Tech Giant Google took an ambitious leap into the competitive, console-driven gaming industry on Tuesday, 19 March, by unveiling its new game-streaming service at a press event during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
The new service, called Stadia, will look to take on Microsoft's Xbox, Sony's PlayStation and Nintendo's Switch by eliminating the console altogether. Google’s been lining up its so-called Netflix for games over the past year or so, working behind the scenes to partners with more game publishers.
But here’s the thing with Google’s Stadia, the fact that it will be available through the internet, even offering games in 4K quality means it will take a heavy toll on your internet bandwidth.
Speaking of the internet, it’ll be important for users to know what kind of internet support they need at the back end to support smooth and effective performance of games on Stadia. Which is why it is good to hear Phil Harrison, Vice President, Google talking to IGN, a gaming portal about how Google plans to make Stadia a global success.
"We know that our internet bandwidth requirements won’t reach everybody day 1. There’s nothing I can promise that will change that. But we’ll work hard to reduce the bandwidth required and increase the quality" - Phil Harrison, Vice President, Google to IGN
We already know that Stadia is not expected to launch in India this year, and probably not before 5G settles in for the consumers.
But Phil was candid in his chat with IGN, clearly pointing out that users will need to have internet speeds of 30Mbps at least to support 4K gaming at 60fps streaming. For playing in 1080 pixels quality, you’ll need probably need internet speeds between 10 and 20Mbps.
For most people in India, these speeds might be hard to get hold of, but with launch of services like Jio GigaFiber from Reliance Jio later this year, expect more people getting on board to high-speed internet in their homes.
Having said that, considering this is Google, we’re hopeful the services will not get hampered by need for high-speed internet. Which is why it was heartening to hear Phil say this:
"We’re making significant investments in the data center, hardware, software, and services that encode the video that comes out of our data centers. We can run games in a variety of resolutions depending on the bandwidth you have coming into your home" - Phil Harrison, Vice President, Google to IGN
And that’s probably a smarter way to go about. Phil is renowned for his work with Sony and Microsoft’s gaming business, before joining Google early last year. Those credentials itself could be enough for the world to get excited about.
We’ll know more about Stadia, how much will games cost on the platform in the coming months and which games can we expect to see on the launch date.
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