Imagine being able to play any game at ultra-high settings with only a screen, a controller, and an internet connection – no Xbox, no PlayStation, no console. That’s what Google’s new project Stadia is all about.
Stadia is a fresh cloud gaming platform that runs games on a server and streams them to you at 60 frames per second, 4K resolution. Certainly, this is not a strange concept. Microsoft launched its own version, dubbed Project xCloud, in October 2018.
Like Project xCloud, Stadia is cross-platform, meaning you can play games across PCs, smartphones, and other devices. Google is adding extra icing on the cake by including its own Chrome browser in the mix.
The YouTube Gaming community is definitely in the middle of Google’s target audiences. With Stadia, YouTube gaming fans can enter into gameplay mode in an instant.
Project Stadia sounds like what many gaming fans would look forward to, considering the price of gaming hardware is out of reach to many.
What’s the catch?
Google wasn’t particularly open about Stadia at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), but something’s for sure, you can’t pull this off with a lagging internet connection. We are talking about 25Mbps for those looking to get the 1080p-60FPS experience. In an interview with Kotaku, Google Stadia Boss said the company would eventually offer a 4k resolution, calling for a bandwidth requirement of about 30 Mbps.
The Internet giant has not revealed how much the new cloud gaming service will cost the average gamer, but you can rest assured consoles are not needed. Supposing your internet speed meets Google’s minimum requirement, you will be able to make the most out of the company’s powerful server PCs. The only hardware requirement will be Chromecast ultra (for bringing the service to your TV) and a custom controller built by Google.
Latency is a potential problem for Stadia. Cloud gaming services rely on a real-time relay of controller movements that run back and forth between the gamer and the server. Gamers who are closer to Google’s servers may end up getting the best gaming experience as opposed to those who are far.
Stadia may not appeal to offline gamers, but it surely charms people who like to game on the go.