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Home / Tech / Game over for consoles? 5 things you need to know about Google Stadia gaming platform

Game over for consoles? 5 things you need to know about Google Stadia gaming platform

Google takes on consoles with its new Stadia gaming platform. Here’s everything you need to know about the new gaming service.

tech Updated: Mar 20, 2019 11:41 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
The Alphabet Inc. unit unveiled a new game streaming service called Stadia. The announcement marks a major new foray into the $180 billion industry for the internet giant.
The Alphabet Inc. unit unveiled a new game streaming service called Stadia. The announcement marks a major new foray into the $180 billion industry for the internet giant. (Bloomberg)
         

“The future of gaming is not a box.” At least, Google believes so. With the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo ruling the $180 billion industry for decades, Google wants a piece of the pie with its new Stadia gaming platform.

Google is taking a different approach to the hardware-driven space as its new Stadia is completely cloud-based for end users. Leveraging its robust cloud ecosystem and high-end data centres, Google Stadia aims to make consoles redundant altogether.

At the ongoing Game Developer Conference (GDC) in San Fransisco, Google detailed its new platform, erstwhile known as Project Stream. Google also launched its own controllers that fully leverage the new Stadia platform.

How does Google Stadia work?

As mentioned above, Google Stadia doesn’t require users to invest in a new console. Instead, users can play graphic-inetnsive games on-the-go on devices that has active internet connections. In the back-end, you’re essentially streaming content from Google’s data centres. Essentially, you don’t need to download an update or any application and simply start playing a game.

Google at its GDC demo showcased that Stadia is compatible with phones, laptops and even Chromecast Ultra. Google Stadia is also kind of twitch as it allows players to stream and watch games on YouTube. As expected, there’s also integration with Google Assistant and other essential Google applications.

Technical details

Google has promised to reveal more about its gaming platform later this year. For now, it has confirmed Stadia is capable of streaming games at up to 4K HDR at 60fps and surround sound at the time of release. In the future, Google Stadia will be capable of streaming at up to 8K resolution at 120fps.

Phil Harrison, vice president of Google LLC, holds the new Google gaming controller during an event at the Game Developers Conference.
Phil Harrison, vice president of Google LLC, holds the new Google gaming controller during an event at the Game Developers Conference. ( Bloomberg )

Connectivity requirements

Stadia users will be able to stream games in 4K resolution with over 25Mbps internet connection. Google’s new service currently works only on Wi-Fi. The company aims to make the service compatible with 5G network as well. The optional Stadia controller also works with Wi-Fi connectivity.

Games

At the moment, Google Stadia doesn’t have a big catalogue of compatible games. For now, users will be able to play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Doom Eternal. Soon, users will see a “play now” option on YouTube trailers and videos of these games. The link will direct them to online game without anything to download or install.

Availability

Google Stadia will launch first in the US, Canada, UK and Europe. The company will share more details about the list of games you’ll be able to play with Stadia later this year. There’s no word on the availability of the service in India. Google hasn’t revealed the pricing model for the new service. According to reports, it might be similar to a Netflix-like model, allowing users to play different games with single monthly or annually subscription charges.

Bonus

Google isn’t alone in its endeavors to build a console-free gaming ecosystem. Microsoft is also working on xCloud platform that also leverages cloud and data centres. It is also compatible with 5G and expected to support 4G LTE. Learn more about Microsoft xCloud gaming platform here.