Well in all honesty, it was only a matter of time wasn’t it? Google have announced that they are getting into gaming. Yes, they have the Play store for the casual gamer but we’re talking about legit gaming here; AAA games playable across any of your devices.
“Wait, what?!” I hear you ask. Well, whilst us Kiwi’s were sleeping, Google held a press conference at the annual Game Developers Conference to announce Stadia, Google’s online video game streaming service.
Google have decided that rather than spend hundreds of millions on R & D for a physical console platform they will just tap into the technology they already own – servers, and lots of them – and bring the experience to devices you already own, phones, tablets, PCs, TVs. Heck, they may even get it to work on your Smart fridge, who knows?
There is no firm launch date for Stadia as yet but Google are expecting to release it sometime in 2019.
What we do know is that Google is promising an experience that will allow streaming of games in 4K and 60 frames per second. Of course, that is subject to your own internet connection and bandwidth. Don’t go expecting 4K, 60fps if you’re still rocking ADSL, you’ll definitely need a Fibre connection if you want the best experience.
If you think 4K, 60fps is impressive then Google has some news for you. They are already thinking about the future and are talking about being able to deliver 8k and 120fps in the future!
In terms of raw power Google compared Stadia to the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X with the graphical power looking ridiculously impressive. Where PS4 Pro can do 4.2 teraflops and Xbox One X 6.0 teraflops, Stadia is boasting 10.7 teraflops.
In terms of the games that will be available on Stadia, specifics are light but Google is saying that existing third party games will be available on the platform. Basically if it is available on a console you can expect to see it on Stadia. We do know that Doom Eternal is coming to Stadia and that it will be 4K, 60fps.
In terms of what pricing model Google is going to use that is still a big unknown. They may require you to buy games individually but we’re thinking it’s more likely to be a subscription service similar to Xbox Game Pass. If they go down that road though you could probably expect it to be a tiered service whereby you pay a higher subscription fee to access new release AAA titles.
That’s not all though, Google have also announced their own first-party studio to develop games in-house.
Stadia is also going to work with existing peripherals including your console controllers, PC keyboards and mice but if you want to go all in you’ll be able to purchase Google’s very own Stadia Controller. Take a look at it below, it kind of looks like the love child of the Xbox One and PS4 DualShock 4 controllers.
The controller will feature a Share and Google Assistant button because of course you need to have a personal assistant on your controller. I can just imagine it now, some pre-pubescent teen playing the new COD on Stadia and saying “Hey Google, tell Old Mate that I did x, y, z to his Mum”. All jokes aside, the more practical application of Google Assistant will be to ask it to call up a tutorial to help you if you’re stuck in part of a game.
And of course it wouldn’t be Google without YouTube integration. Stadia will feature Crowd Play. It’s basically a system whereby if you’re watching someone stream a game from Stadia on YouTube you can click a button and instantly jump in and start playing the same game. The same is t rue if you’re watching a trailer for a game that has been released, click the button and the next thing you know you’re in there playing said game straight on the device you were watching the video on.
As Google gears up for the launch of Stadia we’ll make sure we keep you up-to-date as new information comes to light. In the meantime tell us what you think of the announcement in the comments below.