At 2019 Game developer’s Conference in San Francisco, Google unveiled its vision of the “future of gaming”.
Google Stadia formerly being developed under the monikers Project Stream and Project Yeti is a “Cloud-based game streaming service”.
The term should not cause confusion to most readers as the concept of online gaming Services is nothing new to the gaming industry and has existed for a while with very limited success from On live, Shadow, Play station Now, Geforce Now, and most recently Microsoft game stack service provided over Windows 10.
There is however a marked difference between all the past flavors of streaming game services and Google Stadia.
Google’s offering in the Streaming service market, unlike previous proprietary services is entirely managed over Google own data and network infrastructure.
It is no secret that if someone were to surf the internet today, at some point their queries will be processed in one of googles vast global network of data centers before returning a search result to the end user.
Google is everywhere today and Google stadia is the newest addition to Googles ever growing presence in all things online.
This gives google an unprecedented edge over all competitors in the game streaming service market today.
At the moment, Google is keeping very hush about the details regarding how much the service will cost, and How it will be implemented.
From what the VP of Google Phil Harrison revealed at the presentation, the service will run on Google’s dedicated custom built data server using the following specs:
- CPU: Custom 2.7GHz, hyper-threaded x86 CPU with AVX2 SIMD, 9.5MB L2+L3 cache
- GPU: Custom AMD GPU with HBM2 memory and 56 compute units
- RAM: 16GB of RAM with up to 484GB/s of performance
- SSD cloud storage
Google claims their custom servers will boast an astounding compute performance of 10.7 Tera Flops which is more than a Playstation 4 Pro and XBOX One X combined. The service will provide a maximum resolution of 4k at 60 frames per second while scaling down to resolutions of 1440p, 1080p, 720p, 480p and 360p as per user requirement.
Google will eventually add an 8k resolution to the roster at a later date.
The service will go live sometime in 2019 and will be initially available in UK, US, Canada and Western Europe.
As impressive as the presentation was, it was what Google did not say about their new service that has many concerned.
It should not be forgotten that Google Stadia is a Live game streaming service with emphasis on streaming not gaming.
The streaming will be done on the same model as youtube where lag in network is managed by auto-scaling the resolution of the stream. While the entire service will be on the backbone of Googles network the end user will still need a robust ISP and a very impressive internet service plan.
For those who want to use the full extent of the service resolution, google has recommended a minimum Bandwidth of 30Mbps. 1080p would require 25Mbps, 15Mbps for anyone who wishes to play at 720p.
The presentation Google gave at GDC 2019 introduced what could be the initial implementation of Google Stadia at the very start of the Demonstration.
If the presentation was any indication of Googles marketing strategy for Stadia, Its initial implementation would be for providing demo gameplay on demand for any new games posted by game developers on their youtube channel.
Stadia Hardware will come equipped with features that allow users to instantly post gameplay videos as well as stream live game footage on Google’s own youtube platform all at the touch of a button.
While this little detail won’t raise a lot of eyebrows, it has a very strategic importance to google from a business standpoint as game streaming and videos are the most watched and hence the most monetized type of video’s on Google’s youtube platform.
It goes without saying that Google Stadia as a service is tailor made for youtubers who established themselves through their gameplay related video content and are dedicated to bringing their subscribers the latest game news and content first.
Google Stadia will initially launch with two triple-A game titles: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey by Ubisoft and Doom Eternal by Bethesda. While Google’s new venture has attracted several other indie game developers only time will tell if Google Stadia will truly become the new reality of the gaming industry or will it fade away like another blast from the past the VR Goggles