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Published March 20, 2019

The biggest news coming out of GDC 2019 is Google’s unveiling of their new gaming platform called Stadia. It’s a streaming service looking to allow anyone with a chrome browser to game with the highest visuals and performance possible granted you have a solid internet connection. Here’s what you need to know

  • Stadia allows you to game from your Chrome browser, Chromecast, tablet or smartphone
  • No downloads required. Everything is cloud based so you get instant access to games & updates.
  • Games play up to 4K 60fps with little to no latency. 8K support is possible in the future.
  • Google announced its own first-party studio headed by Jade Raymond (known for her work on Assassin’s Creed) that will produce games exclusively for the platform.
  • Stadia will support numerous controllers, so what you own will be fine. Stadia will also offer its own controller with its own features such as the Google assistant and the social media button.
  • YouTube will be deeply integrated. You can create highlights & livestream all from the Stadia platform.
  • You’ll have access to games via Youtube. Google showed how you’ll be able to hit a “play now” button on game trailers to instantly try out said game. This was demo’d on stage with an Assassn’s Creed Odyssey trailer.

All this sounds cool, but I have a few questions.

  • What’s the pricing structure? Buy each game for 60? All you can eat for a monthly fee like Netflix or something else?
  • During their beta test called Project Stream, you needed a 15 megabit connection to play what’s now known as Stadia. Most people don’t have that, so what about them?
  • What does this mean for streaming? If I’m utilizing my internet to constantly be streaming a game how with this affect the performance of my Twitch stream which also requires a solid connection?
  • What does streaming games mean for online multiplayer? Especially fighting games which require low latency.

Either way, this news is interesting. Google seems to be all in with the announcement of their own studio. I’m curious to see what game they’ll create and the pricing structure for Stadia. Stadia is good for the industry because it could push gaming forward.

Studios wouldn’t have to worry about limitations because of the power of the cloud which could graphics even further. This platform would also make it easier to push out updates to games much faster. It’ll be interesting to see how the public responds to Stadia when it goes live sometime this year.

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