Google has announced that it will be launching its own video game streaming platform later this year, promising to enable customers to play demanding games through a web browser regardless of their own hardware.
Named Stadia, the platform will leverage Google’s extensive network of data centres along with the ubiquitous nature of its Chrome and Android operating systems to offer customers a highly-accessible route into video games with state-of-the-art graphics and intricate gameplay design.
The firm has said that the capabilities of its cloud-side operations will be a significant leap in quality over existing consoles, with the goal of streaming games at 4K resolutions and 60 frames per second.
Owing to the nature of the service, Google won’t be releasing hardware for the service besides a new controller that it says has been closely developed with gamers themselves.
In its blog post, Google added that Stadia will connect with Google’s other services to offer a holistic gaming experience. As an example, the firm suggested that people viewing a video game video or stream on YouTube could click a ‘Play Now’ button that would take them directly to the game without the need for downloads, updates, or installations.
Gamers will also be able to stream and upload content to YouTube directly, with Google saying that it is working to close the gap between game players and game viewers who each represent enormous markets.
It added that the data centre-driven model will offer developers unlimited resources to develop games without the technological restrictions of the traditional console format, and that Google will be able to continually upgrade the service’s capabilities over time without any disruption to end users.
Google has not yet announced any pricing structure for the service but it is likely to require a significantly cheaper buy-in than Microsoft and Sony’s inevitable follow-ups to their Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
Video game streaming services have been attempted previously with little success or widespread appeal, but Google possesses the infrastructure and global footprint to become a major, successful player in the market.