At GDC (game developer conference) March 19th 2019, google CEO Sundar Pichai an avid FIFA 2019 player, unveiled the Stadia system during a special keynote. The Stadia service allows everyone to stream games directly to their screens at 4K resolution, the Stadia can be controlled via built in system controllers for example a key board and mouse connected to a PC or controller connected to the device, alternatively you can use the Stadia controller. The Stadia controller can be connected directly to your WI-FI and connects directly to the server system hosting your game reducing the input lag between the controller and the device it is connected to, this simple change can mean the world to a gamer in that split-second moment during a game of reactions.
For those who want to get into PC gaming but cannot due to budget restrictions or those who just want to try out PC gaming before they decide to invest in a system of their own, the Stadia can be very useful to this bracket of its audience, even those with PCs may end up using this system for different reasons, in the instance of a gamer who wants to play the latest games in 4K at 60 FPS but only has a low end gaming system they can use their primary system to connect to the Stadia and game in 4K at a fraction of the cost of a upgrade to their current system.
With the rise of console came a saying used to describe the ease of gaming “Plug and Play”. Directly referencing the way, you plug a game into the console and just simply play, the Stadia takes a similar method to the console but instead can be called a “Click and play” system. A system that allows you to just click a link bellow a video or a game in a browser and directly connect to the server and have the game launched and ready to play within a single click. The Stadia system can be referenced to the way Netflix became such a popular platform for movies and series as you find a movie you like and simply click to play the movie. All that is required to use this system is a screen that can connect to WI-FI or a stable network connection, for a 4K experience you simply require a connection at the speed of 24mbps with future expectations of 8K at 120FPS.
This is all made possible thanks to Google partnering with AMD to create a GPU that will deliver 10 teraflops of power, in direct comparison the Xbox One X only delivers 6 teraflops of power and the ps4 pro delivers 4.2 teraflops of power, a GPU of this power could compare to the new sires of RTX GPUs from Nvidia delivering 13.4 teraflops. System specs for the Stadia: a custom CPU at 2.7 GHZ 16GB of ram and a custom GPU capable of delivering 10 teraflops. A system of this power could be used for much more than just gaming, if Google released education or business editions of this system it will allow those of us creating games to test the full abilities of the game they are creating, maximising the capabilities of their game or in the instance of a business Google could sell companies servers on an annual fee per user allowing access to high end machines that would be useful for coders, video editors, sound engineers and other such professions. The educational value of these systems is mostly limitless, bringing the newest in technology to schools to be studied should be our focus, training the youth in the future giving them access to devices that would ordinarily be too expensive and unrealistic to implement into a school environment allowing students to study the current tech to develop the next generation of tech.
The design of the Stadia’s controller in my opinion is one of the worst designs for a controller in the past ten years, taking the worst parts of the PlayStation controller and meshing them with worst part of the Xbox controller. The thumb sticks and the body shape of the PlayStation controller, the menu buttons of the Xbox controller creating a controller that will rapidly become painful to use, I believe a better design would have been using the main design of the Xbox controller but mixing in the touch-pad, directional pad and menu buttons of the PlayStation would have created a comfortable controller that every gamer would love and would be able to use for hours on end with no issue, but for now we will have to wait and see how the controller pans out and how it is received by real consumers.
I personally believe that everyone should have access the same to technology. This is a small step in giving access of high-end PCs to everyone. Currently technology is ever advancing and leading the industries around the world, with that in mind this is not the first time that this system has been created or attempted, companies such as PlayStation and GeForce use similar systems but with the power, influence and funding of Google this system could become something even greater than just a gaming system. Jade Raymond a long-time producer at both EA and Ubisoft is now leading googles new game design company proving that Google is not treating the Stadia system like a pet project but proving Google is serious about this and want to put their full company behind the Stadia system. With all this information taken into consideration we will have to just wait and see how the Stadia proves its self and decide for our self if the system lives up to its expectations or if it’s falls short.
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This has been Thomas C signing off.