Google is finally joining the arms race that is the online video game industry with the unveiling of its new Stadia game streaming service.
The tech company made the announcement at the Game Development Conference (GDC) 2019 in San Francisco on Tuesday, March 19.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, discussed how Stadia could change the video gaming world by providing gamers a single platform to download, play, and share games at high-speeds.
"Games don't have instant access," Pichai said. "Think about the way the web works. You can easily share a link and it works seamless."
"We want games to feel that way too. Instantly enjoyable with access to everyone."
Google's Stadia Game Streaming Service
Stadia provides users with a single online hub where they can access, watch, or play video games across different platforms such as PCs, consoles, or smartphones. The game streaming service makes use of Google's Data Center to give customers access to the game library.
Gamers can play video game titles using their own devices. However, they can also play games using Stadia's official controller, which is described as the "gateway to the best of Stadia."
The new game controller uses WiFi connection to directly access the Data Center, where players can run the games they want to play.
The device also features buttons that let users share and save their content on YouTube, as well as a built-in microphone to connect them directly to Google engineers for technical assistance.
Google said it has teamed up with AMD to build a custom graphics processing unit (GPU) to help power its infrastructure of data centers around the world.
The company claims the new chip will be able to deliver as much as 10.7 teraflops of power to the system. That is more than the PS4 Pro's 4.2 teraflops and the Xbox One X's 6 teraflops of power.
Stadia will feature its own 2.7GHz x86 processor and 16 GB of RAM to give the system the boost it needs.
High Frame Rate, Low Latency
What sets Stadia apart from its competition is its promise to deliver video game streaming at high frame rates without suffering from low latency.
By leveraging its data centers, Google said its new game streaming service can support games with up to 4K of resolution at 60 frames per second (fps). This was demonstrated during the GDC presentation using internet connection with a bandwidth of 25 megabits per second (Mbps).
Google also plans to beef up Stadia's streaming capabilities in the future to support up to 8K resolution games at 120 fps.
Stadia's Game Library
Google is lining up several new titles for Stadia's game library. One of the first games to be announced is Doom Eternal, an upcoming first-person shooter from game developer id Software and publisher Bethesda Softworks. The game will support up to 4K resolution at 60 fps.
Doom Eternal's game makers have yet to reveal a release date for the title, but the game will be also made available for PCs and other game consoles.
Google is also giving Stadia full cross-platform support for its video games. This allows game developers to add cross-platform multiplayer features, as well as game saves and game progression to their titles.