Earlier this week, Google gave the audience more information about their new game distribution service “Stadia.”
While the technology is currently revolutionary, there are many people out there who simply want to know the basics of what it is.
If you have played games on a PC before, you have likely used Valve’s game distribution program, Steam. On Steam, when you purchase a game that has been distributed through the program, it is added to your library from which you can download it and then play it. Using this method, the games can be played offline but take up space on your local hardware. Stadia is like Steam in the sense that both are collections of games that can be purchased and then played, but Stadia will operate slightly different.
Whenever you play a game with Stadia, you will not be downloading the game, which means that you must have an internet connection at all times while playing the game. The game is streamed from Google’s cloud service to your computer in real time, allowing your computer to save a lot of space on its hard drive and have a high quality game experience. Currently, it seems like the program will operate similar to Netflix, but for video games.
There are a few other things that we know about the program thus far, and still plenty of things we don’t know. The program plans to have exclusive titles both produced by Google and second-party developers, and is the official platform of the upcoming “Doom Eternal,” the latest game in the long-running “Doom” franchise by Id Software.
According to the technical specifications, a 30mbps internet connection is required to play the games at their highest standard, but the application will change the streamed quality based on the user’s connections to keep the game running at a high frame-rate.
Google has also confirmed that the program will run on any device that can run Google Chrome, which will be a difficult specification to keep up with. Many of those devices, such as tablets, phones and laptop notebooks, often do not have high technical specifications, so the quality of running new games at high speeds may drop on these other platforms. However, that remains undetermined. The other issue with running it on mobile devices such as a phone and a tablet is that these items cannot be wired directly into the internet, and playing games over Wi-Fi is generally not a great experience for seasoned gamers.
There is a lot still to be seen from Stadia as well. So far, no date of release has been given, which, in the gaming world, means it could come out any time from tomorrow until six years from now. However, with upcoming titles slated to be released for the platform, we can likely expect to see it hit markets in the next two years or sooner.