Google has made enormous waves recently in their announcement of their Stadia gaming system. Quite unlike almost all other gaming platforms, this has been a development that industry speculators have been expecting for years. So, what is Stadia, what is it that places Stadia as the most likely candidate for successful AAA game streaming, and where does it owe its signature systems?
The idea of Stadia itself is fairly simple; it is a game service which requires only a controller as a base console, alongside a quality internet connection. In effect, this works as a receiver and transmitter to your router, as it streams gameplay live via the internet to you. In this way, it is similar to the likes of Netflix and Hulu, though the interactive nature of gaming necessitates much lower latency.
When successfully connected, this effectively means that any PC game, no matter how high the requirements, will be able to stream directly to any device. Users can now enjoy the latest Assassin’s Creed on their phones at max settings, for example, if that’s how they choose to play.
While this marks the most profound modern step in game streaming technology, it should be noted that the basic concepts for Stadia have been around for years. PS Now is probably the closest direct relative in this regard, but taking a further look back means we could see the likes of online flash games as precursors.
Online casino games like those available on Oddschecker are some of the most prolific in this regard. These games opened themselves up to be played over desktop, laptop, and mobile systems and offer the same quality of experiences across the board. This is hardly a new industry either, as these services have expanded to a level where they now offer a wide range of bonuses and deals.
“Google” (CC BY 2.0) by C.E. Kent
Stadia, then, while undoubtedly progressive, is not quite as unique as it might at first seem. The real difference here, the one factor that has not been solved by other means, comes from Google’s immense infrastructure. It is only because they have data centres in many major cities that they can mitigate problems with lag, and it is this that raises game streaming from potential to reality.
Going forward, it is inevitable that an increasingly large proportion of gaming will turn to live-streaming. The benefits here, both for the producer and consumer, are too great to ignore, but don’t expect this form to take over completely. Connectivity and centralisation are huge issues here, and ones not easily fixed; as such, classic gaming consoles will be playing their part for a long while yet.