The digital powerhouse, Google has marked its entry into the video games market with Google Stadia, a service that will allow players to stream video games to any screen – be it a phone, tablet, TV or computer.
The new console-less reveal was announced at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, detailing the cloud-powered service that will allow users to log in from any screen using the Chrome browser, a Chromecast device or a Google Pixel phone.
Users will be able to play the same games across all of these devices, and it will all be powered by Google’s servers, rather than a games console. It means that players won’t have to purchase a box that sits under the TV to play games, instead allowing them to play wherever they like.
Google has not announced pricing, but it is likely that the service will be subscription based and it is expected to launch in 2019 in the US, Canada and the UK. It will also be fully integrated with YouTube, where gaming content is watched by hundreds of millions of people every day.
Google demonstrated a button that will let users watching video game footage on YouTube instantly click to play the game themselves. Stadia will also allow for easy capturing and sharing of game clips.
The service is being launched with Google’s own controller, though existing USB controllers will also work.
Google has stated that its ‘immense server infrastructure’ will mitigate any issues with lag that previously circled game streaming offerings, meaning games will be able to be played without delay.
Bethesda’s forthcoming shooter Doom Eternal was demonstrated on stag as a flagship game, but no others have been announced. Google has created its own video game development studio that will deliver exclusive games as well as other publishers’ titles.
The video games market has picked up pace in the licensing arena over the past couple of years, in some instances outstripping film as a leading mode of entertainment. What Google’s Stadia now means for fan immersion – with an ability to play anywhere, any time, without plugging into a console – is certainly something to watch.
All we can be sure of for now, is Google’s Stadia is a certain game-changer.