Today the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, Google showed off its brand new game streaming service. Stadia (as in the Latin plural of “stadium”) will be available everywhere that Chrome is: PCs, phones, tablets, and televisions, with current hardware.
Google gave us a preview of its system with Project Stream last year. But Stadia is built from the ground up for both streaming and sharing. The service will stream games at up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second (depending on your connection, of course), with even more resolution and speed planned for future upgrades. 8K and 120 FPS support is on the roadmap.
At any time players can move the game they’re playing from one device to another, without canceling out or losing progress. And a constantly-running stream of gameplay can be shared to YouTube at any time. The service works on anything that can run an app, including low-cost Chromecasts—the demonstration TV was using a Chromecast Ultra.
Google’s new platform is indeed, a platform, not merely a series of virtualized Windows PCs as seen on services like OnLive or GeForce NOW. The backbone gives developers an x86 Linux instance running the Vulkan graphics API, with processor and GPU hardware twice as powerful as an Xbox One X or PS4 Pro (so about the same as a high-end gaming PC). Developers can even get the system to run on multiple GPUs if the game requires it.
What about controlling these games? The system will work with existing “USB controllers” according to Google’s Phil Harrison, as well as standard mice and keyboards. But Google is also releasing a dedicated…
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