|Platform||Google Chrome web browser|
Stadia is a cloud gaming service operated by multinational technology company Google. According to Google, it is capable of streaming video games in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second with support for high-dynamic-range, to players via the company's numerous data centers across the globe, if they are using a sufficiently high-quality Internet connection. It will be accessible through the company's Google Chrome web browser. The service's integration with YouTube, and its "state share" feature which allows viewers of a Stadia stream to launch a game on the service on the same save state as the streamer, has been used as a selling point for the service. It is compatible with HID class USB controllers, though a proprietary controller manufactured by Google with a direct Wi-Fi link to data centers will be made available alongside the service. Known in development as Project Stream, the service was debuted through a closed beta running Assassin's Creed Odyssey in October 2018, with a public release planned in late 2019. It is the direct competitor to Sony Interactive Entertainment's PlayStation Now service, and Microsoft's Project xCloud.
Stadia is a cloud gaming service, and requires no additional computer hardware, only requiring the device to have an Internet connection and support for Google Chrome. Stadia works atop YouTube's functionality in streaming media to the user, as game streaming is seen as an extension of watching video game live streams, according to Google's Phil Harrison; the name "Stadia", plural of "stadium", is meant to reflect that it will be a collection of entertainment, which the viewer can choose to sit back and watch, or take an active part in. As Google had built out a large number of data centers across the globe, the company believes that Stadia is in a better position for cloud gaming compared to past endevours like OnLive, PlayStation Now, and Gaikai, as most players would be geographically close to a data center. Stadia supports the streaming of games in HDR at 60 frames per second with 4K resolution, and anticipates eventually reaching 120 frames per second at 8K resolution. Players can start games without having to download new content to their personal device. Players can opt to record or stream their sessions onto YouTube through Stadia. Viewers of such streams can launch the games directly from the stream with the same save state that they were just watching. While Stadia can use any HID-class USB controller, Google developed its own controller which connects via Wi-Fi directly to the Google datacenter in which the game is running, to reduce input latency. During its GDC 2019 keynote reveal, Google confirmed that the controller would also feature Google Assistant, which will automatically search YouTube for relevant, helpful videos related to the game they are currently playing at the touch of a key.
Upon launch, Stadia's cloud hardware will initially use a custom Intel  x86 processor clocked at 2.7GHz, with AVX2 and 9.5 megabytes of L2+L3 cache. It will also use a custom AMD GPU with HBM2 memory, 56 compute units, and 10.7 teraFLOPS. The service will also have solid-state drive storage, support for 484 gigabytes of bandwith, and 16 gigabytes of RAM shared between the GPU and the CPU.
Project Stream was Google's first announced sign of interest in video gaming products. The company had previously been rumored as working on a service called Project Yeti since at least 2016. Google had also hired gaming industry executive Phil Harrison and was seen recruiting developers during industry events in 2018. Project Stream's main differentiator from past services, such as OnLive, GeForce Now, and PlayStation Now, is its ability to run in any desktop Chrome browser, rather than specific gaming platforms. The service uses AMD Radeon graphics hardware. Google announced the service in October 2018 and soon after, opened invitations to beta testers with access to Assassin's Creed Odyssey. Players could apply for access and those who met an Internet speed minimum could run the game in their Chrome browsers. Those who participated received a free copy of the game when the beta expired. Stadia was formally announced during Google's keynote address at the 2019 Game Developers Conference in March 2019. To support Stadia, Google also announced the formation of Stadia Games and Entertainment, with Jade Raymond as its lead. Besides developing their own games, Stadia Games and Entertainment will help support the transition of third-party titles to the Stadia service.
Three games are planned to launch on Stadia. Assassin's Creed Odyssey, which was used in the Project Stream test in October 2018 in 1080p resolution, and id Software's Doom Eternal, are both planned to launch with 4K resolution, 60 frames per second gameplay, and HDR support. An unannounced third game being developed by Q-Games will utilise the platform's "state share" feature. Doom (2016) was also demonstrated at GDC, but it is unknown whether the Stadia port is intended to be publicly available or only as a demonstration. Phil Harrison stated in an interview with Ars Technica that "a couple of leading fighting games" were in development for the platform, but did not mention any specific games.  In addition, a first party developer led by Jade Raymond named Stadia Games and Entertainment will develop additional games for the platform.
|Assassin's Creed Odyssey||Action role-playing||Ubisoft Quebec||Ubisoft||TBA|
|Doom Eternal||First-person shooter||id Software||Bethesda Softworks||TBA|
During its beta, the service received positive initial impressions from reviewers, exceeding expectations and making game streaming appear as a viable alternative to PC gaming. Reviewers reported that the streaming service had low latency and felt as if the game was being played locally. Depending on Wi-Fi speeds, however, the game sometimes compressed its screen resolution or lagged. A test by The Verge found no lag issues over a wired ethernet connection, and occasional stuttering on a shared Wi-Fi connection. However, even on a wired connection, the stream did not output at 4K resolution and occasionally went fuzzy with compression artifacting. The reviewer reported the best experience on Google's Chromebook Pixel. Polygon found the service's audio compression noticeable. Ars Technica remarked that Project Stream's login sequence was far simpler than that of other services. Digital Foundry performed a hands-on with Assassin's Creed Odyssey on a Pixelbook on the service in Beta, and found that on the testing environment, latency seemed acceptable, but there was a noticeable visual hit. They also remarked that Assassin's Creed Odyssey was not the best example for testing, as it was natively already a laggy game.[b]
- Date of first completed public release, regardless of platform or region.
- Assassin's Creed Odyssey was originally designed for gameplay at 30 frames per second.
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- Thier, David (March 20, 2019). "All 3 Games Confirmed For Google Stadia". Forbes. Archived from the original on March 21, 2019. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey was the test case for Project Stream, and people have already played a remote version of this game in a web browser. [...] Google confirmed that Dylan Cuthbert's Q-Games would be building a game around the "state share" feature that will allow you to instantly start playing a game at the same moment as a Youtube video or a live Youtube stream. [...] it's hired AAA gaming industry very Jade Raymond to head up a studio called Stadia Games and Entertainment.
- Capel, Chris J (March 21, 2019). "Google Stadia can run Doom Eternal at 4K with HDR at 60fps". PCGamesN. Archived from the original on March 21, 2019. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
...including true 4K resolutions, HDR colour, and running with a framerate of 60fps.
- Farokhmanesh, Megan (March 19, 2019). "Doom Eternal is coming to Google's cloud gaming service, Stadia". The Verge. Archived from the original on March 21, 2019. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
It will run on Stadia at 4K resolution with HDR color at 60 fps.
- "Google Stadia hands-on: streaming analysis and controller impressions". Eurogamer. March 19, 2019. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey is perhaps not the best example for testing, as it's natively a fairly laggy game, so it will be interesting to test faster 60fps titles (...) Stadia is perfectly playable and presentable here, but it's clear that there is a noticeable visual hit when the encoder is presented with more a more detail-rich, fast-moving scene process.
- Campbell, Colin; Plante, Chris (March 20, 2019). "Google Stadia: Phil Harrison answers our biggest questions". Polygon. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
- McLaughlin, Kevin; Efrati, Amir (February 7, 2018). "Google May Step Into Gaming With 'Yeti' Streaming Service". The Information. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
- Statt, Nick (March 16, 2019). "Everything we think we know about Google's mystery gaming announcement". The Verge. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
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