Google has been on the forefront of technology for quite some time and now the tech giant has introduced something that will revolutionise video games as we know it.
During the 2019 Game Developers Conference, Google pulled the curtains back on its entry into the video game ring by introducing Stadia, an upcoming new gaming platform.
But whereas companies like Sony and Microsoft threw all their eggs (and countless millions) into building a console, Google has instead gone in the complete opposite direction.
Stadia is a cloud-based video game streaming service that allows users to play games from any device that can support Google Chrome, meaning anything from laptops and PCs to tablets and smartphones can all use the platform. Think Netflix but for games.
There is no console box or anything and the only piece of hardware is the optional Stadia controller, which looks like the bastard love child of the PS4 and Xbox controllers.
Google appears to have also worked some crazy cloud-based witchcraft with its new service because unlike the PS4 or Nintendo Switch, there are no hardware requirements to use Stadia and installing games will be a thing of the past because of how the platform is integrated with YouTube.
To show what I mean, say you were watching a game trailer on YouTube and felt the urge to play said game. Just click on the YouTube link and the game will start streaming via Stadia in less than five seconds.
As I said, witchcraft.
This is nothing short of a revolutionary game-changer for gaming but for everyone in Australia, we probably won’t be getting it for about 50 years.
That’s because Stadia requires a super-fast internet connection in order for to stream video games with no lag or other associated problems. While no specific internet speed requirements have been revealed, running next-gen video games at 4K resolution (or even just 1080p) will be far beyond what Australia’s internet is capable of if our experience with Netflix is anything to go by.
Google has also yet to answer two big questions related to Stadia. The first is how much the service will cost. Streaming means the traditional way of buying and selling games no longer applies. Does this mean we’ll have to subscribe on some sort of deal like Netflix or is it a one-time fee?
The second big question is what kind of games will be on the service. The only confirmed titles so far have been Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and the upcoming Doom Eternal, and Google has yet to reveal what developers will be putting their games onto Stadia. The platform is hugely impressive but it all means nothing if there are no games on it.
It remains to be seen how Google will fare in the gaming sphere with Stadia. There are still many question marks over the platform but early signs are pointing towards a paradigm shift in the entertainment world should the service work as intended.
As for when Stadia will arrive, it will be launching at some point in 2019 in the US, Canada, UK, and “most of” Europe. There’s no release date for Aussies but if we were to hazard a guess, 2050 is probably the closest window we’ll get based on how long it’ll take for our internet speeds to catch up to the rest of the world.