Google is all ready to enter the gaming media this year. Though it may not be the conventional way that most of us gamers consider ideal. Nevertheless, it’s pretty cool as to what Google has to offer with its cloud gaming service – Google Stadia.
Last year Google demonstrated their service by allowing a handful of people around the globe to play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on Google Chrome for the desktop. It was just mind-blowing to play a game like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on a browser. Yes, you read it right, gaming on Google Chrome. Fascinating, isn’t it?
On a side note should you want to know about the game, we got our review on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey right here. Coming back to Stadia, just imagine playing console quality games on-the-go on any of your google powered device. Just fire up the Google Chrome browser, and Voila! you are all set to play your game.
Now before you plan to get your hands-on with this service, here are the things you should know first hand.
1. Cloud Gaming
Before we get to Stadia’s bells and whistles, you should know about cloud gaming technology. Cloud gaming is basically a type of online gaming. It lets the users stream games on their computers, consoles or any capable device. The actual game is stored, rendered and executed at the service provider’s data centres (servers). At present services like Geforce Now, PlayStation Now and OnLive are some that provide cloud gaming services to some extent.
At present, cloud gaming services are not much accepted among the gaming community. This is primarily because of the fact that these services are interdependent on several other factors for the optimal experience. Such as User’s local network quality (i.e. speed), Distance of the nearest data center, subscription charges, and many more.
2. Basics To Stadia
As we said Google Stadia isn’t your traditional gaming console or gaming PC experience. Instead it sort of is a way to emulate the similar experience. Stadia is a cloud based gaming service that lets the user stream games from Google’s numerous data centers round the globe. It makes use of the Google Chrome browser to let players play games on. Its like a streaming service like Netflix, Hulu or Prime but instead of TV shows and movies you get stream and play games.
3. Streaming Capabilities
With Stadia, Google promises a smooth 60 frames per second experience for the users irrespective of whatever device they use. Alongside this Google stated that Stadia will allow users to render games at native 4K along with support for high-dynamic-range (HDR). Also Google anticipates to eventually reach up to 120 fps and 8K resolution.
But, since Google is planning to exclusively make use of Google Chrome to let users game on. There are a few doubts about the “true 4K and beyond” vision that they have, due to browser compression. Maybe a few tweaks to Chromes algorithms can overcome this. But as of now we can only wait till we get a proper hands-on to make any judgement.
As per statements put by Google, the Stadia’s cloud hardware will comprise of a custom Intel x86 processor. This would be clocked at around 2.2 GHz with advanced vector extensions (AVX2) and 9.5 megabytes of L2+L3 cache. At the GPU end they plan on using a custom AMD chip with high bandwidth memory (HBM2), 56 compute units and 10.7 teraFLOPS.All this will be bundled along with a solid-state drive storage support, around 484 gigabytes of bandwidth and 16 gigabytes of primary memory shared amongst the GPU and the CPU.
5. Additional Features
Google’s cloud gaming platform, Stadia, allows players to start their game without having to download or install anything. Also, users do not need any extra computing hardware, all they need is a strong and constant internet connection to their device of choice. Additionally, Google Stadia allows the player to either directly stream, or record their game on YouTube.
This makes it pretty ideal for those who plan to step into game streaming on YouTube but, are not planning on investing on a dedicated gaming console or a high-end PC. Added to all this, Google Stadia also provides users with a feature termed “state share” – which brings us to our next point.
6. State Share
State share is Google’s selling point for Stadia, even to those who already own a physical gaming machine. This feature uses the YouTube integration feature on Stadia to create a seamless experience between streamers and their respective audience. On surface it may seem like a service that is made primarily for those who live stream games. But, we can assure you that it has its productivity way beyond that.
The state share service allows the users to seamlessly launch their game on the same save state that of a streamer. This means that users watching a stream can launch their game at the exact point where they were watching the stream being played. Take for instance you’re watching someone playing an open world game, in which they are at certain location that you find pretty interesting. You can launch your same game at the same location without any hassle.
7. Peripherals And Pricing Of Stadia
Even though Stadia is compatible to human interface device (HID)-class USB controllers. Still Google is to release a proprietary controller that Google says will give the users the most optimal “Stadia experience”. The controller will be rock a similar look to Sony’s DualShock ergonomics in terms of the positioning of the analog sticks. But will use the XYAB layout for the face buttons. The controller will feature a direct Wi-Fi link that connects it directly to Googles data center where the game is running, this helps in reducing the input latency to a great extent.
Apart from the controller Google haven’t announced anything else in-terms of physical hardware. Now for the pricing model for Google Stadia, Google hasn’t announced any confirmations from their end regarding the prices for either the Stadia service as well as the Stadia controller. But it is expected to be around $50-$80 for the controller that will be similar to that of the Microsoft’s XBox and Sony’s PlayStation controllers. And as for the Stadia service, if it plans to rival the PlayStation Now then it should be priced around $15-$20 a month or $180-$240 for a year.
As far as Google Stadia’s release in India is concerned, Google has not officially announced anything officially. As of now the official report regarding the service’s launch confirms release in US, UK, Europe and Canada this year. Though it is expected to reach India within two years from now, that is 2021.
8. The Future Of Google Stadia
Regarding the future of Stadia, Google has shared some interesting news at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2019. There aren’t many games currently supporting the service, I mean as of now there is just Assassin’s Creed Odyssey that is playable on the platform. Also, this year’s highly anticipated adrenaline pumped first-person shooter Doom Eternal is also going to receive support for Google’s cloud gaming platform. But other than these two there aren’t any other games that users can play on Stadia.
Though Phil Harrison vice president and GM at Google for
All this makes us believe that Stadia is going to be a step in the right direction to bring cloud gaming experience to the general public. All we can do now is wait till Google launches Stadia this year.
So now that you are fully aware