Google Stadia

Google Stadia promises to revolutionize gaming world with Linux and Vulkan

In San Francisco, USA, on the GDC 2019 stage, Sundar Pichai, Google's current CEO, said: We've found that we can bring any big game to any device through Google Chrome.. A highly audacious proposal that was explained throughout the presentation.

What is Stadia?

The best way to describe the project is to compare it to other streaming services that people are used to, such as Netflix or Spotify, with the difference that Stadia is geared toward games. Stadia is not only a new game distribution platform, but the name stands for a whole new content streaming technology with high processing density and performance, especially and especially games, but possibly not only that. Which opens doors to run other major applications in the future with similar technology.

Google Stadia
Stadia to be fully multiplatform

During the presentation, several people came to the stage to tell a little more about the project and to show technical aspects of its operation and what problems it intends to solve, both for players and developers, extending to the content creators of the project. YouTube

The Data Center is your new Platform

The idea of ​​bringing the computational power of data centers from Google to the gaming world, including the phrase, "the data center is your new platform," was repeated a few times throughout the presentation.

Quality

Stadia promises to deliver content with resolution up to 4K 60 FPS in a 25Mbps connection, which is not so, considering the quality presented. So far, the game demonstration, in partnership with Ubisoft, is the same as what we saw on "Project Stream", "Assassin's Creed: Odissey", which is able to run with the same quality on today's super PC Gamer, and on a Smartphone or Chromebook with virtually no hardware acceleration, up to a Chromecast. Incredible.

Google Stadia
Play: Google

It is expected that in the near future 8K 120 FPS streaming will be possible, which is currently not true for virtually anyone in the world.

In the presentation, Google also compares Stadia's current profile, which they say may grow indefinitely over time, with today's best-of-breed consoles, showing that Stadia's processing potential is greater than the two combined:

Comparison with PS4 PRO and XBOX One X

Linux, Vulkan and Partnerships

The operating system behind Stadia Linux, together with the powerful Open Source graphical API, Vulkan. Stadia already has the support of a number of key market partners, as well as Ubisoft itself and Doom developer id Software, which even announced that the new franchise title will be on Stadia running Linux in Vulkan called "Doom". : Eternal ".

Linux and Vulkan Stadia
Linux and Vulkan are the base of Stadia

This combination of technologies will allow the level of multiplayer games to reach "another level", according to the company.

If today there are a number of technical challenges that prevent many high quality players from playing with Stadia, you can play Fortnite on your Chromecast in 4K, 60 FPS with thousands of people at once in a super optimistic scenario.

* Fortnite s an example, nothing has been confirmed, even though Unreal Engine is part of the project.

Stadia Partners
Project partners currently

In the project's current supporters panel we can see other very important names such as Unity Engine, CryEngine, Havok, Visual Studio and so on (see image above), we have AMD which was responsible for building a special processor for this beginning. of project.

With these combinations of technology and gamers making direct access to the server, you virtually (virtually) end up with no possibility of hacking or cheating, as nothing will be run directly on the players machine.

Stadia Controller, much more than a control itself

In the announcement, the folks at Google commented that it will be possible to use the controls that everyone has at home to play such games, including keyboard and mouse, however, the company also introduced the "Stadia Controller", a control that works literally without a console.

Stadia Control
Stadia Controller

With a design that looks like a mix of Xbox and PlayStation concepts, the Stadia Controller doesn't even have to connect to your computer via network or BT, it simply accesses the internet and connects to Google's server, allowing you to use the same controller to play on a Smartphone, Chromecast TV, TVBox, laptop (regardless of operating system), etc.

The idea is that the control "understands" where you want to play and just works. Sounds like magic, you know … That would eliminate, for example, the need to pair your controller with all the devices you want to play, plus the controller also lets you automatically share your gameplay on YouTube via a live or video at the touch of a button, all live processing, recording, etc; would be processed directly on the same servers as YouTube and Google with low latency.

The controller also has a button with Google Assistent, which can be used in conjunction with a microphone on it to give commands to games (when a game is programmed for it), or to simply give commands to your Android, Chromebook or Chromecast.

Stadia Gaming & Enterteinment

Another interesting point is that Google has announced a division of Stadia that will be responsible for platform-exclusive titles, Stadia Gaming & Enterteinment, making the company also enter the game production market. With this new activity, she was called into the role of CEO of game design division Jade Raymond, former EA Games and Ubisoft.

Jade Raymond, Stadia Google
Jade Raymond, Stadia.

Integration with YouTube and other media

The presentation clearly had three target audiences, the game developers, the gamers themselves, and the people who enjoy watching gameplays. As it is a cloud service, Stadia will be able to create links to easily share games.

The internet your store

Stadia promises to solve a problem that we're so used to that we don't even consider it a problem anymore, the delay between deciding to buy a game and actually playing.

Take as an example:

Are you interested in any title, see a gameplay of it to see if the game looks like what you would like to play on YouTube, or just watch the game trailer and decide to buy it. You leave YouTube and go to another site or store, buy the game, wait for the download. After a few hours, or with luck, a few minutes, you start playing the game in the best quality your computer or console can handle.

With Stadia you can get out of a video already with the link to a game demo that will run directly in your browser, which makes the life of advertisers and developers easier too.

If you like make lives, like usBy playing with friends, one of Stadia's chances of being able to share an instant link to multiplayer gaming matches in their YouTube lives chat, allowing your audience to connect with you almost instantly. For the developer, this means making a single game with one code and running it on any platform through Chrome and the like. Google comments that it is possible that in the future the service will support other browsers as well, which makes us think that Microsoft will have changed the base of the Edge It ends up making their lives easier in case of need for compatibility.

Google and Open Source

As we can see, the great foundation of this new technology lies in Open Source. On Stadia's developer blog, Dov Zimring, platform director, commented as follows:

"Google believes Open Source is good for everyone. It enables and encourages collaboration and technology development, solving real-world problems. This is especially true at Stadia, we believe a community of game developers has a long history with We are investing in open source technology to create the best platform for developers in partnership with the people who use it. This starts with the foundations of our platform, which are Linux and Vulkan, and extend up to our selection of GPUs, which have open source drivers and tools, we are integrating the LLVM and DirectX Shader Compiler to ensure great performance for our compilers and debuggers. game developers, and we're happy to contribute RenderDoc, GAPID, and Radeon GPU Profiler, part of I say open facing the middle of graphics. "

Challenges, when and how?

The most natural and inevitable question of such a promising service: When will it be available to the public?

Google reports that this project has been in the works for some years now and will be in operation by 2019 in Europe, Canada and the United States. There are no forecasts for Brazil, as always.

Certainly another issue to consider is the internet connection infrastructure. Every time we talk about streaming anything, especially games, we run into this.

This is definitely a key point, but Google informs its presence in hundreds of countries with data centers high quality, power and speed to meet this demand, being something that "only they can do".

Your internet connection is really important, but it is possible that the final requirements will be much lower than today, especially for single player games.

On the other hand, think that you currently basically use the gaming PC, you can stop spending a lot of money on video cards and a lot of RAM to invest in a good internet and maybe a network card upgrade.

Of course, such a service will not have an incredible uptake in a short time, but it seems that this is really the future of games, starting to be a matter of time for it to become viable for everyone, whether with Google services or not.

The biggest difference we see with Stadia with other solutions like Steam Link, Nvidia GeForce Now, Parsec and others is that Google not only launches an efficient new technology, but also a broad business plan, integrated with many other products and platforms. , in addition to several partnerships with major market.

There have been no explanations as to how Stadia will work for consumers, whether it's a monthly paid service or something sold by titles like Google Play games for example, but something tells me we'll soon find out.

And you think the new game platform project from Google takes off?