Google announces Stadia, a new cloud-based gaming platform, at its GDC 2019 keynote Tuesday morning. It’s a major move for Google into the video game business, which is increasingly building toward streaming as a solution.
Stadia is not a dedicated console or set-top box. The platform will be accessible over the internet on a variety of platforms: browsers, computers, TVs, and mobile devices. In an onstage demonstration of Stadia, Google showed someone playing a game on a Chromebook, then playing it on a phone, then immediately playing it on PC, picking up where the game left off in real time. Stadia supports 4K at 60FPS with HDR and surround sound at launch, Google hopes to get to 8K resolution in the future.This is a step up from 1080p during the Project Stream technical test last October. On the sharing front, Stadia users will be able to share a 4K 60FPS stream directly to YouTube. With Stadia, YouTube watchers can press “Play now” at the end of a video, and be brought into the game within 5 seconds. The service provides “instant access” via button or link, just like any other piece of content on the web.
As for what games Stadia might feature, announcements are currently still scarce. In addition to featuring games like Doom Eternal, Google created its own studio that will work on Stadia-exclusive experiences, led by longtime developer and executive Jade Raymond.