Those high quality video games that gamers have traditionally have either had to download or purchase on a disc would now be offered by tech giant Google without the need for a disc or a gaming console. That would be done by the company through streaming the games over an internet connection, the company informed while unveiling its new digital gaming platform called Stadia.
Phil Harrison said on behalf of Google existing desktops, laptops, TVs and phones can be used to access the service when it launches.
Google also revealed a controller which resembled a conventional console gamepad but with a button for capturing and sharing gaming directly to YouTube.
One of the first games available would be id Software’s major title Doom Eternal, the company also announced.
While the company also did not reveal any pricing structure for the new service, it said that the service would be launched by 2019 and would initially be available in the US, UK, Canada and Europe.
In 2018, as a test case before completely venturing into the gaming business, Google used the Ubisoft game Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and made it available for participants via the Chrome web browser. The effort was named as Project Stream by Google and was related to streaming of data-rich games.
The high digital quality of te games is made possible because it uses the Google’s own high-end hardware and users would only have to connect to the games via the internet from their devices.
“We learned that we could bring a triple-A game to any device with a Chrome browser and an internet connection,” said Google chief executive Sundar Pichai, referring to big-budget titles.
However, the major issue of offering of high-end games over an internet connection has resulted in many streaming services having failed or not become successful to date. Issues of “lag” – the delay between a player performing an action, and the game reacting to that move, have been the primary complaints of gamers. High latency rates infuriate players in games where split-second reactions are a matter of winning or losing.
Google has tried to avert this problem by allowing its Stadia controller directly to the internet which allows it to communicate directly and very fast with the Google’s servers without having to depend on other hardware.
YouTube, which is getting increasingly popular with gamers in terms of sharing their skills, is the bet that Google is depending on to make its own gaming platform successful.
“Hundreds of millions of people watch gaming content on YouTube every single day. Our vision is to bring those worlds closer together,” said Phil Harrison, Google’s newly-hired head of gaming.
The announcement was exciting news for gamers, said Randolph Ramsay, editor in chief of gaming news site GameSpot.
“It’s been a long time since a brand-new platform came along that could challenge the major players like Microsoft and Sony,” he said.
However caution was expressed by some game developers.
“Stadia looks very ambitious, but how much is the controller, how much is the service, what games do we get, how will ownership work, and how much does it cost to develop, publish and run games on Stadia?” tweeted Dr Serkan Koto, from Tokyo-based games industry consultancy firm Kantan Games.
(Adapted from BBC.com)