Google made their big GDC announcement today, and it is indeed for their own
game streaming service which they call Stadia. This revives the original
promises rolled out with the first cloud gaming announcement, saying all the
computation and rendering will happen on the back end, allowing high-end games
to be played on any screen without a console or an expensive computer. An
article on NBC news
relates the details, noting games need to be developed
for the platform: "Google needs game studios to build titles for Stadia. It says
developers can build on its cloud or in their own studios. id Software is
already building 'Doom Eternal' for Stadia and demoed it on stage. Another
developer, Tequila Studios, showed its game 'Rime' running on the platform."
Google explained a bit how it will work. The company said
that if someone is watching a video of a game on YouTube, they could hit a
button that says "play now" and jump right into playing the game themselves in
as fast as five seconds. Today, gamers have to buy physical games or wait, often
hours, for the game to download before they can play. Even then, they also need
special hardware to play those games.
Google says Stadia will run on "any screen type" but it will work on desktops,
laptops, TVs, tablets and phones at launch. There's no box at all.
"With Stadia, the data center is your platform," Google said. A gamer can start
on one platform and then pick up where they left off on another devices, which
means you might game on your computer and then continue on your phone when you
leave the house.
People will be able to play with a keyboard and mouse or a special Stadia
controller that Google will sell. It has a capture button that lets people share
their games right to YouTube so that other people can watch. It also has a
Google Assistant button, which gives access to the microphone for speaking to
in-game features that developers will be able to build into their games.
Google said it will support 4K games at 60fps with HDR but that, in the future,
will support games up to 8K resolution. Most people don't yet own 8K TVs and
only the most recent gaming consoles from Microsoft and Sony currently support
4K HDR gaming.
AMD helps Google power Stadia's graphics rendering in the cloud. AMD shares were
up about 7 percent on news that it was partnering with Google on Stadia.