As gamer, could you imagine having all the games you ever dreamed of available in one place? Suppose you could play Assassin’s Creed or Doom Eternal in 4K streaming, 60 frames per second with HDR compatibility. Can you imagine? If you live in the United States, Canada, the UK or Europe, the good news is now you can! This year the technology and innovation giant Google is entering the gaming universe with Stadia.
Stadia is a games as-a-service or cloud gaming system, a streaming platform that allows you to start a game in the cloud, eliminating the need to use a videogame console and to locally download the game. Google claims that any device that supports Chrome will be able to connect to Stadia and that users will have access to the main features of its service. That means that if you pause a game on your tablet, you can resume it in your notebook.
What’s New About Stadia, Compared to Similar Services Already Available in the Market?
Stadia will have unprecedented processing speed. According to Google, they are working on a customized GPU and servers of 10.7 teraflops of power, which represents a significant increase compared to the 4.2 teraflops offered by PS4 Pro and the 6 teraflops of the Xbox One X. On top of that, there’s Google’s brand differential against other developers and influencers. They will also offer YouTube integration, which means that:
- There will be a “Play on Stadia” button, so that users can go from watching a video to playing a game, or even enter the game at a specific point (State Share).
- There will be a “Crowd Play” option, by which creators who are playing live can invite followers to join in a mass game.
Some things never change. For those of you who love controls, Stadia offers a special WiFi-connected hardware through which you can access certain features directly, although it’s not necessary to use it to play games. In that sense, they have promised to “listen and adapt” to the needs and expectations of true gamers. They will also include a button to capture, save and share moments of the game and another one to activate Google Assistant, in addition to a built-in mic.
However, they are still working on the legal regulations to distribute this device, and they haven’t confirmed a possible release date.
Bad News for Latin America
We regret to say that it’s highly unlikely that the average user in Argentina would be able to fully use this platform. Marina Cuello, one of our Android developers, explains that Google has defined a release stage first for the US, Canada and part of Europe, with the aim to analyze how the streaming platform is used in different locations. “They won’t run the risk of offering this service where they know it won’t work, either because of the infrastructure available or the distance to their servers farms,” argues Marina. It seems logical that an implementation such as this would remain off limits for Latin America, due to the quality of the network connection in the region. To support 4K streaming at 60 frames-per-second, it’s necessary to have an Internet broadband connection of around 30Mbps. In a country like Argentina, the average speed is 12.22Mbps.
In spite of that, at this side of the world there’s a popular gaming service, Gloud, although it cannot be considered as a relevant competitor to Google. We have to bear in mind that the games provided by that platform belong to previous generations and have poorer graphic quality.
What Lies Ahead
Marina predicts: “With the huge number of servers promised by Google, thousands of gamers could play massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) such as Battle Royale at the same time, and would be able to share their experience via YouTube. If Google keeps its word, the world depicted in the film Ready Player One (2018) won’t look like science-fiction any more”.