Google first teased its exciting new gaming project, Google Stadia in March. Since then, more information has been released, culminating in a big unveiling at E3.
The key differentiator between Stadia and the more traditional Xbox and Playstation offerings is that the Stadia runs completely in the cloud.
That’s right. There’s no hardware to buy. There isn’t even a console, as such. Instead, you can use basically any internet-connected device to play games. That includes your smart TV, your Chromecast, your laptop, and even your phone (as long as it’s a Google Pixel).
It works by hosting the game on Google’s own infrastructure. Google Stadia, You then connect to the game. It’s basically like streaming music or movies, a la Spotify or Netflix. But instead, you’re playing the latest games.
And yes, you will be able to play the latest games. As of now, the following titles have been announced as launch games for the Stadia:
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
The Crew 2
Dragon Ball Xenoverse
The Elder Scrolls Online
Farming Simulator 19
Final Fantasy 15
Mortal Kombat 11
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
Tomb Raider Definitive Edition
There’s something for everyone, and the collection is only going to get bigger and wider with time.
Stadia is due to launch later this year, and obviously, Google Stadia, only time will tell whether it’s a success. But I, for one, am highly optimistic about it. In fact, I believe that Stadia marks the future of gaming. Here’s why…
There’s no console to buy. That means you don’t have to spend half your paycheck in one fell swoop for a new console, a couple of games, and a spare controller.
Instead, you pay a subscription. It will cost you $9.99 a month for unlimited access to the Stadia game library.
Compare that to the Ps4 Pro which launched at around $400. That’s over three years-worth of paying for Stadia.
This is far more accessible price-point for the cash-strapped people who want to play the latest games, and it’s even better for kids who no longer have to nag their parents for an expensive console.
With Stadia, your console is any device that you connect to the internet. Google Stadia, It works via Google’s Chrome browser, so any device you use to access that will be able to access Stadia.
The best part is that you don’t even need a high-end gaming PC (read: expensive) to play. The game is run on the cloud, so it isn’t CPU intensive. As long as you have a decent graphics card and sound system, you’re good to go.
It means that you can literally play games wherever you are, provided you have an internet connection. And seeing as free WiFi is becoming more common, and 5G is being rolled out in several countries, chances are you’ll always have an internet connection.
You can even play on your phone. For now, only the Google Pixel will be supported, but the plan is to roll out on more devices over time.
If there’s one thing I hate when I switch on my console, it’s being told that I have to update my game before I start playing. Sometimes it takes ages. Google Stadia, By the time it’s done, I’ve moved on and I’m doing something else.
The beauty of running games in the cloud is that they’ll always be updated. Every time you connect to a game on Stadia, you’ll be connecting to the most recent version of the game.
It’ll also make it easier for developers to roll out updates to their titles.
For starters, Google is happy to implement a cross-platform multiplayer, meaning you can play with your friends who use the other major consoles. (This is, of course, dependent on them allowing it too.)
It gets better. Because Google’s servers will be running the game, they can control the whole experience. This means games with potentially thousands of players in one instance. That could make games like Fortnite a whole more chaotic.
The benefits also extend to local multiplayer instances. Currently, these can be very CPU intensive as it involves two or more different games going on at once. With Google, each player would count as a single instance of the game, so there would be no decline in quality.
Google is planning to implement a range of extra features. Google Stadia, A notable example is great for fans of streamers. You could be watching your favorite streamer on Youtube, and then with a click, you could dive in and play the same game.
Friends can share links to certain points of a game, effectively allowing you to let your friend experience a particularly challenging or rewarding part of it.
Google’s Assistant will also be on hand at all times, enabling you to access guides and walkthroughs should you come unstuck. And, with a click of a button, you can share a 4K stream of your game to Youtube for you to watch back later or share with others.
The Future Of Gaming?