Rumors have abounded for quite some time that Google has been gearing up to spearhead the games industry via a streaming service but today the tech giant made it official at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Their new game service, Stadia, is being designed to run on everything from PCs to Android phones and Google Chromecast devices by means of streaming technology.
Essentially, games played using Google Stadia will run on the company's own centralized servers, taking user input via the controller and sending back video and audio with no download or install (or patch/update) necessary. Google exec Phil Harrison demoed the process on-stage, showing a comparison between playing on Google's own Pixel 3 XL and what he referred to as the least powerful PC they could find; both worked equally as well.
Google states that Stadia games will run as 1080p, 60 frames per second; also, 4K will be supported at launch, with plans for eventual 8K support. There's also a controller you'll be able to buy which connects over Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth; among the usual face buttons, d-pad, and analog sticks, there will also be a capture button to save and share your screencaps/gameplay with others over social media.
Also worth noting: Harrison and Head of Stadia Games and Entertainment Jade Raymond both confirmed that Google Stadia will have its own exclusive first-party games from their studio as well as in partnership with other developers.
The only release window given so far for both Stadia and the controller is 2019.
However, not everyone is as bullish on Google Stadia as the company is. The reaction on social media thus far is pretty split, with many showing their support for the news, and many also equally questioning its viability this early on. IGN's Max Scoville had some criticism for those who are writing off Stadia entirely before its release.
But a few other Twitter users retorted back with a few realistic points of their own.
While the idea of streaming games anywhere is highly appealing, it is a fact that broadband isn't readily available to everyone everywhere just yet, not only in the United States but in many countries around the world. The question is: can Google Stadia can take off regardless of that fact? We'll have to wait and see how things play out.