Google Announces Stadia, a New Game-Streaming Service

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At the 2019 Game Developers Conference, in San Francisco, California, Google finally unveiled its highly-anticipated game-streaming service, called Stadia. Stadia is a new video-game platform that can deliver instant access to your favorite games on any type of screen, whether it's a TV, laptop, desktop, tablet, or Android smartphone.

One of the boldest claims from Google is that Stadia will be able to stream a game at up to 4K HDR at 60 fps with surround sound, if you have a fast-enough Internet connection. Stadia would launch games from the Google Chrome browser. At first, it may seem too good to be true, but if you listen to Google's plan, it becomes less of a wild fantasy and more of a reality.

Google plans to use its globally connected network of data centers for Stadia, freeing gamers from the constraints and limitations of traditional gaming consoles and PC gaming rigs. Players won't be the only ones taking advantage of these powerful data centers, though. Game developers will also have access, allowing them to use powerful hardware stacks combining server class GPU, CPU, memory, and storage with the power of Google's data center infrastructure. Google shared that more than 200 million people watch gaming-related content on YouTube… on a daily basis. With Stadia, viewers can become gamers with the simple press of a button, launching a game directly from a YouTube video so people can join in on the fun instantly.

Stadia isn't the only thing Google announced. In addition to a game-streaming service, Google also announced the Stadia controller. Developed from the feedback Google received from gamers, the Stadia controller looks like it combines all the good things from the Xbox One, PS4, and Pro controller, to become the ultimate controller. The design isn't the only thing that's unique about the Stadia controller. Instead of connecting to your device, the Stadia controller has a direct connection to Google's data centers via Wi-Fi, for the best possible gaming performance. The controller also has a button for instant game capture, saving, and sharing gameplay in up to 4K resolution so you can quickly upload your favorite gaming moments directly to YouTube. It also comes equipped with a Google Assistant button and a built-in microphone. While the Stadia controller will provide the gaming experience Google wants, the tech giant has assured gamers that they can still use their own controllers and RGB keyboard-mouse setups with Stadia.

Google has stated that Stadia will launch later this year. There are still some unanswered questions, the major one being the price. There's no word yet on whether you'll need a subscription to Stadia, purchase the games individually, or some combination of the two. However, you'll need a high-speed Internet connection, so if you don't have one already, it might be time for an upgrade.

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