Google has released a cloud game streaming service called Stadia were all you need is Google Chrome and an internet connection. You heard correctly, all you need to do is open Chrome, and start playing the latest games in 4K, 60fps.
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Google promises that Stadia’s cloud computing power is equal to a console running with 10.7 teraflops of processing power - that’s more than the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X combined. The world of gaming just changed forever.
Basic setup will get you gaming
Users of Stadia won’t need expensive hardware; literally, any computer, smartphone or tablet you have lying around is ok. Google will provide all the computing power from their own servers.
This powerful cloud computing will process games at high resolutions and frame rates, encode it into a stream, and deliver the stream to you over the internet. You will need a fast and stable internet connection and a fairly recent version of Google Chrome.
How to get gaming
To get started, head to stadia.com or follow a link from your favorite games YouTube page. Initially, Google will ask you to run a connect test that checks the latency between your computer and the servers as well as your internet bandwidth.
To get on Stadia you’ll need a streaming rate of 15Mbps, latency below 40ms, and data loss below 5%. Once you have that - it’s game time. When you are playing a game, including heavy titles like Assassin's Creed all of your inputs get sent over to Google’s servers, processed in the game, and everything happening gets streamed right back to you.
Controller connects to cloud
Latency is crucial here; an exciting game experience would be ruined if everything has a slight delay. Stadia was announced by Google at the Game Developers Conference (FDC) in San Francisco yesterday. It will launch in the first in the US, Canada, UK, and most of Europe sometime this year. How much it will cost is also unknown.
It could have a Netflix monthly subscription style payment system, if users will need to buy the games themselves or if there could even be play per game option. Gamers will be able to use their computers' keyboard and mouse to navigate gameplay, but Google has also launched a controller specific for Stadia.
Early reviews say the controller is surprisingly great. It reportedly has the feel of recent Xbox One gamepads but with a layout closer to Sony’s DualShock 4.
The controller connects directly to Google's cloud, which will help latency issues for some users and it also has a dedicated Google Assistant button.
Google say this button will provide additional information on the title you are playing, extra tips and allow access to exclusive game features. There is still a lot we don’t know about Stadia, but so far everything is pointing to a more agile and inclusive gaming future.