Google announced this week that they’re getting into the blockbuster gaming market in a big way with their new service, which they’re calling Stadia.
Stadia lets you play games no matter how powerful (or not powerful) your devices are. You’ll be able to play new games like you’d see on an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 on any Android device, or anything that can run Chrome - even a Chromecast. Instead of the game processing being done on a console connected to your TV, the processing will be done on a server running in a Google datacenter, then streamed to your TV.
Playing games on remote servers isn’t exactly a new idea - a service called OnLive was launched in 2010 - but web technologies and mobile hardware have come a long way in the decade since. Specifically, with Stadia, Google wants to enable you to watch someone playing a game on YouTube, and then click a button and take over, in real time, in a new game session, playing from where the video left off.
Google has designed a controller for Stadia that they say will reduce the lag time from when you press a button to when that action actually happens. The controller connects directly to your Wi-Fi and talks to the game server itself, so your phone or Chromecast doesn’t have to work as an intermediary.
Microsoft has been rumored to be working on a game streaming version of the next Xbox, too. Between that and Stadia, these might be the first iterations of the future of home gaming.