Google announced plans on Tuesday to jump into the $140 billion gaming industry, currently dominated by Sony and Microsoft, with its new streaming service, Stadia. The service enables consumers to play high-end games without the need for an expensive console or computer. According to Google, this is a “game platform for everyone.”
Google gave further details on Stadia, saying that if someone is watching a video game on YouTube and decides they want to play as well, just hit a button labeled “play now” and it will take you to the game itself in as fast as five seconds. Currently, gamers are forced to purchase physical games or downloads, which CNBC reports could take several hours before they can actually play.
Stadia is expected to launch in 2019, beginning in the United States, Canada, the U.K. and “most of Europe.” Google has yet to say how much it will cost for gamers to use this new service. While the company claims Stadia will run on “any screen type,” it will work on desktops, laptops, TVs, tablets and phones at launch.
“With Stadia, the data center is your platform,” Google said. A gamer can easily start on one platform, yet pick up from where they left off on another device, meaning you can game on the computer, then continue on your phone if needed.
Google is really bringing the heat with its new streaming service. There is the option to play with a keyboard and mouse or a special Stadia controller that Google will sell. It also features a capture button that allows you to share the games directly to YouTube.
In addition, a Google Assistant button will be on the device, giving access to the microphone for speaking to in-game features, which developers can build into their games. Stadia will support 4K games at 60 frames per second with HDR, though Google stated it will support games up to 8K resolution in the future.