Google took the wraps off its anticipated video game streaming platform today, unveiling Stadia at the Game Developers Conference. The company has laid out the details for both future players and developers, stating that it will be working on building games exclusively for its new platform via its new Stadia Games and Entertainment division. The company has already started working with third-party developers, as well, and has sent out dozens of development kits.
During its announcement today, Google revealed that it has sent Stadia development kits to more than 100 game studios already, helping them get off the ground and start working on bringing their products to the streaming game platform. The company has presented its platform as the next generation in gaming, bringing high-quality games to anyone with a device and sufficiently fast Internet.
According to Google, its Stadia developer platform is made to ‘seamlessly integrate with your tools, workflows and business practices.’ Notably, the company said, ‘We’re investing in the hardware, software and services to enable a hybrid cloud with Stadia Development Nodes in your studio and dedicated Instances in Google’s cloud, securely integrated into your workflow.’
Stadia will run a variety of games on Google’s servers, delivering video and audio to players using the company’s low-latency data centers. According to Google, its network infrastructure includes 7500 edge nodes located close to players in order to improve performance. The company is promising players 4K graphics at 60fps at launch.
The company has detailed some of the hardware making this possible, revealing at this time the following specs:
– Custom 2.7 GHz hyperthreaded x86 CPU with AVX2 SIMD and 9.5 MB L2+L3 cache
– Custom AMD GPU with HBM2 memory and 56 compute units capable of 10.7 teraflops
– 16 GB of RAM with up to 484 GB/s of performance
– SSD cloud storage
The big benefit here is that gamers will get access to high-quality gaming without needing to invest in high-end gaming hardware. Instead, any simple device — a phone, tablet, or laptop — can be used with Google Stadia and its companion controller to play games; the processing burden is on Google’s end. The big limitation for most consumers will be Internet speed requirements, but it’s unclear at this point what kind of minimum speeds users will need to have a fulfilling experience.
Google is now accepting applications from interested developers.