Video games used to be played in arcades. Then we had specialized consoles hooked up to our living room televisions. Real gamers built their own expensive PCs equipped with the best audio and graphics that money could buy.

A new player has stepped into the ring of the gaming systems, to bring high-end gaming to more devices.

Google’s new gaming system

On Tuesday, Google announced Stadia, its new gaming system that lets you play games with a wide variety of devices and a fast internet connection, similar to how you watch shows and movies on Netflix. Google didn’t say how much games will cost to play, though it plans to say more in the summer.

  • no boxes
  • no downloads
  • no limits

The selling point for Stadia is convenience. You don’t need a chunky game console or expensive PC. Just a TV, set-top box, browser, phone or low-end PC that can surf the web using Google’s Chrome browser and a fast Internet connection.

The magic is its simplicity

To interact with the game and its controls, players can use any keyboards, mice, and third-party controllers they like. Or you can use a specialized controller from Google, also named Stadia— tailored explicitly for its platform and that connects to its service over Wi-Fi.

Gamers’ reaction was overwhelmingly positive, which is normal since a service like Stadia spares users from spending hundreds of dollars on gaming equipment. The Google gaming system can be played on your phone, computer or TV. It will let you play games on Google’s servers but beam high-quality video feeds to your own devices.

From the CEO

According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the service will let gamers play top-tier without the need to buy and own expensive computers or dedicated gaming consoles. All games will run on servers in Google’s data centers, and a video feed of the game will be broadcast to the user’s device of choice –such as a desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or smart TV.

At launch, Stadia would support game video feeds of 4K at 60fps, with surround sound and HDR support. The goal is to upgrade gaming streams to 8K at 120fps, Pichai said. The power of instant access is magical, and it’s already transformed the music and movie industries.

New cloud based

Cloud is the new platform dynamic for the games sector and will be where the future competitive landscape resides. Google just needs to offer the right games to make it work.

Because Stadia is a cloud-based streaming service, the main advantage is that players can switch between devices within seconds, and without needing to save and close down ongoing games.

The Stadia announcement wasn’t a surprise for industry experts. Last fall, Google partnered with Canadian game maker Ubisoft to run a test that allowed gamers to play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey inside their Google Chrome browsers, without the need of dedicated gaming rigs.

When it launched, Google’s Stadia became a unique service, without any direct competitor.

Google name recognition

Though Google isn’t the first company to offer game streaming, its entry into the space could make waves within the video game world. Google has lots of money, and it’s made its name by offering reliable services like Gmail, Google Maps and Google Photos for free or on the cheap.

With Google’s streaming service you’ll no longer have to go to a retailer like Amazon, Best Buy or GameStop to get the latest title. Nor will you have to potentially wait hours to download it from online stores. Instead, Google says, all you’ll need is a fast internet connection and a controller, and you’re set.

Google said it plans to closely knit its game service with YouTube and has developed ways for people to start playing a game after clicking a link in YouTube. The ease of sharing and starting a game with just a link could change the way we think about playing and offer new ways for people to compete and play with one another. It unites technology and entertainment in ways we’ve never seen before.

Taking On Xbox, PlayStation & PC Gaming

Stadia is already able to deliver games with more performance than Microsoft’s  Xbox One X and Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro combined. And Google said it eventually expects to double that performance as game developers create even more complex games.

Google won’t rely on just other game makers though. The company said it’ll follow Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo in building its own specialized games for its service, through a studio called Stadia Games and Entertainment.

Google has also partnered with game developers like Epic Games and Unity. As a result, Google’s high-performance servers will stream games at up to 4K ultrahigh-definition video at 60 frames per second, meaning animations should move smoothly.

Naturally, Sony and Microsoft have said they will be developing competing services as well asap.

A blast from the past

I got my first gaming system in 1972. It was the simplest thing that anyone could ever imagine. The game was called Pong and it sustained us for many years. I have had many gaming systems since but will fondly remember the Pong with amusement, at how simple things used to be. I no longer play a lot of video games but admire the creativity that goes into making modern games. Google’s gaming system is the most exciting new platform to come out in a long time.

 

What do you think of Google’s Stadia Gaming System? Please leave a comment or question in the box below and I will be happy to reply. Thanks for reading my post.

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