And we are here, ladies and gentlemen. Google at today’s conference at GDC 2019 presented its idea for virtual gameplay. Let’s say hello to Google Stadia – a streaming platform for gaming, thanks to which we can launch powerful AAA titles using our PC, phone, tablet or TV. Sounds familiar? Yes, but Google declares that it has a patent for it, and we will be pleased!
Google Stadia is about to make a revolution in the gaming market, offering instant gameplay with the touch of a button. The creators of this magical service boast on a simple example – are you watching someone else’s gameplay on YouTube? One click is all it takes and you’re instantly in the game, even right up to the same moment! Sounds fabulous? We’ll see how it works in practice. We will not download anything, install or download updates. This solution is already known from the Nvidia Shield platform or earlier streaming services, but this time it is Google – a global giant with an infinitely deep pocket full of cash, powerful servers and huge ambitions.
So what, Full HD resolution, 60 frames and medium details, to make it work somehow? Just not!
What intrigued me the most about Google Stadia is the quality that this service is supposed to offer. For owners of high-speed internet connections, even 4K and 60 frames per second with HDR have been prepared, and in the future Google plans to expand the possibilities by implementing even 8K and 120 frames. What do we need to get started? In fact, only a PC, TV or mobile device and the Google Chrome browser. That’s all. It’s strange to run large productions on the fly from the browser, but it looks like the future, whether we like it or not. A pad that looks… absolutely standard. Nice, aesthetic, elegant, but without panache and finesse Although Stadia works with all controllers available on the market, the company has prepared its own device. It looks amazing… standard. From the California giant I could expect more creativity, but maybe this pad is just supposed to do its job. It is a classic device with symmetrically arranged analog knobs, equipped with an absolutely standard set of buttons + two additional buttons in the middle, offering extended functions. Nothing more, nothing less. On the one hand, this is a very good solution, because game producers will be able to quickly and painlessly adapt their titles to the Google service, on the other hand. we would like to shout WOW here.
Although Stadia is not a classic console, the creators still boasted about its theoretical power
Google compared the performance of its platform to consoles already on the market. Let me remind you that PlayStation 4 Pro has the power of 4.2 TFLOPS , Xbox One X comes to 6 TFLOPS , and – at least in theory – Stadia hits the impressive 10.7 TFLOPS . The servers use the bandwidth of HBM2 memory (the latest available on the market) with a capacity of 16 GB and processors in the standard x86 architecture for PCs, clocked at 2.7 GHz. Obviously, supporting multithreading and AVX2 instructions, needed today to speed up calculations. Behind all these “guts” is AMD. Pretty good, because the theoretical power is therefore higher than that of a single RTX 2080 card.
Here is the full specification of the servers on which the games will be launched
Google Stadia also uses several features that remain unavailable from competitors. For example, if we are streaming the game, we can invite our friends to play, who will start the game at the same time. What’s more, the multiplayer will be devoid of cheaters (because we will not upload our files to the server). In addition, we will use a function called “State Share”, which allows us to redirect our friends to one selected stage, for example to help in defeating an opponent or scoring more points. We play as we want and decide how we have fun. Very nice!
Exclusive games for Google Stadia? Yes!
As you well know for several days, Google hired the well-known and popular Jade Raymond. The author of the popular Assassin’s Creed series was appointed head of the first Google first-party studio and has her own idea for a game background. We can expect large AAA productions, which I am very happy about, because the company does not lay down their weapons and is seriously fighting. The more that Jade will use the full potential of this platform. The company does not forget about the other game developers, of course, so now we can expect many hits available on offer, from such producers as Ubisoft, ID Software or Tequila Studios, the authors of the popular “Rime”.
When will it go to Poland? We don’t know the details yet
The service will debut in the world this year , ultimately in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and some European countries, but unfortunately Poland is not on the list. I hope that the situation with the voice assistant, which we received almost three years after the world premiere, will not repeat here.
Google is killing Android Things software
We also do not know the prices of such a service, although I must admit that Google surprised me positively. Everything indicates that they have their own idea and will consistently develop it, and I believe that they can invest huge amounts of money and seriously threaten even Microsoft. There is nothing better than healthy competition.
Is game streaming a modern technology or a song of the future?
Streaming has been around for a long time as the future of games. However, no company was able to fully implement this idea and fulfill its promises. Google assures that it will be different in his case. The number of servers the company has almost everywhere in the world makes these promises a bit more credible – no one else has such an infrastructure. The problem is that servers aren’t everything. I believe in Google’s infrastructure, but that’s not the problem. Streaming is unreliable, because not everything is due to super fast servers, everything has to go through the user’s private link, and this is sometimes a very bottleneck. It’s not only about download speed, but also uploads and delays. Google promises a lot. Streaming in 1080p at 60fps is a piece of cake. The company is already talking about playing in 8k resolution, but conservatively leaves these plans for the future. The first game available from Stadia will be Doom Eternal. When it shows up, we’ll see how Google’s promises relate to the gray reality of common links.
When and for how much
Stadia will start this year in many countries of America, Asia and Europe, but Poland is missing from the list – hopefully not more. The price of the service is not known at the moment, but it is possible that there will be different subscription tiers and premium titles that will be paid additionally. However, this is only speculation so far.