If you watched the Google presentation from GDC on the 19th of March, you’d have seen something that felt familiar but was new: a game streaming service. Now there have been quite a few of those and most of them came and went. Why? Because getting this to work properly is not as easy as you might think. Enter Google Stadia.
Now there is a lot we simply don’t know yet. However, these are some of the reasons that Stadia might just be the kick starter of a gaming revolution.
1. Any screen, anywhere
Gaming is something you can do everywhere. Just download a mobile game and go. Right? Well, if you’re into Flappy Bird, that might be true. However, when you want to play the latest Assassins Creed, you are shit out of luck. Until now. Basically, Google is promising that you can play your AAA-tiles straight from the datacenter anywhere you have an internet connection. Even on your TV if you have a C
2. Social Gaming and Streaming
The time that nerds like me were the only ones playing videogames is long gone. Nowadays playing videogames is ubiquitous and even watching somebody else play a game has become entertainment in itself. Now Google obviously is enabling this with Youtube. But Stadia is adding a whole new level of game sharing with built-in 4K(!) streaming and recording functionality straight to Youtube. Don’t hold your breath for Twitch integration but just think what a boost this can be for the gaming community on Youtube vs Twitch.
Add to that the very interesting social features added into the game like sharing a game state with a simple link and you might start to feel this is a game changer. Google itself noted that you can play games with viewers of your stream. Twitch, hold on to your shorts because Google isn’t playing for shits and
3. No more box, no more upgrades
This might seem obvious but really it isn’t. Not needing any extra hardware is a huge way to promote a new platform. Just sit down and play with the stuff you already have. Not only that but play at 4K resolution at 60HZ. So you get console-level performance with no extra hardware. Just use your Chromecast or your old shoddy laptop. So no more upgrades, no more graphics cards to change and no more driver updates.
I imagine that many PC-gamers will be happy with that. Now imagine how developers and Google are feeling about this. There is a huge potential for fast adoption of the platform and hopefully a low barrier-of-entry. Console level gameplay and cheap prices would mean gaming will never be the same. But, as Polygon points out, we don’t know the price yet. Google did promise to make gaming accessible to everyone, and having a low price would be part of that.