Stadia game controller. © Google.
At the Game Developers Conference, Google introduced not a gaming console but Stadia, an online game service, along with an optional game controller. Stadia, which is based on Project Stream, runs games on Google’s servers and streams video on the Internet.
Google promises a resolution of up to 4K at 60 fps, thanks in part to customized AMD graphics processors on its cloud servers. We also know that the service is a sort of YouTube overlay, which gives you an idea of what to expect with Stadia. If you can watch 4K videos on YouTube seamlessly, you will most likely get the same results playing live 4K.
You can play on a wide variety of devices: TV (via Chromecast), phone, tablet and computer (with the Chrome browser). You can also resume a game on a PC that you left off on your phone, and easily stream live to YouTube, sharing a game in progress with friends who pick up the game where it was paused — a brand-new feature. Stadia works with existing game controllers, but Google also offers its own controller that looks like Sony’s Dualshock, with buttons for streaming to YouTube and asking for help via Google Assistant. The wireless controller connects directly to the Stadia service over Wi-Fi.
Google did not mention the price of the service or how the revenues would be shared with game publishers. Stadia should be available at the end of the year, in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe to start with. Of course, your experience as a player will be subject to your bandwidth and the distance to Google’s servers (latency). There are no miracles.
Also in the news, Google launched Stadia Games, its game development division led by the new vice president of Google, Jade Raymond, formerly of Electronic Arts and Ubisoft Montreal.