The launch of Google Stadia was handled poorly. Well, who am I kidding, it was basically a dumpster fire of missing features and miscommunication. However, the tech behind Stadia is still solid, and it offers a lot of promise for the future. With reports of the PlayStation 5 price being significantly higher, I think Stadia might be a perfect answer to that huge console investment.
Stadia is a streaming service that leverages Google’s vast cloud infrastructure to deliver AAA games over the web without needing specialized hardware. This ambitious effort follows in the footsteps of the company’s other large platforms: Search, Chrome, and Android.
Google hopes to bring this form of entertainment to the next billion gamers by removing various limitations that exist today. All that’s required to play Stadia is the Google Chrome browser that’s available on any entry laptop or desktop. The service is also available on Android phones and televisions through the Chromecast Ultra dongle.
The service requires at least a 10Mbps internet connection for 720p quality at 60FPS and Stereo sound. Double that connection provides 1080p with HDR video and 5.1 Surround sound, while 35Mbps is needed for 4K resolution. This consumes between 4.5GB to 20GB of data per hour of gaming.
Google is leveraging the data centers and networking infrastructure already in place to power its existing cloud services. The actual Stadia hardware consists of custom Intel CPUs and AMD GPUs that are more powerful than the Xbox One X or PlayStation 4 Pro at 10.7 teraflops of performance.
To get the most out of the service, Stadia Pro is required. For $9.99 per month, you can play games in 4K graphics and receive a free title roughly every month — the first being Destiny 2: The Collection.