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Starhawk

The Google Video Game Platform

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I love Google, but I have zero faith that they will ever go ALL IN on anything.  Everything they do feels like an experiment.  I doubt this will be anything different.  They'll be cancelling whatever this is in 3 years.

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It’s called the Stadia...

 

https://mobile.twitter.com/GoogleStadia/status/1108053792203984896

 

A streaming only, INSTANT Access system with controller.

Streams up to 4K 60fps HDR, will later add support for 8K 120fps

Stadia instances are 10.7 Teraflops of GPU power

Can click Play Now in a STADIA enabled browser and join instantly on sites like YouTube.

Connects using Chrome as a streaming platform across many devices.

Single code base enjoyed across desktop, laptop, TV, tablet, and phone.

Works on existing devices - Chromecast, Chrome browsers, and Chrome browsers.

Works with existing controllers, not just Google controller

Cross-platform multiplayer and save files

Couch co-op and Split-screen using separate instances available

Low latency platform for "everyone."

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Doom Eternal was announced for the thing as well. You too can enjoy 4K/HDR, 60fps Doom with streaming levels of lag. That’s if you have the requisite bandwidth to even stream it at that level to begin with.

 

Or you can just buy the game on your X or Pro.;)

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Jade Raymond is heading up “Stadia Games and Entertainment”. A studio dedicated to creating exclusive games on the platform. 

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As I said on Twitter, it’s basically every single thing I hate in modern gaming with a logo slapped on it.

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10 minutes ago, Romier S said:

D2CR6GUWwAAoc2P.jpg

 It looks like a cross between a PlayStation controller and a Switch Pro controller. 

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Streaming is a good thing for low-latency games.  Turn-based strategy games or RPGs.  There is merit to this whole thing.  Just can't imagine playing DMC.

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Stadia does seem poised to address several issues - like single cpu/gpu limitations for instance. Latency and graphic quality are a mixed bag depending on what platform you game from.

 

 

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Cost? Or free but I have to purchase the content?

 

Color me intrigued but skeptical. Streaming live sports on my 85-inch 4K Sony barely looks acceptable with a gigabit fiber connection. Add in the additional complexity of interactive content at 4K/60? We’ll see.

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Game streaming is coming along these days and I like it as an option but, this just doesn’t look ready for fast paced games yet. Also, Keith is right (I know) and I don’t trust Google to support this long term. As an option for someone who owns a console and can now play some great PC games - that’s awesome. For people (like my daughter) who love games but, only buy a title rarely because they’re too expensive this could be a great alternative assuming it’s a subscription based service at a reasonable price. They haven’t revealed the pricing yet but, rumors are that it will just be a storefront like the Steam or Epic stores and not a subscription. If true the purchase gets you access to stream the game on Stadia and cloud saves, etc but you would also be able to download it and play it locally. That’s a big *IF but, if true and it includes ownership that could be ok.

 

I don’t think I’m the target market though despite trying the EA sub for Anthem. A sub like the Origin Access model makes a lot of sense to try out game which is what I wanted - with Stadia you get this but with streaming instead of downloads. A subscription model also fixes the problem for players like my kid who need a lower cost of entry for PC stuff. I guess we’ll see

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A commenter on Arstechnica who claims to be in the beta said this

 

Quote

I was in the beta, playing AC Odyssey, (100 Mb connection) and was mostly not impressed. It was 'neat', in that you could start & play a game with minimal fuss. However, if you're used to a high frame-rate, and the ability to tune more than just the gamma setting, and used to high resolution, you might be disappointed.

For me, it was like gaming on a low-end PC whose graphics card was struggling to keep up. It lacked fidelity that gamers, including console gamers (not just high-end PC's) are used to.

These streaming services have been tried several times, and always failed, and for a reason. I saw nothing new or particularly impressive this time around.

 

 

1 hour ago, Brandon H said:

Cost? Or free but I have to purchase the content?

 

Color me intrigued but skeptical. Streaming live sports on my 85-inch 4K Sony barely looks acceptable with a gigabit fiber connection. Add in the additional complexity of interactive content at 4K/60? We’ll see.

 

The Arstechnica writeup says cost was not discussed at all, not even a pricing model was mentioned. 

 

This, plus the fact that the demo units did not have the controller and only one game was demoed might suggest they rushed this announcement for GDC.

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It’s so utterly bandwidth dependant and that’s the issue. First impressions are going to hurt if you don’t have the internet service to support streaming a game at high resolution and you generally are looking at 30-40mb to pull off 4K/HDR. Sony dealt with the same with PS Now. The games I tried there ran well for me at the time but then I was running well over a 150mb line at the time (currently 1GB). Sony also missed out on expanding now into a backwards compatibiiity service which is an enormous missed opportunity, IMO.

 

The fundamental question is why I would choose to play any current gen title on this service over buying the game on an existing platform and suffering none of the uncertainty? Games drop in price within weeks so what’s the value proposition? It’s not for me at all but I’m genuinely curious to hear from someone that is interested..

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No cost mentioned yet, but scuttlebutt is that it's regular purchases a la carte at "normal" prices, but I imagine there's potential for some sort of Netflix-like subscription tier. 

 

Some of the features pitched today are cool sounding - the embedded 'save state' so that players can jump in to a game at a specific point or challenge? Could be really cool & fun. 

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I also read that the Google controller would connect directly to the internet (vs via the device), which might also change latency.  Seems like an interesting solution (although then you're dealing with multiple streams/connections at once). 

 

It's a challenging model if it ends up being "buy the game for 60 bucks", just because if the service ever shuts down, then you have no access to the purchase anymore.  A subscription would make it easier to swallow, but that's all going to depend on how well they business the service. 

 

I don't know much about what Microsoft has planned, but something that's a hybrid streaming/console service seems like the best of both worlds.  Ideally, it would be a case where you could buy a game for your account, or access it through gamepass, and have the choice of downloading and running locally on your hardware, or streaming a session from the cloud.  Some combination of the two would also be really interesting, where part of the game is offloaded to cloud processing.  Imagine a case where collisions and physics are rendered locally on wireframe models, but you have what's basically a "cloud GPU" to do the heavy rendering. 

 

My use cases for streaming games are pretty limited though.  Usually, it's because the main TV is in use already, which means I can still stream locally from the Xbox, or more likely, just play something on PC, do something else, or worst case kick whichever kid is using the TV off of it :)  The other case is travel, and I have managed to use Xbox streaming over VPN to my home network a couple of times, but it's more of a gimmick.  The bandwidth is going to be more than a hotel can handle in most cases, and the only reason I was able to get it to work when I did was because I was hard wired on a customer site.  It was kind of cool being able to play my xbox from 3000km away, but that was mostly just mopping up collectibles in Arkham Knight.  Something like a streaming only service is going to be useless on planes, most hotel internet, and probably most public wifi.  4/5g might help, but cost there is going to be a major factor (although I wouldn't be surprised to see some special deals worked out with carriers for this). 

 

In any case, it's an interesting proposition having Google in this space.  I have no faith that they'll stick around in it though, since they've got no fear of cutting and running when something isn't working.

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Obviously I hate it, because I'm the sort of person who still buys physical products like Blu-rays and vinyl records.

 

But I fear that's the case for the Big Experience games they demoed it with, and it doesn't matter how many times you say it's for "everyone" when they quote 25Mbps for a recommended performance; that's way beyond the average for just about every nation outside a few major cities.

 

Most of all, I wouldn't personally have unveiled my new cloud-based expensive stuff ownership system the same week I emailed every Google+ owner to remind them all of their content will vanish at the end of the month because I was bored of hosting it.

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