Google announces Stadia cloud gaming service

March 20, 2019 08:55
Jade Raymond, head of Google's Stadia Games and Entertainment, speaks on stage in San Francisco on Tuesday during a keynote address announcing the new cloud gaming service, Stadia. Photo: Reuters

Google will launch this year a browser-based video game streaming service dubbed Stadia that will attempt to capitalize on the company’s cloud technology and global network of data centers, Reuters reports.

The technology allows users to play games through their internet browser or YouTube without waiting for content to be downloaded to a device, making access to games potentially as easy as watching a video from YouTube.

With Stadia, the “waiting game will be a thing of the past,” Phil Harrison, a Google vice president overseeing the new service, was quoted as saying during a keynote presentation on Tuesday in San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference.

The streaming technology offers a fresh way for Google to pitch game publishers on its cloud computing and data storage services, which ultimately could generate more revenue for Google than game sales.

Harrison said Stadia will launch in the United States, Canada and much of Europe and support desktops, laptops, TVs connected to Chromecast streaming media sticks, tablets and phones.

Players could enter games from links on YouTube or other social media. They will play using mice and keyboards, USB controllers or a WiFi-enabled controller that Google plans to launch this year.

The company declined to say how it would price its technology to consumers or game makers, or specify supported games.

Dozens of people are on the Stadia team, many of them formerly of game makers Electronic Arts, Sony or Microsoft’s gaming units.

Google’s hardware business is a top priority for Chief Executive Sundar Pichai, who opened Tuesday’s keynote.

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