Google unveiled its next gen video game streaming service Stadia today at the Game Developers Conference. The response on social media was pretty standard, lots of jokes about lag and a general "meh" attitude. The "who cares" attitude makes a lot of sense with just some basic information in hand, that said after I watched the above Digital Foundry Stadia spec explanation and comparison of it alongside current generation consoles it seems much more compelling.

Stadia First Generation Machine Specs

The first thing that's compelling to me about Stadia is that Google is focusing the first generation offering on a cloud system spec that blows current consoles out of the water. Whereas it's not hard to get a PC to beat an XBox One getting that to run seamlessly in the cloud is and if Google ties all of it together well, Stadia could be very interesting. According to Digital Foundry the base Stadia specs are 2.7GHZ Hyper-threaded CPU, Customer AMD 10.7 Teraflop / 1495 MHz GPU, 16G RAM & practically unlimited SSD storage.

Stadia Will Stream Through YouTube

Google has said that you can watch a video of Assassin's Creed and immediately click a button to play it in Stadia. Apparently Stadia games will be easy to share and embedded just like YouTube and just as easy to watch on all your devices. It's an interesting concept that you could buy a TV with Stadia embedded in it and play triple A games streaming right to it without any updates right out of the box.

The Stadia Controller Connects over Wifi

The Google Stadia controller doesn't connect to your device over Bluetooth but Wifi so you can play games on devices that don't support controller connectivity such as Google's Chromecast. I've never heard of a controller connecting over WiFi which would impose some lag but also make connectivity as easy as connecting to Wifi.

The Final Countdown & Questions

Simply streaming video games isn't enough to get people to use Stadia but the way Google is approaching it will. After this announcement I was solidly moved from the "meh" camp to eagerly interested in Stadia. That's a big movement considering I love owning video games, films and music and have quite a collection already. I view Stadia a lot like I view Netflix in that the films and games I love i'll still buy but Stadia might offer a great alternative to ownership when you just want to play something for a handful of hours or don't want to invest in expensive hardware.

My only question at this point is how Stadia be monetized? Will you buy games on Stadia just like any other store and then Google streams that game to you for all time? Will Stadia be a Netflix like service where you pay Google monthly fee for all the games you can play?

It's a secret to everybody.

Travis   Admin wrote on 03/20/2019 at 04:06am

I'm kinda all over the place on this. I don't know what to think. In terms of utility I don't see this being significantly different *for me* than PS Now (which I've played around with, and it works very well, but the cost put me off a bit). Now that said, people without gaming hardware or gaming-capable PCs could find a lot of utility in this, especially if it's a monthly fee.

On the tech side, though, I'm very interested. I can't wait for the inevitable comparison videos of all the different game streaming services. At minimum, a new major competitor will drive others to improve their services. Can you imagine paying a small monthly fee to Valve to be able to stream anything you own over the internet? That would be a different way to do it.

The service pricing and/or game cost is going to be the big thing here, plus controller performance. Streaming already introduces some lag and the Wifi controller will a bit too.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 03/21/2019 at 12:46am

When I heard what Google Stadia is and that it’s gonna be based on Linux and Vulcan I immediately realize why Valve might be working in that arena. Imagine a world where Linux and Vulcan powers the Valve game cloud and they use their fresh new Wine to emulate all your other games.

If Valve launched that with the ability to play all you existing games, it might be game over for everything else.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 03/21/2019 at 12:47am

Plus Steam can stream games around your house already. Step 2 might be out of their data centers.

Travis   Admin wrote on 03/22/2019 at 08:55pm

Yes, that would pretty much be game over man. I'm drooling at the thought.

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