Google’s upcoming game streaming service, Stadia, could have a huge impact on how we play video games. Rather than having to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for gaming equipment such as a console or gaming PC, it allows you to play on Internet-connected devices you likely already have, such as your smartphone, tablet, smart TV or PC.
Google Stadia is a Netflix-style streaming service for video games. As long as you have access to a fast enough Internet connection you will be able to use the service, though it is believed that the required speed will be as low as 15Mbps. Your Internet speed will determine the quality of your gaming experience. An article by Digital Trends states that 30Mbps will be required for 4K streaming. Internet speeds with this service shouldn’t be much of a concern for most as the average download speed in Canada is 76.23Mbps and 96.25Mbps in the US, according to Speedtest by Ookla.
Google Stadia is accessed by using the Google Chrome web browser and going to the Stadia homepage. Also, if you are watching a YouTube video containing a game available on the service there will be a button on the page that will enable you to instantly start playing that game. Thanks to the games being stored and processed on a server there will be no waiting for games to load or download.
At 10.7 teraflops, the hardware being used for the service is more powerful than the Xbox One X and PlayStation Pro combined. The beta for the Stadia allowed for 4K resolutions at up to 60fps in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Google has confirmed that the service will launch with the same performance specs as the beta. Google has confirmed that the service will be upgraded in the future to support 8K at 120fps . Techradar believes that these specs will carry over to most games considering Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a very graphically intense game.
At the moment there is no information on what the pricing will be like for the service, but many gaming websites such as Game Rant believe that it will be a subscription service. This would likely mean that you pay monthly or annually, similar to services like Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus.
There is also an optional controller you can get that is rumoured to be in the price range of an Xbox One or PS4 controller ($50 to $80). The reviews of the controller from most tech sites, including the one from TechRadar are positive. The controller connects to WiFi rather than the device you are using the service on for quicker and better access to Google’s servers allowing for lower latency and less lag. The controller has a few intuitive features that Google was smart to add. Firstly, it has Google Assistant built in. By using the microphone built into the controller you can ask Google Assistant for help with a game you are playing, such as how to complete a level you are stuck on, or get tips to give you an edge of your opponents. Phil Harrison, Google’s vice president and general manager, stated game developers also have the ability to integrate Google Assistant into their games to add their own commands. The controller also features rechargeable batteries that can be powered up using the widely common USB-C connector.
Google is setting up Stadia to be your go-to place for video gaming. With the convenience of being able to use the service on any device with Google Chrome it allows you to play anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. Stadia has a lot of revolutionary features, and judging by the buzz on the internet about Stadia, it seems like it could be big. Considering the way game streaming services have done poorly in the past, it could flop unless Google does things right.