Stadia logo

A short time ago today, Google formerly unveiled their new gaming platform. It's called Stadia and it's slated to launch later this year. It is a streaming platform that utilizes server hardware more powerful than an Xbox One X to deliver games in up to 4K, 60fps with HDR capabilities to your screen of choice.

During their presentation, Google showed off their Stadia controller that can be used across a number of devices. They showed Assassin's Creed: Odyssey being streamed across a laptop in a browser, phone, tablet, and even to your TV via a Chromecast Ultra. All of it was fairly seamless, allowing the player to continue on one device at the exact point they stopped on the previous device. They note that this is all done with a single code base. There is no need to have separate builds per platform.

We do not yet know how the price is going to work for this. As it's a streaming platform, it's possible we'll see two different pricing structures set up. One could be a monthly subscription to Stadia that allows you to access the available catalog each month for one ongoing fee. The other is probably a bit more straight forward in that it will allow you to purchase games individually and "keep" them forever.

Google says that they will integrate Stadia game streams with YouTube in a number of ways. One such way is to include a "Play Now" button on videos for games that will allow the viewer to go from watching a game trailer straight to playing the game in under five seconds.

Right now, Stadia will allow for streams up to 4K resolution at 60fps with HDR. Later, they say that the platform can expand to supporting 8K at 120fps. You know, once that's actually more widely adopted by consumers.

Since this is a streaming service, it works on existing hardware like the desktop or phone you're using to read this news. There will be cross-platform multiplayer and save files with other platforms.

Google also says that they have the ability to have couch co-op or local split-screen using separate game instances available. For you streamers out there, Stadia will allow you to simultaneously play the game and stream it to YouTube at the same resolution and framerate you're playing at. This encoding won't be done on your end and will come directly from the Stadia servers, essentially splitting the stream from Stadia's servers with one going to you and the other to the YouTube stream.

As we previously mentioned, Google will also offer up their own controller for Stadia.

Stadia Controller

The controller has a dedicated button to access Google. Using this in conjunction with the built-in microphone will allow you to verbally search for anything you want, like tips or walkthroughs for the game you're playing. There is also a dedicated share button allowing you to record your gameplay and share it.

However, it's also important to note that most current controllers should also work just fine. I'm not sure if that also applies to having Xbox and PlayStation controllers connecting to the Chromecast Ultra, but they shouldn't have a problem with playing on any device you already connect a controller to.

Those of you who are reading about Stadia on this or pretty much any gaming site right now are already scoffing at Stadia. I get it, but I also feel like this platform isn't necessarily being made with people like you in mind. Whether you care to admit it or not, you "gamerz" out there will more than likely stick with their physical hardware with physical software or local downloads. And hey, that's fine. But most everyone else? They don't care. If Stadia ends up getting a good selection of games and is priced properly, it's going to take off like hotcakes. Google already has a massive advertisement platform with YouTube. And if a game is accessible within seconds, there are a lot of people that are going to be all over it.

Let's just hope Google knows better than to stick "play now" buttons at the end of all those pro-nazi videos they have on YouTube. That could get a little more than messy.

A number of developers have already voiced their support for Stadia. Bethesda announced Doom Eternal for Stadia. Jade Raymond, creator of the Assassin's Creed franchise, was also revealed to be the head of Stadia Games and Entertainment. This will be a first-party game developer for the Stadia platform.