What is Google Stadia? If you are curious to learn what Google Stadia is, read on to find out about everything we know so far.
While the rise of cloud gaming services such as Shadow and PlayStation Now has already transformed the gaming industry over the past few years, 2019 is proving to be even more exciting for cloud gaming.
Much of this is due to the announcement of Google Stadia, Google’s very own cloud-based gaming platform. Google Stadia is set to shake up the industry and has both gamers and developers excited, worried, and intrigued.
So, what is Google Stadia and how exactly will the service work? While there is still a lot to learn about Google’s entry into the cloud gaming world, quite a few details abound.
Let’s get into it.
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What is Google Stadia?
Like other cloud gaming platforms, Google Stadia works by hosting a game on a remote server and streaming the video directly to a user’s device. The great thing about Google Stadia is that it promises to allow players to play any game on nearly any device, no matter how hardware intensive the game may be.
All that is needed is a device that supports the Google Chrome browser. This means that players will be able to use a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop to play games in the cloud, without experiencing any difficulties or hardware issues due to advanced graphics or technology limitations.
Because of this, Google Stadia could help open up high-end gaming for the average user who doesn’t have the money to spend on building a powerful gaming computer. Compared to other types of game streaming models out there currently, Stadia promises to be more versatile and powerful but also more accessible.
While Google offers an official Google Stadia controller, users will be able to use other controllers as well. Xbox One and DualShock 4 controllers will work as will other third-party controllers, depending on the device users will be using to access the service.
The Google Stadia service works with the use of a monthly subscription and will offer multiple plans for users.
Understanding the Technology
The technology behind Google Stadia is pretty powerful and will boast excellent performance standards. Users will be able to stream games at a range of resolutions and at a number of frame rates, based on the subscription plan they have and their internet speed.
At the maximum, users will be able to stream at 4k, 60fps with 5.1 surround sound. This is assuming they have 35Mbps internet connection, although Google Stadia will work with slower connections as well.
While users will be streaming content anywhere between 720p and 4k, it’s also important to understand the specs of Google’s hardware as well.
Games will be running with the following hardware specs:
- CPU: Custom 2.7GHz x86 CPU with AVX2 SIMD and 9.5MB of L2+L3 cache
- GPU: Custom AMD GPU featuring HBM2 memory and 56 compute units, capable of 10.7TFLOPs
- RAM: 16GB of RAM (shared CPU/GPU) with up to 484GB/s of performance
- SSD cloud storage
While there are likely to be more details about Google Stadia’s specs to come, these are currently the best insights we’ve been given so far on how Google Stadia will be expected to perform.
What Users Can Expect
So how much will Google Stadia cost and when will it be released?
Currently, the only Google Stadia product available for purchase is the pre-order of the Stadia Founders Edition. This package comes with Chromecast Ultra and includes a three-month subscription of Stadia Pro for both a user and a friend. It also comes with a blue Stadia controller. The cost of the Stadia Founders Edition is $129.
Going forward, two monthly subscription plans have been announced for users of the service.
- Coming November 2019
- Resolution up to 4K and frame rate up to 60 FPS
- 5.1 surround sound
- Free games released regularly and discounts on select game purchases
- Coming in 2020
- Resolution up to 1080p and frame rate up to 60 FPS
- No free games or discounts
While Stadia Pro will offer an overall better experience for users and will come with special discounts and perks, the Stadia Base subscription plan will be free for users and will still promise to offer a great experience. Both Stadia Pro and Stadia Base will allow users to buy new games at any time.
What it Means for Developers
While many gamers are excited for Google Stadia, it’s also important to consider what the developers think as well. Developer adoption of Google Stadia will greatly affect its ability to contend with traditional consoles and current cloud gaming services. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of questions on everybody’s mind about how Google Stadia will work for developers.
The big draw of Google Stadia is that it will allow gamers to play all types of high-performing games on any device they have access to. This could open up a lot of options for developers to create more high-performance games which can be played by the average consumer, people who can’t afford to invest in powerful local hardware.
However, only time will tell what type of games will be developed for Google Stadia and what developers will do with the cloud-based development tools that Google will provide.
Additionally, it’s also yet to be determined how revenue will work for Google Stadia developers. The platform may work similarly to Steam and Epic and use a traditional revenue model. Revenue could also be based on how many hours gamers spend playing a particular game.
The full details on payment models and revenue streams for developers haven’t been answered yet, but will likely come along in later months.
Since Google has taken criticism for privacy issues in the past, many developers and gamers are also wondering what privacy standards the platform will have. Others wonder how widespread the service will become, considering many average consumers don’t have access to the highest internet speeds.
Hopefully, some of the answers to these questions will come in the months leading up to the release of Stadia Pro in November 2019.
What About the Games? Google Stadia Games List
Many games are already set to be released for the Google Stadia platform. These include games by such developers as Ubisoft, Square Enix, id Software, and Crystal Dynamics.
While many Stadia games will be ported from other systems, Google Stadia will feature exclusive games, as well. Google has already revealed that at least two games will be exclusive to the platform, including Gylt by Tequila Works and Get Packed by Moonshine Studios.
Here are a few more games that will be available through the service.
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
- Baldur’s Gate III
- Borderlands III
- Darksiders Genesis
- Destiny 2
- Doom Eternal
- Dragonball Xenoverse 2
- Elder Scrolls Online
- Farming Simulator 19
- Final Fantasy XV
- Get Packed
- Ghost Recond Breakpoint
- Just Dance
- Metro Exodus
- Mortal Kombat 11
- Rage 2
- Saban’s Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
- Samurai Showdown
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Trials Rising
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood
While more games are sure to be announced later on, the list has already grown quite a bit and features some excellent titles that may help convince users to try the service.
High Ground View
So what is Google Stadia and what does it mean for gamers? While the full scope of its impact on the industry is yet to be determined, Google’s cloud-based gaming platform may just have a profound effect on the industry over the coming months and years. Only time will tell for sure.
Don’t want to wait for Google Stadia to be released? Click here to learn about the best cloud gaming services that you can try now.