Google has officially announced its video game streaming platform Stadia, in a move which stands to disrupt the entire $140 billion industry.
Yesterday evening the Alphabet-owned company revealed its new streaming service at the Gaming Developers Conference in San Francisco, sending shares of leading console makers like Sony and Nintendo plummeting.
The Stadia system, due to launch this year in the UK and US, promises to of “bring a triple-A game to any device with a Chrome browser and an internet connection.”
Unlike traditional modes of gaming, where a console or PC runs a game off a disc or hefty digital download, the Stadia system will run games off very high-end systems at its own locations, using an internet connection to stream the image into the user’s home.
This offers gamers the ability to play games in better-than-console-quality games without having to purchase a console, on any device which can run Google Chrome including PCs, TVs, tablets and even smart phones.
Though this technology is around 10 years old, efforts so far have failed to offer an experience that was free of lag.
Unlike Netflix where the stream is one way, gaming systems require an input from the player’s controller, which must then be transmitted to the system and then back to the user’s screen, leading to latency issues which hinder the experience.
Its strategy to overcome this issue is by connecting the Stadia controller directly to the internet, allowing it communicate directly with servers bypassing other hardware.
No pricing details have yet been released, but it was revealed that Doom Eternal will be one of the first games available to play on the platform.
According to Google’s head of gaming Phil Harrison, the system will also allow users to jump straight into a game they are watching on YouTube, by simply pressing a “play on Stadia” button.
“Hundreds of millions of people watch gaming content on YouTube every single day. Our vision is to bring those worlds closer together,” Harrison said.
Many questions remain unanswered about Stadia, but the markets have acknowledged its potential to disrupt the gaming market just as Spotify and Netflix did for their respective mediums.
Shares in PlayStation manufacturer Sony dropped 4.37 per cent following the news, while shares in Nintendo also fell 3.21 per cent.