Shut Up and Take My Money: Google Stadia
Called Google Stadia, games will run on servers within Google’s data centers. Players will connect via a computer, laptop, tablet, mobile phone, smart TV, a dumb TV with an attached Chromecast; basically a video screen with an internet connection.
To play the game, users can use a thrid party controller or keyboard / mouse combo as well as Google’s own controller, designed specifically for the service. Google is aiming for streams up to 4K resolution as 60 frames per second, along with support for HDR and surround sound.
They also hope to scale to 8K resolution eventually at 120 frames per second. Of course, this will all be dependent on a users’s connection speed. Anyone with a slower download speed may be restricted to lower resolutions, like 1080p at 3o frames per second. Google didn’t not indicate if there would be pricing tiers for each resolution level.
It’s likely that Google is attempting to make a play for Twitch users and try to bring those folks to YouTube for publishing live streams. Hypothetically, a user would be able to watch someone play a game, then immediately shift over to playing the game themselves, assuming it’s included in a subscription model.
Of course, one of the biggest roadblocks could end up being data caps put in place by ISP companies. Streaming 4K video off Netflix eats up roughly 7GB to 10GB of bandwidth per hour. If Google Stadia’s video feeds require similar data usage, playing a game like Red Dead Redemption 2 from start to finish (roughly 50 hours) could eat up 350GB to 500GB of data, potentially half a 1TB monthly data cap.
Google did not announce when Stadia would launch (beyond stating 2019) nor release any information on pricing. It’s possible Google will release more information during the Google I/O 2019 conference at the end of May. Microsoft is also rumored to be making a leap into streaming gaming, likely announcing around E3 during early June 2019.
You can check out a video of Google Stadia announcement below: