Google Launches New Stadia Game Streaming Service

Posted on March 19, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Games, Google, Xbox One with 50 Comments

Google is officially getting into the gaming industry today.

The company just took the wraps off Stadia, it’s game streaming service. Codenamed Yeti, Google has been rumoured to be working on the service for a while now. The naming is inspired by stadiums, and how people started coming around for sports back in the good old days. Google is pitching this as “one place” for anyone to play anything, anyone, anywhere.

Stadia brings together YouTube streamers and watchers together, according to Google. So if you are watching a game’s trailer on YouTube, you will be able to start playing that exact game instantly right from YouTube. You won’t need to download or install anything and start playing whatever game you want. You’ll also be able to stream that exact game live on YouTube at the same time. The YouTube integration here is deep — there’s a feature called Crowd Play that let you join a game with streamers right from YouTube, for example. There’s even a feature called State Share that lets you create different scenarios within games that can be shared with others, letting them go through the same scenarios and compete against you.

All of this works as long as a game is on Stadia, of course.

Google is promising 4K streaming @ 60 FPS with HDR and surround sound on Stadia. The platform also lets you play games across devices on the fly — so you can start playing a game on your phone, and pick up where you left off on your TV instantly.

Satdia will allow users to stream games from their devices, and it will be a cross-platform service that’s available on PC, Macs, phones, tablets, TVs, and more. It is launching its own Stadia controller that you can see below. Google says the Stadia controller gets you the best Stadia experience — it connects via WiFi to the Google data centres so you get the best latency. There’s a capture button that lets you take screenshots or record clips, and there’s an Assistant button that lets you access Google Assistant to get help with games.

You will be able to use your existing controllers from Xbox/PS4, however.

Google is not launching its own console. The company did, however, work with AMD to build a GPU for Stadia computers (“an instance”) that power the game streaming. The GPU has 10.7 teraflops of power, which beats the Xbox One X’s 6.0 teraflops and the PlayStation 4 Pro’s 4.2 teraflops. Each of the Stadia instances come with a GPU with 56 compute units and HBM2 memory, a custom x86 hyperthreaded processor running at a clock speed of 2.7GHz, and 16GB of RAM.

In terms of the games that will be available, Google announced Doom Eternal will be coming to Stadia in 4K @ 60fps with HDR support. Interestingly, however, Google didn’t really have much to talk about in terms of what games will be available on Stadia.

Google demoed a feature called Stream Connect, a multiplayer experience that will allow users to play together and against each other. Google showed off how developers could build their games around this multiplayer experience to allow a better squad-based gaming experience that will allow players in a squad to keep an eye on their squadmates at all times, with each player having their own Stadia instance.

Google is launching its own game studio for Stadio too, called Stadia Games and Entertainment, led by video game producer Jade Raymond. Raymond will work with other game studios and partners to bring games to Stadia while working on the company’s own original games.

Stadia will be launching sometime this year, though Google isn’t saying exactly when. It will launch first in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and “most of” Europe. Pricing details is yet to be revealed.

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Comments (50)

50 responses to “Google Launches New Stadia Game Streaming Service”

  1. m_p_w_84

    are you getting paid every time you write 'instantly'?

  2. SvenJ

    "it connects via WiFi to the Google data centres". No it doesn't. It connects via WiFi to my local router, and then is constrained by whatever my ISP can deliver. I realize this statement probably is accurate if you live on the Google campus, but not all of us do.

  3. Bob2000

    The WiFi internet controller is a clever idea and if the tech works it's impressive but not once mentioned was the bandwidth costs for all of this.

    That smells like the achielles heel of the service and for anyone with data caps this will be really bad.

  4. martinusv2

    I wonder, what OS their Stadia blades will run on? Is it Linux or Chrome based? How hard will it be for game devs to port the game in this platform?

    Microsoft and Sony have ben working on game frameworks that they send to the game devs. How good is the Google one or is it a work in progress?

    I find it strange that Google show Stadia if they are only starting in the game business. Seems Google tries to under market Microsoft with not tested tech / framework and with only one game.

    But it's getting interesting.

  5. jules_wombat

    This is a Game Changer

    • locust infested orchard inc

      Quote by Jules_Wombat, "This is Game Changer".

      Indeed it shall be a game changer. Just as one has made a stealthy approach to their opponent in a first-person shooter game on Stadia, whilst armed and primed to take down the enemy target, an ad superimposes itself onto the enemy target, and in those vital milliseconds one is shot at. Game over.

      You 0, Enemy combatant 1, Ads 10

      Adoogle wins every time.

  6. Rycott

    Oooo... 4k HDR @ 60fps... until you realise it's going to be a highly compressed video stream that will lower the quality anyway and any glitch in connectivity is going to cause lag... even in single player games.

    But then again... I'm sure there are lots of people out there who don't actually care and that's probably the market they are aiming for.

    • wright_is

      In reply to Rycott:

      Given that Amazon struggles at times to stream 4K video with the audio in sync, I'll be interested to see how Google have overcome the lag and sync problems.

  7. RonH

    "Google Launches New Stadia Game Service" 

    Shouldn't that say "Google is Launching Its New Stadia Game Streaming Service Sometime This Year" 

  8. dontbe evil

    one more way to spy and track you...enjoy

    • Winner

      In reply to dontbe_evil:

      So you think Google is untrustworthy but you like products like Edge, which had hidden and unchangeable permissions from Microsoft to allow Flash without you being able to decline that? Even a whitelist that was hidden to allow this from certain sites in countries including Russia, India, and China? That trustworthy Microsoft?

      I don't recall Google doing that sort of thing. We won't even talk about the Win 10 telemetry, or the forced upgrades with changed box behavior in Win 7 and 8.

      • alpensturm

        In reply to Winner:

        @Winner: sure, Microsoft is also collecting lots of data. Unlike Google, Microsoft is generating revenues mostly with software and services. Google on the other hand is a gigantic Spam machine, making almost all its money with every PC mouse click and movement of you phone - selling ads. You take the SIM card out of the phone and disable all location services, Google is still tracking you and making cash with it - remember Locationgate? Think a bit, before you post!

        • bill_russell

          In reply to alpensturm:

          I wish. The ads are never that good for a company that can secretly sell me a mouse ad because they can use AI to detect the clicking patterns of a worn out mouse. I actually might be impressed by that.

          But alas, they still actually make most of their income from good ol Ad-sense, which is ads at the top of search results. This actually makes more sense than some sort of gathering of info on what you secretly "really want" that they can advertise to.

  9. j_c

    Obviously we need to see what this looks like in the real world. I will say this. I don’t have a lot of free time to play games. I have to work to find time to pick up a controller for ten to fifteen minutes between everything else going on.

    More often than not a good portion of that time is spent waiiiiiiting. Waiting for updates. Waiting for things to load. Waiting to join a server.

    A service like this, if it worked, would be wonderful if it meant I could just sit down and not have to deal with waiting. It might also mean i would try new games more often.

    • wright_is

      In reply to j_c:

      Yes, I haven't had a console since my PS2 died around 2007 and I haven't played PC games since the beginning of 2008. My real life is just too busy, or I play "real" games - card games, dice games, board games - with real people at a real table.

      I just don't have the time for "proper" computer games, the only things I do play are things like tower defence on my phone when in a waiting room, for example.

      It is the same with social media, when I was on Facebook, I'd probably have about 15 minutes a month to check up on it, given that and its inherent privacy problems, I just deleted my account (2010).

  10. locust infested orchard inc

    I wanna play on Stadia the recently released game by Activision Blizzard entitled, "Blast Those F***ing Ads". :-D

  11. ubelhorj

    I don't see how these services can overcome input latency, or do most people just not care? Using Nvidia's and Steam's streaming systems just to play games over my local network, the input lag is quite noticeable.

  12. codymesh

    I was pretty disappointed that they didn't demo much of actual games that are coming or games that are running on the service. Instead, it was clear to me that Google was more interested in 50% flexing their ML chops and 50% going after Twitch.

  13. My Hell baby speaking

    Why oh why is Paul appearing so numb on the WTT podcast? I mean, what got introduced by Google totally matches with what Paul wants everybody make to believe is _the_ future of gaming.

    Oh wait, maybe it's because Google's implementation is much more radical and eradicative than Microsoft's intermediate legacy stuff.

    Sony has to fear nothing from Stadia, they have lots of unique selling points like game ips that actually matter to the gamers. Stadia is directly aiming at MS's half-a*ed vision of Play Almost Anywhere. Hilariously they even demoed true cloud based destruction, which Microsoft not even was capable to deliver a few months ago. Not to begin with we had a first peek at ML driven artistic game design. Imagine you let the AI craft extensive game worlds, only adding parameters like geography and time period - on the fly.

    In short, Google's keynote offered a lot to think about. Google is much closer to the future than expected. With Ubisoft and id on board I expect them to launch this year (and well before the next generation XBox) ready to compete. At the beginning they don't need a complete catalogue of new releases. People being a click and five seconds away from playing a game on every hardware they have will jump on the bandwagon in masses. I can even imagine Sony some time in the future offering their exclusives on Stadia. Win!

    Paul is carrying a Xbox fanboy's burden now instead of looking forward to embrace the superior implementation from a competitor. I myself couldn't care less. Mostly playing games drm free on Linux from the GOG store or high quality exclusives on the PS4, I am merely amused that this is a huge nail in the coffin of another Microsoft consumer product which is XBox. Have a nice day.

  14. nbplopes

    It will do everything smoothly but a cup of coffee. Even that may be possible in the near future.

  15. justme

    Are they bundling super fast internet too with this? Because you are going to need it.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    Anybody who has ever tried to stream games using Steam or Nvidia knows what lag feels like - and personally, it drives me nuts. I'll stick to playing locally installed games on my PC. You kids enjoy your streaming.

    Now get off my lawn.

    • DaleDietrich

      In reply to JustMe:
      It all depends on your Internet connection and the power of the backend. Steam and Nvidia have nowhere near the compute power of Google.

      • justme

        In reply to DaleDietrich:

        That’s actualky my point. Big tech companies like to think fast broadband is everywhere - it’s not . Backend can be as quick as you like, but if your network is slow or hiccups (and most home networks will have periods of both) you will get lag. Steam and NVidia suffer because most home networks can’t handle prolonged periods of what they throw at it.

  16. BrianEricFord

    For a reveal, it sure seems like we don’t know much more than we knew yesterday.

  17. Daninbusiness

    The name seems better suited for either an athletic shoe or artificial sweetener.

    That said, I am interested to hear more about how games will be sold and if there will be unique, cloud-friendly functionality added on.

    My experiences with the Project Stream AC:O testing were generally really good.

  18. winlonghorn

    I have got to say. I am really looking forward to this. I tried Project Stream with Assassins Creed and the experience (while not 4K) was absolutely stellar. I am impressed!

  19. dcdevito

    You can have all the latest coolest tech, which this has. But unless you get the biggest game studios on board this won't go anywhere. Conversely, Microsoft snatching up gaming studios is the better long term play. Games for this sector aren't mobile apps, they require huge teams and budgets and commitments .

    • Jackwagon

      In reply to dcdevito:

      Given that apparently the "test" for this was a recent Assassin's Creed game, I would be surprised if they aren't at least talking to a few AAA and mid-market publishers and developers for this.

    • SocialDanny123

      In reply to dcdevito:

      Agreed, I think the approach of having a streaming only solution isn't going to work. I think Microsoft's approach of a hybrid between the 2 is better, Microsoft can also get those old Xbox Consoles to play next Gen games.

  20. Daekar

    I have no interest in, nor the infrastructure to support, streaming games, but everybody else seems to. I'll enjoy watching to see how it all goes - whether it crashes and burns or takes off like crazy, it will be interesting either way.

  21. rm

    So, they are making it sound like your phone will get the game in 4K HDR at 60fps. Since almost no phone (if there are any that can), that is not going to happen. You also would be burning through gigs of 4G data that may cause you to hit your limit and being throttled down to a lower speed. So, 10.7 teraflops is way overkill for a phone. For Broadband into your house, you will need a high end lower latency connection that doesn't get stressed by communities shared bandwidth. I fell that streaming 4K video with no ability to cache it like you can a movie will be a horrible experience.

  22. chiwax

    Absolutely horrific name. How can a company with such size and standing pick a name that can be pronounced wrong or criticized? Mind boggling. So many of their "big" projects are released like they aren't fully important to them. Even the name Android is creepy, but they got away with that one.

  23. X911ty12

    If I could play games I already own it would be cool. Otherwise a hard pass.

    • DaleDietrich

      In reply to X911ty12:

      so does this mean you'll never play a NEW game again? I like my games but I also like new games. If the pricing model is fair and I don't have to buy a new console, this sounds good to me. No need to stop playing your old games while playing new games without having to upgrade your console. Win win

  24. chiwax

    I almost guarantee they will rename this to Google Games within the next two years.

  25. Yaggs

    Logo looks like a painting program... and is it just me or do those colors remind you of the Zune logo???

    Looks neat though... would be pretty great not to have to use a dedicated gaming device to play games... we know this is coming...

  26. yoshi

    I'm going to have a hard time dropping $500 on a high end console if I can just open Chrome and launch a game in 4K.

    C'mon Microsoft! We now need more details about xCloud. Hate waiting till E3.

    • mestiphal

      In reply to yoshi:

      I guess what helps Microsoft here is their backwards compatibility. if you already have a large collection of games, on the Xbox you'll stick with that.

      On a different note, I really hope MS gets their act together and add Google Assistant support to their xbox. If they want me to use the Xbox as the main medial device, then give me a way to control it.

      • yoshi

        In reply to Mestiphal:

        Yeah that's the situation I'm in. I'm already so invested in Xbox it would be hard to abandon it for a different platform. But then again, if they don't offer something similar to Stadia, it might be worth the jump.

        The Google Assistant integration with Stadia looked awesome for sure. Another selling point for them.

        I wonder what the hype vs. reality will end up being.

  27. m_p_w_84

    with Google’s track record this could all just be vapourware. and even if it is launched, no date given of course, they could just pull it all on a whim.

  28. ZeroPageX

    Other than the obvious issues with input latency, inconsistent and unreliable ISPs, data caps, etc, resolution means absolutely nothing. It's pure marketing. The bit rate is what matters. Action shots on YouTube look like garbage at 1080p. Netflix at 4K has a much lower bit rate than Blu rays. I don't think the 60+ framerate is going to matter if the low latency isn't there.

    It should be fine for people with stable internet who only occasionally want to play a game that doesn't require fast response time at reasonable graphics quality. It could also be cool for people who want to try before they buy.