When you think of ways to play big-name video games, you probably think of Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony’s PlayStation or Nintendo’s Switch.
If Google has its way, you’ll soon be considering its Stadia service too.
The tech giant announced its new streaming game service at a press event during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday. The new service, called Stadia, is designed as a way for people to play and watch gaming together, Google said. The company said it plans to bring together players, broadcasters on YouTube and game developers to create a new experience.
That’s the idea of Google’s cloud gaming service, Stadia. From Chrome tab to 4K, 60fps game, in five seconds. No installation. Google promises that Google Stadia’s cloud computing power is the equivalent of a console running at 10.7 GPU terraflops, that’s more than the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X combined. If Google delivers on this promise, then it could be a game-changer.
Google is not making a gaming console.
It is, however, launching a streaming service just for video games that will work on any TV with Chromecast, computers running a Chrome browser, and Google’s Pixel devices. You don’t download the games to your devices, just play them over any Wi-Fi connection.
The Netflix-like product is called Stadia (that’s the proper plural of “stadium”) and is expected to launch later this year with big name titles including “Assassins Creed Odyssey” and special YouTube features. Even without a console, it could help Google take on game industry leaders Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.
At launch Google promises Stadia will support desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones – without the need for a hardware box, instead running on Google’s own data center.