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Google’s cloud gaming platform is here: say hi to Stadia

Written by Wed 20 Mar 2019

While there is no news on an exact release date, Stadia announcement shows true low-latency cloud gaming is finally upon us

Google has jumped into the gaming space with a new game streaming service called Stadia, built to run off anything capable of loading a Chrome browser.

Graphics intensive 4k 60 FPS PC games will be playable on Android phones, tablets, laptops and PCs, providing the host has a 16mpbs internet connection.

The service will be released in 2019, although it is not known when, or in which regions it will become available.

The announcement follows mounting speculation surrounding Google’s gaming aspirations and the public beta test of Google’s Project Stream, which let players try Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in a browser window.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai admitted that the test amounted to “the worst-kept secret in the industry” and that the test reached “19 regions, 58 zones, and 200 countries.”


Google Stadia takes controller inputs and sends back video and audio to Google’s hyperscale low-latency data centres, making use of walls of high-performance AMD hardware with 10.7 teraflops of power in each instance.

Google told Ars Technica that the Stadia stacks include custom built AMD GPUs with 56 compute units and integrated HBM2 memory; “custom, hyperthreaded x86” CPUs (OEM unknown) that run at 2.7GHz “with AVX2 SIMD”; and “a total of 16GB combined VRAM and system RAM clocked at “up to 484 GB/s.”

Google said that is also making use of “7,500 edge nodes closer to players to provide better performance.”

“With Stadia, this waiting game will be a thing of the past,” Google’s Phil Harrison said, before careering through a 1080p 60 FPS gaming environment using a Pixel 3 XL connected to Google Stadia’s dedicated controller.

Interestingly, games running on Stadia will have a spectrum of performance depending on how many GPUs are rendering them, pointing to a premium service where die-hard gamers can pay top dollar to have more infrastructure dedicated to a single streamed game.

During the announcement, Google called upon existing platforms to collaborate towards cross-platform gameplay, making a thinly-veiled statement implying Google’s servers were more secure than other console and PC platforms that are exposed to “the public internet.”

Inaugural cloud streaming service OnLive failed to deliver on its promise of low-latency cloud gaming and was forced to shut its doors in 2015. Faster internet speeds, cloud ascendance, and powerful new GPUs have breathed new life into the idea of running games on centralized servers. Sony has its own gaming streaming service PlayStation Now. In 2017 NVIDIA launched its own gaming service GeForce Now.

Written by Wed 20 Mar 2019


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