If anyone remember’s OnLive streaming service you probably rolled your eyes today seeing that Stadia announcement. But this time that kind of service might actually work because it has millions of dollars behind it and potential user base is huge.
Play anywhere straight from YouTube
Imagine playing the Doom remake in 4K @ 60 FPS on your smartphone, crappy tablet, Chromecast (which means your Smart TV too!) or notebook. Just plug-in the gamepad and everything should work flawlessly. Can’t really say if they are going to provide mouse and keyboard support at the moment. The “console” is essentially servers and data centers, your progress and saves are synced across platforms.
As they nicely said on XDA Developers:
They demonstrated an example of watching a trailer for a video game on YouTube. You could tap a button at the end of the trailer to quickly jump into the game in as little as 5 seconds. No booting up your console or waiting for game updates to install. It doesn’t matter what platform you’re using, the game can easily be transferred mid-game to other devices.
This right here is a no brainer, you see a game, you love it and jump right in. Pretty much a killer idea right here.
Speaking of gamepads they have one of their own and it looks like a mixture of Xbox and Playstation gamepad. My personal preference is still the Xbox controller at this point (thumb sticks are just perfectly placed on this one).
The end of physical and digital sales?
I think it’s safe to say if this catches on like Netflix and Spotify, soon you won’t be able to buy a single title (or it won’t be affordable at all) – instead you will be paying a monthly subscription fee for access to various games on various platforms.
Competition is always good
Now Stadia isn’t the only big player. Xbox has it’s own xCloud project pretty much ready, coming with their successful Xbox Game Pass, to all major platforms – including Nintendo.
Valve opened up their Steam Link app to work with your PC Steam games without the need of local network, you can now leave your PC on and stream the games to your mobile device if you join the current beta on PC client. This is pretty similar but there is no cloud streaming, just your own ISP connection and your machine running which isn’t really ideal if you look at power consumption etc.
The nerd stuff
Obviously, performance is a big issue when it comes to these types of services. Can they really compete with suped-up PC gaming rigs? Google certainly seems to think so. At launch, Stadia will support 4K @ 60FPS gameplay and they are working on adding 8K @ 120FPS support in the future.
They partnered with AMD to build a custom GPU for their data center. That GPU has 10.7 teraflops of power, 56 compute units, and HBM2 memory. The CPU has a custom x86 processor clocked at 2.7GHz, hyperthreaded, and AVX 2. Memory comes in at 16GB in total with up to 484 GB/s transfer speed, and L2+L3 cache of 9.5MB.
Official reveal video below:
Source: XDA Developers