Google's Stadia Cloud Gaming Platform Coming This Year

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Now Playing: Google GDC Keynote Announces Stadia - GS News Update

Google has formally revealed its plans for a video game streaming platform called Stadia, offering games on demand streamed through the cloud. Stadia is planned for launch this year and allows you to stream games across a variety of devices with very little friction. It could be a very big deal for gaming going forward.

The platform aims to bring together playing, spectating, and developing games onto a single platform. As an example, you could view Assassin's Creed Odyssey on YouTube and then begin playing it through streaming in "as little as five seconds." Things like game updates and patches and system requirements are effectively a non-issue, because the game is running on Google's servers, rather than your local device.

Google VP Phil Harrison promised the technology will work across desktops, laptops, TV, tablets, and phones. In a demonstration, the same demo was seen working across a Chromebook, smartphone, tablet, and TV, the latter through a Chromecast Ultra HDMI streamer. At launch it will stream in 4K at 60 FPS with surround sound and HDR support, and in the future Google is planning to support 8K resolution and frame-rates upwards of 120 FPS. Harrison also promised that the platform will embrace cross-platform play.

You'll be able to use existing controllers on laptops and PCs, and Google will offer its own Stadia controller. The Google Stadia controller links to whichever device you're playing on, and it sports a dedicated Google Assistant button for referencing walkthrough videos if you get stuck.

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Google also announced it has partnered with Unreal and Unity for development, along with middleware developers like Havok. Id Software's Marty Stratton took the stage to announce that Doom Eternal will be coming to Stadia. Google also announced it is starting its own studio called Stadia Games and Entertainment, to be headed up by former Ubisoft and EA studio head Jade Raymond, which will create exclusives for the platform.

The presentation outlined a few key features. "State Share" will let you create moments for friends or viewers to pick up from your own state in a game. "Crowd Play" will let viewers of a stream join a queue to join in the multiplayer game themselves. Both will need to be enabled by developers.

Google first hinted at an interest in game streaming last year, when it partnered with Ubisoft for Project Stream. The service allowed testers to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey to completion through its Chrome browser. Since then the rumors of "Project Yeti" only intensified.

For more on cloud gaming, check out how cloud gaming works and the companies investing heavily in cloud technologies. Or check out all of the Google gaming news from today's event.

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Avatar image for bluearchan

Stadia will be an utter failure for two reasons.

1. You cant see it, it doesnt exist. People want to own and see the console in physical existence, in general.

2. You dont mean Sony and Microsoft will forget to upgrade their specs from now on.

So thank you i am very much happy with my Sony loyalty.

Avatar image for sticktalker336

Lol it’s funny to see all the hate on cool technology that is inevitably the future..when a streaming service can offer you better graphics frame rates and better interface than consoles..why would you invest money in hardware that’s not as good??..I’m not jumping on this bandwagon though but many casual gamers will do this especially the broke ones

Avatar image for Sepewrath

@sticktalker336: People love saying its inevitably the future, its been inevitably the future for the last 10 years and it still hasn't happened and looks no closer to happening in the next 10 years. Consumers are not ready to give up all sense of ownership yet, remember On Live? It wasn't simply that it didn't work(which this also sounds like it doesn't work that well) its because people just aren't that interested. The broke casual, would likely spend that money on one of the 7 billion individual TV streaming services that exist now over this.

Avatar image for mirswith

I personally will never ever (ever) use a service like this. Even if latency was not an issue (it is) but even if it were not I like having physical hardware and physical copies of my games (yes I am someone who will wait for a physical release and avoid digital if at all possible). I hate this idea that the games we love are being licensed to us and we do not even own the copy we purchased, streaming services take it a step further where you don't even have that, you only have a right to play it _while_ you have a subscription. Its a pure money grab and if you ever decide to stop your service you will have nothing to show for it. These companies are going the extra mile to put more and more distance between you and the games which in turn gives them more and more control over you having to pay in order to play. Want to revisit that game you played 5 years ago? Too bad, its no longer streaming or you have to renew your subscription.

Having cool game cartridges or discs on your shelf or having that collector edition poster on your wall or being able lend a game to your friend will all be things of the past. This is a future I will be side stepping thank you very much, its simply sucks and it sucks big time.

P.S. Dear Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, the day you release an online only/no physical media console is the day I stop buying your hardware.

Avatar image for romeothebeast

The new comment section is awful...just wanted to add that

Avatar image for vs_shield

This has been done. It was called OnLive. It's dead. Its website is still a digital tombstone of what it once was (OnLive dot com). People don't want to pay yet another monthly fee.

Avatar image for DETfaninATL

I know this sounds ridiculous, but if there's no trophy / achievement system, I'm immediately not interested.

Avatar image for Arkhalipso

@DETfaninATL: That's actually a legitimate complaint.

Avatar image for just1mohr

So you are telling me that you want me to pay indefinitely & put my time and effort into games that I don't know will be around in the future? Why would I waste my time on that? At least many of the online play games have campaign and one can relive and satisfy their nostalgia at any time when they own copies of their favorite games. If this is where gaming is going I am out! I would much rather play the emulated NES, SNES & other gen games than deal with streaming nonsense. The last thing we need in this industry is another nonsensical console to separate games & gamers alike. As it is already I always wish one of the 3 console MFG (PS4/MS/Nint) will just close shop & all the games can be centralized.

Avatar image for Roman217

If this is more than like $15 a month and doesn't include the games then this is will be a pretty terrible deal. For $1500 you can build yourself a pretty top of the line gaming PC able to play most games at 60 fps in 4k and will probably be just as good for 5+ years since PC growth has stalled well below Moore's Law in recent years. $1500 over 5 years would be $25 a month but you have complete freedom over how you use it, don't need connection to the internet, don't have performance which is reliant on how many other users are using it, and have access to your already existing collection of Steam games. You can also use it for a ton of other things besides games. Knowing the potential future of these game streaming places, they will try to find ways of not letting you link your Steam account and will make you buy games again for the 500th time. The only reason why the cloud is the future is because it's beneficial to the corporations that run it since it must be profitable for them, and profitable for them means bad for you.

Avatar image for JEF8484

I think I'll stick with Ps4/Ps5 and PC

Avatar image for Ultramarinus

Remember OnLive? Apparently Google doesn't.

Avatar image for santinegrete

They need to make this service cheap. If you're not owning the game but have a membership, going above a netflix-esque price will scare anyone of. And I'm afraid we won't see this in third world and their exclusives will be aimed to the MultiPlayer.

Avatar image for Daian

If I can't use a mouse and keyboard on PC then it's a no from me.

Avatar image for santinegrete

@Daian: I'm intrigued too about that. USing controls I already own it's good, but mouse a keyboard for me is a must. They should add it.

Avatar image for doremonhg9x

This is pretty interesting. And awesome. If they can somehow make it that I can use either WiFi or 4G (costly, but who cares) to play graphically-demanding AAA @1080p60FPS smoothly then I'm all ears. Investing in a gaming PC has been getting too costly.

The only thing I'm worried about is the amount of game they will have. Crossplatform is a no-brainer, but what about First Party, or even exclusive? Just take a look at Microsoft and you will know that just throwing money at something won't be enough to make a good product

Avatar image for doremonhg9x


I mean, it's not like we are not already looking up for walkthrough already, but hearing Google says that their controller has a dedicated button for looking up guide and walkthrough and whatnot is disheartening.

Avatar image for godfather830

No, thanks

Avatar image for rawkstar007

Will someone please just put Google in that submarine with Don Mattrick and put them a few miles under? Leave us and our games in peace.

Avatar image for gotrekfabian

I would imagine that this would work well where a single player experience is concerned but the potential for latency issues, even for people with a strong internet connection, when playing multiplayer is far too much of an issue to consider the platform worthy of any credibility right now.

Cloud gaming will inevitably be the future but it isn't right now. Google are doing the right thing in pushing the boundaries to see what issues are concerned though, without experimentation then we'll never get anywhere with the technology.

Avatar image for hiro4476


Agree, viable in the future but not right now. Like, how do you stream gaming on a plane or bullet train? What is internet goes down? Do we human, have a reliable public internet yet?

Game streaming for now, is just an additional feature. e.g. Game natively on xBox, then game using xCloud (if you device is incapable e.g. Android or incompatible e.g. arm64 notebook) or XPA/xvc on the go.

Avatar image for halo1399

No thanks

Avatar image for quink

I currently have a PS 1, 2, 3, 4 and a 360 and Xbone hooked up to my TV. I like watching my physical game collection grow. Don't like streaming services in general even though i have the internet for it. Even if my internet goes down i can play whatever SP game i choose.

Maybe in a few years a streaming service will be succesful, but right now i don't think enough people have the internet for it and those that have will worry about input lag.

Avatar image for cboye18

wtf is wrong with the comment section bar. GameSpot have become so inept in everything. Fix this crap ASAP.

Back to topic. This whole online game streaming thing is no different from the current vision of VR and AR: grasping for straws for the sake of innovation. We are FAR way from having a global internet infrastructure to properly support it. It's as if these companies want to pretend that we have the technology of the year 2077 so that they can cash-in on futuristic concepts RIGHT NOW.

I for one don't see the benefit of game streaming as the drawbacks far outweigh the benefits. You don't own the game discs nor their licences and game lag and/or disconnect will always be a negative factor to include.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800

@cboye18: Yeah looks like they changed it to a speech bubble thing but it's bad how when you hover over to reply it pops in and out.

Avatar image for cboye18

@gamingdevil800: The whole speech bubble popping while scrolling down is straining my eyes. Why was this change even necessary?

Avatar image for br0kenrabbit

I.D. Software?

You mean id?

Avatar image for knifebeater

@br0kenrabbit: Hehe, I was going to post this exact same thing.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800

Men Of Xbox Of PlayStation Of Nintendo my brothers... I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me, a day may come when the courage of console owners fails when we forsake our physical games and all bonds of ownership of our games but it is not this day. An hour of clouds and shattered consoles when the age of locally stored games comes crashing down but it is not this day. This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on these good games I bid you stand men of the bad internet connections!

Avatar image for Terrorantula

Not using anything Google so not for me.

Avatar image for Arkhalipso

@Terrorantula: Not even youtube?

Avatar image for pcps4xb

Everything sounds good but it's still streaming.....latency!

Avatar image for deactivated-5c9cbf62c19be

Acutely i impressed, but still the point, is this going to include all PC games*, and there's no any company games going to say bla bla about it, everything is ok!

Avatar image for hiro4476


Yeah, wonder what OS is Google using, it'd be either Windows or Linux... to include "all PC games"... had to be a Windows right?

Avatar image for deactivated-5c9cbf62c19be

@hiro4476: I don't care much about Linux, or android, but the main picture is >PC games<, other then that just nop

Avatar image for Random_Matt

@hiro4476: If you watched the whole presentation then you would know it's linux using the API Vulken.

Avatar image for ticktockman1979

I was part of Google’s PROJECT STREAM with ASSASSINS CREED ODDYSEY and even with a subpar internet on a wifi connection I had no issues whatsoever. It was very well optimized.

Avatar image for hiro4476


the open test had way lesser users right?

Avatar image for BigPrimeNumbers

Until there is excellent internet available everywhere via cell, this is just too early; e.g. America's internet is only good in specific areas. This might work well in say, Seoul, where the internet is on fire, but the instances where I'd want to stream probably wouldn't have an ideal internet connection anyway, eg hotels, my parents' house, various places abroad, etc. MS's purported approach is somewhat better in that you can opt to locally render on your console and stream otherwise, but that has the same problems listed above so I'd rather just always play locally. Too many dependencies on both sides of this equation.

That, and Google's track record is crap for their services. Debut something, barely support it, then leave it to die on the vine. Just like Amazon's game studios which released all of 3 games. Hard pass, Google.

Avatar image for ticktockman1979

@BigPrimeNumbers: It’s no different than it is now. There are plenty of online-only games that many with connectivity issues can’t play (BLACK OPS 4, FORTNITE, WOW, etc). There are still options available for those gamers, but they shouldn’t impair the majority of gamers who play online. Same here. Just because some won’t be able to adopt shouldn’t impede where the mainstream is headed

Avatar image for Arkhalipso

@ticktockman1979: It's not the same thing. I've never tried a streaming service but people I know who have tried it say that in order for it to work preperly you need some really fast conection, and we don't have any issues while playing online on PC or consoles with our current one.

This is the case for a LOT of people.

Avatar image for ticktockman1979

@Arkhalipso: I did Google's PROJECT STREAM, which was basically the alpha for this service, with ASSASSIN'S CREED ODYSSEY on a pretty gimpy internet with my PC connected on wireless and had no problems whatsoever. Neither do I have issues with PS NOW. Streaming games is not a new thing; it's really not as demanding as many are making it out to be.

Avatar image for Arkhalipso

@ticktockman1979: How fast was it? Maybe what you think is "gimpy" is enough, but most people don't even have that kind of connection.

Avatar image for IanNottinghamX

Does noone understand that internet infrastructure in many parts of the world cannot support a streaming platform? Alot of states in the USA, Australia and even in EU there are places that cant get the kind of connection speeds to facilitate this. I mean....I wish them luck but this will likely go the way of other efforts that tried the same thing. Unless Google Fiber becomes worldwide.

Avatar image for doremonhg9x

@IanNottinghamX: That's why Google has been investing heavily in internet infrastructure the past decade.

Avatar image for IanNottinghamX

@doremonhg9x: That doesnt matter. What matters is that a lot of peoples isps around the world arent built for this type of a service. Thats what makes this a joke. It the same cloud gaming nonsense in a shiny new package.

Avatar image for NTM23

I don't really care about streaming games, however, I am curious. I just worry about image quality and stability. It also depends on the price, which is a hard sell to me for streaming games. I'm just not interested in that. Digital Foundry makes it sound exciting, but I don't know.

Avatar image for lzand0z

and how are they going to combat data usage policies of internet providers... long gone are the days of unlimited data. am i going to have to pay an extra 50 bucks a month ON TOP OF what google charges just to play games? if so, ill pass.

also, do people realize that we no longer own the games we buy on these platforms. even steam, GOG, playstation store, etc?

personally ive accepted this reality, but it IS a reality we have to come to grips with.