Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who says he plays FIFA 19 “quite a bit,” introduced the Stadia service during a special keynote at GDC this morning. Describing it as a platform for everyone, Pichai talked up Google’s ambitions to stream games to all types of devices. Stadia will stream games from the cloud to the Chrome browser, Chromecast, and Pixel devices, and it will launch at some point in 2019 in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe.
Stadia looks interesting and has the potential to shake up a ton of the ways we currently play, buy, and share games. The controller looks nice but I’ll have to reserve judgement until I have on in my hands. Although, the early impressions of it are positive.
As for the name and logo, I dig them. In my opinion, it elevates Google’s take on gaming to something less basic or juvenile than we see from gaming related companies but doesn’t come off as pretentious or arrogant (see: Ouya, Vita). The name has a deeper meaning than simply explaining what the thing is (see: PlayStation, Game Boy).
From a streamer/content creator perspective, Stadia could be a big deal for those using single PC setups or are unable to afford higher-end hardware needed to play the most recent games. Considering it runs on browsers and Chromecasts, many likely have the hardware to run it already, short of the previously mentioned controller.
Lastly, I’m surprised the service is not only launching this year but that it’s arriving in countries other than the US at launch. We Canadians have had to wait, sometimes years, to get access to new services like this. It’s nice to know we’ll be able to get our hands on it sooner than later.