Being able to play games from a streamed source is not a new concept in the gaming world. Numerous services have come and gone over the years including the now defunct OnLive or the more notable and still running PlayStation Now.More companies are even attempting to get into the market of game streaming including Microsoft with its Project X-Cloud that hopes to bring entertainment to as many devices as it can.
Today another newcomer steps into the ring in the form of Stadia by Google. Stadia hopes to be a new take on instant entertainment provided through the cloud. All users will need to be able to access their games is the ability to run chrome opening up the platform to millions of users using smart phones, tablets computers or even TV’s. Stadia is looking to go beyond what is capable with game streaming today by allowing users the ability to play games in 4K and up to 60 FPS.
Stadia will be powered by custom built multi-core CPU’s and feature dedicated graphics hardware that can provide over 10 teraflops of performance. Linux will be the operating system of choice for the new platform and Google has already partnered with Unity and Unreal to ensure both engines are properly supported. Stadia will also be paired with YouTube to allow users to watch streams and instantly transition into playing the game they are watching if they so desire.
Google hopes that through the abilities Stadia will create, game makers will have new and exciting ways to bring experiences to gamers without having to worry about the constrains of hardware. Google has also announced the creation of a new first party games studio that is being headed up by Jade Raymond who has worked in the producer role for many Ubisoft titles including Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs.
No time frame has yet been announced for when Stadia would become available to the public other than 2019. So by the end of this year we could see the start of the game streaming revolution. Game streaming has always been held back predominantly by latency from controls. Once that obstacle can be overcome it is only a matter of time before streaming gains more of a common place among game distribution. I for one will be very interested to see how well Stadia performs when it does eventually come out this year. Though I am not sure I look forward to a streaming only future if it succeeds.
What do you think about the future of game streaming? Share your opinions below!