Google’s GDC 2019 gaming announcement has come and gone, and we now know more about the company’s plans in the video game sphere. Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer of Google, took the stage to announce that Project Stream was a technical test of steaming technology to see if the Chrome browser could be used to bring a AAA game to people over the internet and reveal its game platform for everyone, Stadia.
Phil Harrison then took the stage to talk more about the Stadia game platform. The goal is for people to “Gather around.” Harrison was a former Microsoft Corporate Vice President and is now a Google Vice President and General Manager. Stadia will combine the worlds of Google data centers, YouTube, and Project Stream. Harrison noted that the 2018 Project Stream test involved Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey being played at 60fps in 1080p through Chrome browsers, being the first Stadia test game.
Harrison then noted that with YouTube, someone could see an Assassin’s Creed Odyssey YouTube video. After it, a link to Play Now could appear, allowing someone instant access to play that exact game in your Chrome browser. No downloads or waiting would be involved. At launch, Stadia will work on PCs, tablets, phones, and TVs. There will be no limits. A Pixelbook with Chrome OS and Pixel 3XL was shown running the game on stream. Google also had it running on the least powerful desktop PC it could find. After that, it was running on a Pixel Slate. Finally, it went to a TV with Chromecast Ultra HDMI Streamer. You can use it on devices you own, with controllers you also already own. (This could explain recent information that suggested Google Chrome Joy-Con support.)
During the lead up to the announcement, various icons appeared perhaps representing multiple games. For example, a number of cowboy-related ones perhaps connected to the Red Dead Redemption series appeared.
As far as specs go, Stadia will run on Linux at over 7,500 edge node locations worldwide through the Google Edge Network, and the instances will have custom AMD GPUs with 10.7 teraflops, 56 compute units, and integrated HBM2 memory. It has custom 2.7 ghz hyperthreaded x86 CPUs with AVX2 SIMD. This means up to 60fps at 4K will be possible for playing and simultaneous YouTube sharing, with Project Stream being 60fps and up to 1080p.
Google Stadia will launch in 2019, with more information in Summer 2019.