud-based game streaming platform that aims to bring together, gamers, YouTube broadcasters, and game developers “to create a new experience”. The games get streamed from any data center to any device that can connect to the internet like TV, laptop, desktop, tablet, or mobile phone.
With this, gamers will be able to access their games anytime and virtually on any screen. And, game developers will be able to use nearly unlimited resources for developing games. Since all the graphics processing happens on off-site hardware, there will be little stress on your local hardware.
The demo that Google shared at GDC currently streams video at 1080p, 60 frames per second. At launch, Stadia will come with up to 4K resolution and 60 frames per second with approximately 25Mbps of bandwidth. In the future, Google is planning to offer 8K resolution and 120 frames per second.
Google, in partnership with AMD, is building a custom GPU for its data centers, which will deliver 10.7 teraflops of power. Also, each Stadia instance will be powered by a custom 2.7GHz x86 processor with 16GB of RAM.
At GDC, Google also talked about a dedicated controller for Stadia that directly connects to a game session in the cloud through WiFi. The controller provides a button for capturing, saving, and sharing gameplay in up to 4K resolution. It also comes integrated with Google Assistant and a built-in microphone. According to a blog post shared by Google, it is not guaranteed that the controller will be offered for sale as the device is not yet authorized by the Federal Communications Commission.
While unveiling the game-streaming service, Google did not reveal any details on the pricing. Also, the details regarding when exactly we can expect this service to reach the gamers and developers are unknown.
To know more in detail about Stadia, check out the official announcement on Google’s blog post.