Google is launching Stadia, a ‘game platform for everyone’ in a ‘new era of gaming,’ this year

    
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In its presentation from GDC 2019 this afternoon, Google announced Google Stadia: It’s not a console but a platform that will run even the most graphics-intense PC games from Google’s data center to an existing device without much lag time. And yes, the company is plainly competing directly with existing platforms. It will indeed launch this year, though the company didn’t discuss expected fees.

The idea is to “reduce the friction” of gaming by allowing people to play pretty much any game on any device, from phones to browser – in fact, developers showed the easy movement from Android phone to crappy PC to high-end TV, allowing gamers to begin playing almost immediately with “no download, no patch, no update, and no install.”

There’s also a new controller to go along with it, the Stadia Controller, though it’ll be an optional device.

Prior to the event, rumors were flying about a tool that’d allow gamers to, for example, jump into a game with their favorite streamers or pick up where they left off. That tool is a reality, and it’s called Crowdplay.

Stadia will further allow players to use Google Assistant to pull up video walkthroughs for tricky parts of games on the fly.

And finally, Google’s announced Stadia Games and Entertainment, headed up by Jade Raymond. Raymond says she’ll be leading first-party developers as well as partnering with third-party studios on the tech integration.

Source: YouTube

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Neiloch Fyrestarter
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Neiloch Fyrestarter

Worked well enough for OnLive and that was years ago with an independent company. Problem was they had bad marketing and got underwater too fast.

Better tech and codecs with Google resources behind it should be stellar. There are more online games these days but again google has the edge nodes, cash and ‘corporate reliability’ to make it work on this kind of service. Even OnLive got around the problem by making their online modes occur exclusively on their own servers. Ping and response time was as good as any other average connection.

Essentially, the problems other game streaming services had can easily be solved with Stadia with Google’s power and clout behind it.

seculaparsec
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seculaparsec

Dont get me wrong I dont hate Valve, what theyve done the last 20 years with Steam absolutely astonashing….but….but we need more platforms for the users to get cheaper games and more competition.

I just dont hope it fails like their Google+ project, theres a so many factors and strings that need to be connected right.

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John Kiser

More platforms won’t lead to cheaper prices. Steam regularly has sales and the like and that keeps others having to do it. Epic is trying to get devs to push lower prices so the platform appeals to others and google we don’t really know what’s going on.

If more platforms were going to cut down on price we’d of seen a reduction in pricing since steam came out. Brick and mortar stores were taking up to 60% of sales vs valve’s 30% on steam and yet users never see a benefit to that from publishers unless they do a sale which often times they are making more money than they would selling the box in a store even at the sale price it is.

What’s happening for the time being is that publishers are going to try and push epic to be a more dominant platform (or so they hope) because they’ll be able to rake in more money per sale and lowering prices vs what they’d be on steam for the time being gets people somewhat interested.

As far as google’s project stadia goes it ultimately depends on a lot of factors. People seem to want to be like “well look at onlive and yada yada yada” ignoring the fact that onlive didn’t so much fail due to lack of people wanting to use the service, but largely because of Steve Perlman’s ego and after the reluanch when he was no longer involved the people holding all the assets sold things off to sony which later became Playstation Now.

Google doesn’t necessarily kill services that people actively use if enough people are using it. To put something in perspective here. People were online an average of 7 minutes in google plus at one of the highest peaks for the site… To put it in perspective People were averaging facebook usage about 7.5 HOURS per day.

Gaming may attract a bigger audience than that that spends more time on the services.

Antheriel
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Antheriel

I’m surprised how many people think this isn’t a good idea. For me, this is perfect. I’m super tired of the upgrade cycle for my PC and would be happy to ditch it forever in favour of a gaming service that promised decent 1080p performance. I also love the idea of the controller that connects directly to the internet, so I don’t have to worry about OS compatibility. And I can take it anywhere there’s decent internet? Bonus! I can game on my vacations! My only concerns are that it’ll perform poorly on my network, or that it’ll be locked to a narrow selection of games.

I’m really hoping that, because they’re Google, the software will be a lot smarter than competing services. I’m tired of having to tweak my router setup to get game services like Geforce Now to work (or even individual MMORPGS, some of which are particular about router settings). Make it work as smoothly and painlessly as YouTube and I think it’ll have a huge market.

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draugris

In theory that sounds interesting but tbh. i do not see how they can set this up for a reasonable price. You need pretty powerful hardware in your datacenter for triple-A games to run in a performant way and you have to be careful with overbooking your resources. There are already streaming services for example shadow which starts at around 30€ per month excluding the games. Way to expensive for me, i am curious what google will be charging.

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John Kiser

Shadow is also access to a full desktop and isn’t really a “game streaming service” per say. Really they sort of lend themselves poorly to it because of the limit on storage currently. They are testing further storage, but yeah for now very limited. Google could be free and buy access to games, it could have a monthly fee to access X amount of games monthly or who knows what honestly. For all we know it could be ad supported and we just watch like 3 ads an hour or something idk.

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draugris

Technically yes, shadow is a full desktop. But their target audience are clearly gamers. If i needed a plain desktop i would never consider shadow, i would go for azure for example. Their concept is we bring the hardware you bring the games, they don´t sell any. What i heard until now from Stadia is that they will have their own shop where they sell supported games, the streaming service itself will be free. If that turns out to be true well maybe then Stadia could be a thing.

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zuldar

I like the concept but even if they can get around the bandwidth issue there’s still the problem about internet provider data caps, 20GB an hour is just not practical for long term gaming.

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John Kiser

Keep in mind countries other than the US exist and not all of us are stuck with data caps either.

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Chosenxeno .

I can see Mobile Devs getting in on this but I doubt the many of the Big Boys will ever sign off on this.

The only major pro of this style of service is maybe kissing Hacks goodbye. Unfortunately, that also means kissing Mods goodbye. Tread carefully…

hypefordays
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hypefordays

Depending on infrastructure and how they handle some very sensitive topics and solved some of the problems regarding cloud gaming… it could actually be the “missing link” of Mobile gaming and console / PC gaming as a whole. It’s a sad truth that many companies are looking towards the mobile market and China moreso than focusing on their current crowds. Equally sad is that the phone gaming apps that cost very little to make also surpass many of said games in sales. So if this “system” is promising the ability to play AAA games on an old iphone at sixty frames per second and in a high resolution, then it is definitely that many will bite at. It may even — and this is being perhaps too hopeful — destroy the crappy built-in-two weeks apps that we see and have some real gaming on phones. All the while still having the quality of a “AAA” game that will satisfy a console or PC gamer, who can play on their console still if they want, or access this service.

Though the prospect of losing much for gaining so little does seem to be a bit alarming if you’re used to mods. So something like this taking over the market could spell disaster as a whole. Though when it comes to PCs, I’d say that platform will always have an option of stand alone clients as opposed to everything just being a service.

In essence, if a gaming company loves money, and or loves money more than they love their fans, then this is something they may be optimistically eyeing like a kid looking through the glass in a candy store. Though they’d have to get into talks with internet and phone providers that have low data caps for it to even be remotely accepted as mainstream.

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Sray

Funny that they’re calling it “for everyone” when it’s obvious that they’re actually targeting high end urban consumers. At least to start. And it’s not just about the limits of current Internet infrastructure either: it’s also about creating buzz as a cool and trendy product while we’re waiting for the necessary infrastructure to be available outside of large urban markets. Notice the controller design? If someone told you “a major tech company designed this” but not who, after a casual glance at it, there’s a good chance you’d think it looks like an Apple product, and that’s not a coincidence. Long story short, it’s a page out of Apple’s playbook: cool urbanites make it a buzzworthy product, and the rest of the world lines up to get it once it’s available to them.

This isn’t a product for anyone who is already in the “core gaming” market right now (console and PC gamers): this product is all about upscale urbanites in their thirties and forties who aren’t gaming due to the various limitations of living space and/or lifestyle. Notice the emphasis on instant gratification? That term and concept are practically poisonous to top end gamers, yet they spent a lot of time on “see it, have it” because they’re aiming at the crowd that isn’t gaming right now because they’re not going to mark their calendars for a game’s release date; and they’re not going to run to the store to buy a disc, or wait an hour or more for a download. Most of my friends my age (mids 40s) can be told about a really cool game and get really excited for it; but if they can’t play it this instant, they’re not interested because there are just too damn many things begging for their time and money to bother waiting around for a video game.

So this isn’t for core gamers (yet), but rather about adapting gaming to mainstream consumers. It’s going to be very interesting to watch.

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Bruno Brito

I’m willing to bet this is simply a Netflix for games. You pay a sub or rent a game for a while and play by streaming.

It sounds like a good idea but it feeds into the “games as service” bullshit that will completely make the way some games are designed, and i can see this backfiring hard on consumers.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

What is the cost of a net service that is actually good enough to handle this? While yes, there will be a subset of people who are at the limits of their budget that this will be good for, I think most who are paying that much for net service can also afford the high end PCs to run most of this stuff. AND they’d rather just play it from their own systems and not worry about any input lag at all or the slightest of video compression etc.

If your net service is that good, it takes you no time to download stuff anyway, and you can stream from your own PC to other devices you own with far less issues.

We’ve known this kind of stuff would become a reality since we first started to hear about it but I still don’t think our net is really ready to handle it in the majority of North America.

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John Kiser

Not as much as you’d think varying on area heavily. In my area like 35 – 45 bucks will get you 50 mbps (45 is after a year or 2) and 45 – 55 will get you 250 mbps. 55 – 65 = 500 mbps and like 60 – 70 or so gigabit (download speeds upload is still 20 cuz DOCSIS and most aren’t on full duplex and don’t have the upstream channels to deal with it)

The thing here is that a lot of people may not have fantastic computers or what have you. Maybe they just have chromecast, android tv, tablets, lower power laptops etc. Maybe they enjoy streaming services like netflix hardcore and don’t spend a lot on other things like hardware be it a console or pc and are content with what they have. There is a market for that. I know a lot of people with solid internet that don’t have gaming pcs.

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Fervor Bliss

Great, let’s see something new.

Will agree about the name, it does sound like an ointment created by Theranos.

Carlo Lacsina
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Carlo Lacsina

This is really exciting! Biggest concern I have will probably how much crazier gaming in classrooms will be. My school is 1 to 1 on computers, meaning every student gets a school assigned tablet. Those kids have found ways to install Left 4 Dead and Modern Warfare already. At this point, this Stadia will make it even more challenging to keep this under control since we use the google suite for the students!

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Armsbend

Tablets in schools at all is stupid.

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Jack Pipsam

Agreed, laptops all the way IMO. I was so glad I got to use laptops in school, year under us had tablets, sucked to be them.

Carlo Lacsina
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Carlo Lacsina

My mistake, I accidentally called them tablets because that’s actually what they’re commonly called in my school. It’s actually a windows 10 hybrid laptop that has a touch screen, but the keyboard can fold all the way backwards so it could be used as a tablet. It’s actually pretty good, it can at least run Modern Warfare at 60 FPS

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Armsbend

such a waste of money.

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Bruno Brito

It’s actually not. It allows students to carry shitloads of book info inside one small object, instead of reliving what i lived and ripping through 3 backpacks on the span of a year because of heavy books.

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John Kiser

And fucking up your back for life.

Veldan
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Veldan

@Bruno Random comment, but those must have been seriously bad backpacks. I was carrying 5-10 kg worth of books / food to school every day for 6 years in the same backpack, and I still use it for groceries.

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Jack Pipsam

Not at all, learning to touch-type was the only useful thing I learnt in my first year of high-school.
In later years, having the laptop to write notes was vital as I was terrible at hand-writing. Being able to do research on the fly, ease of taking notes and of course bringing home work which I could do on the device without worrying about a lost USB or doing work on the bus/train was super helpful when there was just too much to do. Not to mention group-work made easy with cloud-stuff like Google Docs.

I know for a fact if we didn’t use laptops at the end of high school, I would have fallen behind very fast.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

If you’re talking College, I’d agree with you. in Grade School especially though, tablets are fine.

Tablets are cheap and small. You can give every kid a tablet with a keyboard attachment for a really low price that will handle anything they’re going to do in Grade School and on top of it be easily replaceable when they get broken. Most schools don’t have the money to buy the kids all laptops and neither do many parents.

It must be nice to live in a world where you can say tablets in schools is stupid. You live in a high end rich white neighborhood, yes?

Even if talking money wise, tablets are better for younger kids. Using a tablet with a writing pen can let you get rid of paper in learning to write and in drawing etc. Things that you need a thin screen sitting flat on a desk just like a piece of paper would be. We still need to know how to write and not just type.

It’s such a closed minded blanket statement to say tablets in schools is stupid…

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Bruno Brito

Drawing on a tablet <3