Google gets into gaming with streaming service launch

Josh Peachey's picture

Google has launched a streaming service that allows people to play games over the internet without the need for a console.

Google launched Stadia yesterday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The gaming service will run on Google's Chrome browser on a desktop computer, smartphone or tablet.

On Stadia, games would run directly from Google’s cloud computer servers, meaning that no installation is needed. 

Google said that Stadia's cloud computing power is the equivalent of a console running at 10.7 GPU teraflops, making it faster than Sony’s PS4 Pro and Microsoft’s Xbox One X combined.

Google said Stadia will eventually be able to handle 8K resolution video – 16 times more detailed than HD, meaning it will be much higher than the standard quality for PC gaming.

At the conference, Google’s Head of Gaming Phil Harrison showed how someone viewing a video on YouTube could be playing then be playing the game instantly by pressing a "play on Stadia" button.

Google experimented with streaming data-rich games in 2018 with Project Stream, in which the Ubisoft game Assassin's Creed: Odyssey was available to play via Chrome.

Google has also made a controller to use for gaming on Stadia - which will communicate with cloud servers independently from any other hardware being used. 

Stadia is due to launch later this year in the US, the UK and Canada with Doom Eternal, being one of the first games available. Subscription costs for Stadia are still unknown.