Google introduced the gaming service Stadia

What is Stadia?

Cloud gaming service. You don’t need a powerful device to play – all calculations take place in the cloud, the user is simply streamed and collected information about clicks.

So far, it has been announced to work on any device with support for current versions of the Chrome browser: TVs with Chromecast, laptops, chromebooks, smartphones, tablets. In the future, they promise to expand the project to other operating systems and browsers. At the start, streaming will be available up to 4K-resolution and a frame rate of 60 fps, in the future they promise support for 8K and 120 frames per second.

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How it works

To make games run smoothly in the cloud, Google worked with AMD to create 10.7 teraflops of server modules. For comparison, the performance of the Xbox One X is 6 teraflops, the PS4 Pro is 4.2 teraflops. Google describes a Stadia computer like this: a custom SoC from AMD with a clock speed of 2.7 GHz, 16 GB of RAM, bandwidth up to 484 GB / sec. A key feature that Google is betting on is an extensive infrastructure that will allow players from all over the world to experience the lowest latency. Stadia equipment will be installed in 7,500 of the company’s server farms around the world.  If the game is multiplayer, reducing the latency for Stadia players will supposedly ensure that traffic flows directly between Google’s servers. Accordingly, there will be no cheaters. At the same time, there will be support for cross-platform multiplayer. Google says that Stadia’s capabilities open the way for thousands of battle royals with modern graphics and complete destructibility. Nowadays, battle royale games usually support up to 100 players on the map. Another plus: instant installation of games and no delays in installing patches or updates. It takes less than 5 seconds from adding a game to the first launch.

What kind of gamepad

Google is not going to make a separate console for Stadia – the point is to play on any relatively modern device. You can use regular USB gamepads for input, but Google has also developed one. It works over Wi-Fi and connects directly to the Google data center, bypassing the local computer. This is another effort to reduce latency.

There will also be dedicated buttons on the joystick for saving screenshots and calling the Google Assistant voice assistant. You can ask “How to complete the game?” – the assistant will tell you the walkthrough on YouTube.

What can you play

DOOM announced at the start  : Eternal , Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and NBA2K . What the service library will be at the time of launch is still unknown. The picture quality can be roughly estimated by a two-minute recording of DOOM: Eternal gameplay  at 4K and 60fps.

Google also launched its own studio, Stadia Games and Entertainment. She will develop platform exclusives. Jade Raymond from EA Motive (released the Battlefront II campaign ) was lured to the position of the head  . Raymond was at the forefront of the  Assassin’s Creed series .

Also, Google has established contact with third-party developers – more than 100 studios have received Stadia devkits, support for the creators of key engines (Havok, CryEngine, Unreal ENGINE and Unity) is declared .

What about social functions

You don’t need to create a separate account, you can use a standard one. Google has made a big bet on integrating Stadia and YouTube. It will be possible to record and stream gameplay directly to YouTube in maximum quality without additional effort or loss of performance.  If the author allows you to join his game, it will be possible to go to the gameplay simply by pressing one button on YouTube. It will be possible to share game moments in the form of a short link – after clicking on it, another user will be in the same place, with the same character characteristics and loot.

What questions to the service

Google did not clarify a number of key points about Stadia. For example, the exact release date is unknown – they promise to launch Stadia during 2019. But the geography of the project is known. Among the countries of the first wave: the USA, Canada, the Central European states and the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Ukraine is not on the list.  Also unknown is the cost and operating principle of Stadia. What will users pay for: during the game, for a monthly subscription? Google also did not specify whether it will have to buy digital copies of games. Finally, the list of games that will be available on the platform is also unclear . Google will clearly not limit the project to three releases, but is not yet ready to name other partners. The main thing is that the network requirements are not clear . What is the optimal connection speed and ping? What is the default latency of the service? Since Google did not provide any official information, the only source was early  Digital Foundry tests . They played  Assassin’s Creed Odyssey at 1080p and 30 frames per second. The game showed graphics comparable to the PC version, but the image sinned with artifacts when moving quickly. The controls were generally responsive – the latency was 166ms, which is comparable to the Xbox One X, but higher than the PC. If you use a proprietary controller, the input lag will be less, confident in Google.

Why Stadia won’t be “another Google service”

In an interview with Kotaku, the head of Google Stadia, Phill Harrison, described how the company views the project. The journalists have reasonable doubts – will the gaming platform become the same ambitious project that will be closed in a few years, like Google Plus? Harrison assures that there is no such prospect.

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