Once upon a time in a digital world not too far away, few companies started working on game streaming services. As this whole concept heavily relies on cloud infrastructure, it falls right under the Google’s territory. Naturally, Google couldn’t resist throwing money and jumping right into this new adventure. Google unveiled their new gaming platform Stadia at GDC 2019 focusing on one idea that you should be able to play games regardless of what hardware you own or where you are. Well technically the “where you are” part only applies to the area which has access to a high speed reliable and stable internet, which Google team didn’t focus a lot in their keynote.
Google told us the problems that gamers face these days in accessing and playing games such as long installation times, frequent updates and patches consuming more time, etc. But what Google didn’t tell us are the new problems it will be bringing to the gamers like input lags, connections dropping, server delays or no internet connectivity. Many companies have tried to implement game streaming services like Microsoft xCloud, Sony PlayStation Now and Nvidia GeForce Now. Google competitors are already well established in gaming business. Specially, Sony and Microsoft have a box console to fall back on, but Google has only its graveyard where Google Glass and Google Plus are enjoying their retirement in peace.
Another critical part of Google Stadia is Youtube. Google is heavily relying on Youtube and Chrome to push Stadia further. The main vision of Google is that a youtube viewer should be able to jump right into the game just by clicking a play button with the help of State Share technology. As cool as it sounds in hearing, it would be a real challenge for even a company like Google to implement and maintain.
Google also released their Stadia controller, which obviously look like a copied homework from the brightest child in the class, that is PlayStation. And surprisingly it will also have the dedicated sharing button too like DualShock 4. Google says that Stadia will support 4K at 60fps over the internet connection around 30 Mbps of bandwidth. That’s way beyond the reach of third world countries. Even the average bandwidth in United States is 18 Mbps.
Still we don’t know much about Stadia. How much it will cost? What collection of games it will offer? And will it be a proper premium service or just a mix collection of good and garbage games like Google Play Store is already offering. One thing sounds very clear, with all that video streaming technology that Stadia is based on, it could be the future of Youtube but certainly not gaming.