Google unveils Stadia game streaming service

Published: 20 March 2019 - 12:41 p.m.
By: Mark Sutton

Google has announced a game platform which it hopes will shift gaming to a streaming model.

The Stadia platform will allow games to be streamed to existing desktops, laptops, TVs and phones running a Chrome browser.

The service will launch with games playing in 4K resolution at up to 60 frames per second (fps), in line with the maximum performance of current consoles, but will be able to reach 8K and 120fps in future.

Google has also released a dedicated controller for Stadia, which connects directly to the internet and the game service, rather than connecting through a console first, to reduce lag.

Stadia was announced at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. No pricing for the service was provided, but Google said it plans to launch in the US, UK, Canada and Europe this year. One of the first games for the service will be Doom Eternal, the latest version of the seminal shooter.

One key feature of Stadia is close integration with YouTube. With growing numbers of gamers watching streaming of games and videos of game play on YouTube, Google says the service will allow a YouTube viewer to simply press a button, and be playing the game they were watching in seconds. The Stadia controller will also have a dedicated button to capture video and share on YouTube automatically.

The Stadia service will run on custom AMD Radeon data centre GPUs. It will run on Linux and the Vulkan 3D graphics API. AMD also is supporting Google with its software development tools and Linux-based, open-source Vulkan driver to help game developers optimize future titles to run on the new GPU-powered platform.

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