Today, at Game Developers Conference 2019, Google unveiled “Stadia,” a cloud gaming service. Using this service, you can play AAA games on any device running Chrome without the need of a dedicated graphics card. All the processing is done on Google’s servers and you can simply stream the gameplay right onto a laptop, desktop, tablet, phone, or even a Chromecast.
Each instance of Stadia will get a custom 2.7GHz x86 CPU, custom APD GPUs rated at a whopping 10.7 teraflops (slightly more than an RTX 2080), 16GB of RAM, and SSD cloud storage. Google says that the Stadia hardware is around twice as fast as current game consoles, and it can further scale to multiple GPUs for enhanced performance.
Stadia provides instant access to a game in as little as 5 seconds, with no updates, downloads, or an installation process. Google hasn’t launched the service yet, but when it does, it’ll support 4K, HDR, 60fps, and surround sound. Later on, they’ll even support resolutions of up to 8K and framerates of up to 120fps.
You can stream to YouTube directly, and creators will be able to capture, highlight, and share their gameplay directly from Stadia. Google is also going to use the help of YouTube to promote the service. If you watch a video of a gameplay, there will be an option to hit “play now” and instantly stream the same game.
We don’t know what games will be supported, but we do know that Doom Eternal (which hasn’t released yet) will be available at 4K HDR in 60fps. Stadia will launch sometime this year and will be available first in the US, UK, Canada, and some parts of Europe. We have no word on pricing either.
Google also revealed a controller made specially for Stadia. It works over WiFi and connects to Google’s servers directly. There isn’t much else we know about the Stadia controller, but it does have a capture and Google Assistant button.
Stadia is not only a cloud gaming service but also a game development platform called “Stadia Games and Entertainment.” It will provide developers with additional tools that can bring new and unique functionality to their games. They can include features like split-screen games with no performance loss and other multiple effective camera features for unique gameplay and game coordination. Google will also be offering developer resources and help for companies interested in making games for the platform.
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