Google has unveiled a new cloud gaming platform called “Stadia” which will stream console-quality games to multiple devices such as TVs, PCs, tablets and smartphones. These types of games have traditionally only been available to play using home-owned hardware such a PlayStation 4 or XBox One console, using software downloaded from the internet or purchased on disc.Google may be about to steal a march on the video game business, and change its future, by allowing viewers of YouTube gaming videos to simply click a button and actually enter that game and begin playing it themselves.
Introduced at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, “Stadia” will be a cloud-based system where games run elsewhere, on Google’s own high-end hardware, but users connect to the game with their device via the web. The technology will operate best when used with Stadia’s dedicated controller which links directly to Google’s servers to interact with the game, rather than via the device being used to view it on. This will reduce latency or lag (the delay between a player performing an action, and the game reacting to that move) and improve the quality of play. No pricing has yet been revealed but Google says Stadia will launch in 2019 in the US, Canada, UK and Europe.