Google has been teasing entering the gaming arena for a while now, but has finally unveiled its strategy, and its called Stadia. Stadia isn’t a new gaming console (at least not yet), but rather a platform to game with. It basically leverages Google’s cloud technology to bring its games to a variety of devices that can connect to it.
Stadia, previously known as Project Yeti, was revealed at the Game Developers Conference today. Google also revealed a piece of hardware that can be used with Stadia, a wi-fi controller. The controller does more than act as a controller for the games however, as it can manage the data for the games offered on Stadia rather than using a console for that function. The controller also has a button to get access to Google Assistant, and a button to share content (stream to YouTube, etc). It will also have a 3.5 audio jack for audio and USB-C to devices if needed.
The controller is not necessary for playing Stadia games, though in that case, you’d be using the device’s wi-fi and a USB connected device.
The games on Stadia will be streamed, meaning no local updates of software, no installs, or custom hardware. The streaming nature should allow for gamers to launch into a streamer’s game if they share it. Games support 4K resolution and 60fps, with HDR and surround sound. At the event, id Sofware announced Doom: Eternal will be available on Stadia. Ubisoft and TequilaWorks have also pledged support for Stadia. VR and AR games are also expected to be available for the platform.
Stadia looks to be another blow to traditional brick and mortar game stores like GameStop (though we guess they can still sell the controllers?). It will also challenge other distribution channels such as Epic’s online game store, Apple, etc.
Stadia is expected to launch by this holiday season.