Here we are again. Once more the video game industry is dabbling in the arena of streaming games. No, not streaming gameplay to YouTube — although it is involved in this — but streaming them in order to play them.
Admittedly, as cool as this concept is, it hasn’t done so well in the past. However, none of the previous attempts were by Google — a company that has pretty unlimited access to hardware and technology that others don’t.
Google intends to launch the new service — named Stadia — later this year, making it available to anyone on any platform that supports Google Chrome. Ideally, players will be able to start a game on one device and easily switch to another with everything being handled on Stadia’s end.
Stadia will also integrate with YouTube, allowing players to launch a game directly from videos and trailers of the game in question. They’re also implementing social features that will allow content creators to engage more directly with their audience.
The full keynote highlighting the service’s features is available below. However, there are questions it does not answer.
There’s no mention of cost for the service. Previous services have had a subscription at minimum. They also don’t address how the service will impact the data caps forced on users by their ISPs. But considering the service can stream in up to 4K and Google intends to implement 8K at a later date, it could be a problem.
At present, we don’t know much about what games will be available on the service. We’re running with the assumption that should developers of F2P games want to get on the bandwagon, they can. However, judging from the list of partners shown in the video, this hasn’t happened yet.
Google is working on their own games for the service — because every gaming platform needs to launch with something — but they haven’t specified how those will be monetized either.