Do you love games? If the answer is yes, then you will love what Google Stadia is and the change it aims to bring to the gaming world. It promises to revolutionize the way games are played and how games are thought of generally. It is the next big thing in the gaming industry which will disrupt the big players in the gaming market. In this article, you will learn a lot about Stadia including what it is and how it is going to cause a massive change.
What is Stadia?
In simple words, Stadia is a cloud gaming streaming service. That is exactly what Stadia embodies. It is a combination of a streaming service and a gaming platform. Stadia is an answer from the gaming industry to the metaphorical ‘who is the king of modern entertainment’ question posed by successful entertainment streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Netflix. It is in this light that the Stadia earns the ‘streaming’ in its name.
Google’s Stadia is a cloud gaming service owned and developed by Google. It is an invention that aims to render the conventional console-gaming platforms obsolete using the ideas of cloud computing. Normally, you’d get any of the popular consoles out there if you wanted to play a certain game – PlayStation from Sony, Xbox by Microsoft or any of the Nintendo gaming devices. What google aims to change with Stadia is the elimination of those devices. You won’t need them to play any game because the games would live on the cloud and you would be able to access them any time you need, from anywhere in the world on any device provided you have working internet.
How Stadia Works
The mechanics of the Stadia game-streaming platform is one that is visible in its name. What Stadia gives you is the ability to stream top game editions on any device from anywhere in the world without having to fork out money for traditional gaming hardware. Google has put up an infrastructure that is more powerful than any game console you can own to help run your games so all that you’ll be left to worry about would be the visuals of the game itself. Your PC or mobile phone or tablet won’t run any gaming logic, it would just be like watching a movie only that you are responsible for the action of the on-screen characters. Stadia has been described as the Netflix of the gaming world.
To use Stadia, all you will need is a high-speed internet connection of about 10Mbps and your PC or mobile device. You will be able to access the Stadia platform using Google Chrome and get on with your gaming. Google will also be providing special controllers that would offer a smoother gaming experience. However, gamers would be able to play games using any off-the-shelf controller but might suffer input lag. The reason for this lag is because unlike your controller which connects to your device through Bluetooth before being able to access the internet, Google’s Stadia pads will be able to access Google’s data centers directly through Wi-Fi.
Unsurprisingly, the Google Stadia is going to be running games on Linux servers. Their graphics API is also the Vulkan cross-platform graphics computing API which is better than OpenGL in that it offers similar picture quality and better performance. Google has also partnered with AMD who will develop a custom GPU that will run game-graphics and integrate seamlessly with the hardware at its data centers.
Google is not the first to bring about this idea of streaming gameplay from a cloud service, companies have tried it as far back as sixteen years ago. Some of the companies that pushed this idea are On Live and Gaikai. They, however, failed badly due to high latency in the network infrastructure then. Gamers experienced buzz-killing lag and the picture quality was so poor. Things have changed and Stadia is Google’s move to benefit from the recent improvement in the reduction of Network Latency. Google also seeks to leverage the robust network infrastructure they already have all around the world to make Stadia the biggest gaming platform in the gaming industry.
The Business Side of Stadia
Stadia is exciting but like all good things, it does come at a cost. There are complexities in the architecture of the platform about game ownership and other things that need to be broken down. The topmost thing to note is that Stadia is not available everywhere in the world yet and a visit to the platform will indicate if you can access it in your region.
The first version of Stadia which was available was the Founder’s edition which was available on pre-order before the launch date. It cost $129 and came with three-month access to Stadia Pro, a controller, ability to give a friend access to Stadia Pro, a Founder’s Stadia name and a Google Chromecast Ultra. The Founder’s edition was sold out before the launch date but right now, there is a Premiere edition that costs the same amount as the Founder’s edition that you can subscribe to start playing games on Stadia right now. You will have to wait for the kits to arrive before you can access Stadia. This won’t always be the case. Google will have a free version that game critics are speculating might mean Google might peddle in-game ads. This free version will ship in 2020 and Stadia will be broadly available on more devices by then.
Games will not be cheap on Stadia because gamers would be paying full price for every game they want to play. However Google asserts that the elimination of console cost with the ability to play the game on any screen at will, will even out the cost of a game that you won’t own.
Games and Special Features
There isn’t a lot of game titles out on the Stadia right now but there is enough to keep you busy. Google initially announced they would have twelve games available for the launch but two days to the launch that number almost doubled to twenty-two games.
Some of the Big Game titles to expect are:
Football Manager 2020
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Mortal Kombat 11
Red Dead Redemption 2
Final Fantasy XV
The Stadia would have a feature called ‘State Share’ that can allow users to jump in and experience a game that is being streamed to YouTube exactly as seen. It is a feature that could change the way games work completely.
The Stadia is the future of gaming and if you couldn’t pre-order the Founder’s Edition plan, you can jump in now with the available Premiere Edition. Check out Stadia now to play the future before everyone else.