Watch Google's big gaming announcement here, live

Wednesday, 20 Mar, 2019

In the weeks leading up to this announcement, we've seen Google do a few interesting things that relate to its position within the gaming industry.

Google has announced Stadia, a cloud gaming platform / streaming service that will enable AAA games to be played across desktop, laptop, TV, tablet, and smartphone. Some last-minute tips reveal that it may be YouTube-driven (duh), and you will be able to play AAA games on your computer, phone, and TV as well.

Stadia is all about making games more accessible. And it promised developers it would increase that performance over time: "the processing resources will scale up to match your imagination", Bakar said. Will loss of progress be determined largely on a game-by-game basis, or will Google have fail-safes in place that will ensure you don't lose huge chunks of time if your internet disconnects or you get booted off Stadia's service? Then, you're just a click away from launching the game.

We'll have our own deep dive of Stadia's specs soon, and of course we'll offer up test results when the service arrives later this year.

Initially, Stadia will require the Chrome browser engine.

There is a glut of information floating around about the console too - none of it yet verified - but it all comes into focus to show that Google is highly likely to deliver a new console experience that could massively change the gaming industry for good.

Game streaming allows players to play the latest games over the internet, without them having a physical game disc. Instead, everything is done in the data centers it has around the world. Each of the Stadia instances come with a GPU with 56 compute units and HBM2 memory, a custom x86 hyperthreaded processor running at a clock speed of 2.7GHz, and 16GB of RAM.

Gamers who stream their play through YouTube can allow anyone to join in the session, for example. According to the release today, games like Doom Eternal will be available on Google Stadia at some point-in fact, during the presentation it was revealed that the entire game has already been ported over.

What do you need to get started? However, Stadia could make split-screen game experiences workable again. Google's solution is to do most of the work in the cloud.

"As the head of Stadia Games and Entertainment, I will not only be bringing first-party game studios to reimagine the new generation of games".

Speaking of multiplayer, Stadia wants to revitalize couch co-op splitscreen with a feature called Stream Connect. Stadia also supports sharing gameplay situations via a technology called State Share.

Raymond didn't have any news on upcoming Stadia games, but that won't be the studio's only responsibility.

Google has always been rumored to dive into the gaming industry, similar to what Microsoft did more than a decade ago with the original Xbox. The selection of games will determine how successful Stadia in, but the price is also part of the equation.

"There's no word on pricing, what's the revenue model?" said Joost van Dreunen, co-founder of gaming research firm SuperData. Obviously we don't know all the details of this feature just yet.