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How Google Stadia Is Going to Change the Future of Gaming

With Stadia, Google is about to penetrate the gaming industry - and change it - in a big way.
Ishaan Govardhan

Game Streaming: A Revolutionary Concept

Google has announced a cloud-based game streaming service called Stadia. With Stadia, you'll be able to stream games on any device that has Google Chrome (and a good internet connection). While watching a gameplay video on YouTube, you’ll be able to jump right into that game. You can skip installing games and just play straight from your browser!
The audacious premise of streaming AAA games over an internet browser sounds ludicrous at first, but it has already been proven to work − with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Months after its release, a few lucky AC Odyssey players were given the opportunity to test the game on Chrome. As one of the first experiments of its kind, this test run was successful.

Is Stadia the Netflix of Gaming?

Thanks to the convenience of services like Netflix and Twitch, many of us prefer streaming to downloading. Just about every form of entertainment is streamed online these days, so why not video games?

As per YouTube stats, 50 billion hours of gaming videos were watched in 2018 alone. And Stadia aims to make games playable online, through such YouTube videos.

Cloud Gaming Technology

Stadia works by offloading all the processing of the game’s visuals to the cloud (Google server). So, your gaming device’s specs won’t matter. On Stadia, you’ll be able to play high-end games with 4K image quality at 60 fps on any Chromecast device, including the one you’re reading this on. Google is expecting to deliver 8k quality at 120 fps, down the line!

Next-Gen, Next Era

Stadia will reduce the need for heavy duty gaming hardware in the future, as all the heavy lifting will be taken care of, by Google servers. Stadia hardware is powered by a customized AMD GPU, which delivers a whopping 10.7 teraflops of power (compared to PS4 Pro’s 4.2 teraflops and Xbox One X’s 6 teraflops). It’s also supported by Unreal Engine and Unity.

Seamless Gaming

Stadia users will be able to join the game at any moment in the YouTube video, picking up the gameplay seamlessly. Essentially, each YouTube video will act as a save file (thanks to State Share tech). Users can even switch between devices during gameplay, and resume where they left off with no loading time. Instant access with no need of high-end hardware.

Google’s Vision

Google wants Stadia users to be able to skip the hassles of downloading and installing games, and just start playing. Waiting and loading times are now a thing of the past.
Google recently unveiled its new Stadia Controllers. They connect directly to the server via WiFi. You can press a button to contact a helpful Google Assistant who will offer tips to improve your gameplay. And another button to start streaming your gameplay on YouTube. Games will be bought online at the virtual Stadia store.

More Densely-Packed Games

Soon, game developers will have the freedom to develop games that demand more processing power. Google has even claimed that battle royale games with 1000+ players are in our future!

Google has also announced the launch of their own developer studio called "Stadia Games and Entertainment".

Competitors About to Enter the Fray

Cloud to device gaming is shaping up to be the next big thing. Google’s rivals Sony, Microsoft and even Amazon are all gearing up to face Google in this new arena of the gaming industry, with their own cloud gaming projects in various stages of development.

Preparing for the Future

Games in their current state are not compatible with Stadia. Developers will need to work on their games, to make them streamable. With id Software’s Doom Eternal slated to be released on Stadia, Google is expecting other game studios to follow suit.

Not the Safest Bet

Google hasn’t revealed the pricing details yet. And concerns regarding Stadia’s internet bandwidth requirement haven't been clarified either. A minimum internet speed of 25-30 Mbps will be required to maintain the internet connection and play on Stadia (at high resolution). But as per a survey, the average American network speed is less than about 20 Mbps.
With data centers and servers all over the globe, Google has the infrastructure needed to tackle poor bandwidth issues.

Set to launch in late 2019Stadia has essentially managed to sidestep the gaming console war, by kicking off a cloud gaming war that will decide the future of gaming. With Stadia, Google is changing the status quo, hopefully for the better.