Google has finally launched its widely anticipated game streaming service, Stadia. CEO Sundar Pichai, introduced the Stadia service during a special keynote at Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. With Stadia, you can stream games on any device with a Chrome browser and a high-speed internet connection.
You won’t need any additional hardware or software to run Stadia. You won’t need to download and install anything to play games.
Google previously tested this gaming service under the name Project Stream. Project Stream allowed Chrome users to stream games in their browser. The first and only game to be tested publicly using Google’s service was Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. The public tests finished in January.
Optional hardware: Stadia controller
You can play the games on Stadia without any additional hardware but Google has one optional gamepad. The Stadia gamepad is the only piece of consumer hardware designed for Google’s new service. It is just like any other controller but has buttons for two unique features.
The two unique buttons are the Capture button and the Assistant button. Capture button initiates a stream of your gameplay straight to YouTube. The Assistant button basically works like Google Assistant. It lets you use some features using your voice and the inbuilt mic on the gamepad.
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Note that the Stadia gamepad is just optional hardware. Google says you can use any controller that’s compatible with your device.
Integrated with YouTube
Stadia is not really treated as an entirely standalone service. Your starting point with Stadia could be a game trailer on YouTube. Google demonstrated a new feature on YouTube that lets you view a game clip and then hit “Play Now” to instantly stream the title. You could simply hit Play on the video stream and start playing within a few seconds.
There is also a feature called State Share. This feature allows you to invite others – your friends, YouTube audience, or your social media followers to play. The people invite can play the game from a specific point, with your position in the game still intact.
You will also be able to use Assistant to look up hints on YouTube. Stadia will show you the exact part of the video to help you out, for any game.