Google Stadia gaming platform launch – as it happened

Curious to see what Google has up its sleeve for GDC 2019 (Game Developer Conference)? Well you’re in luck. The keynote is underway and Google Stadia cloud gaming platform has been announced and detailed. We’ve created a definitive guide detailing how to watch the Google GDC keynote and what to expect from the company. Join us for live updates.

When was the Google GDC keynote?

The Google GDC keynote took place 10am PT today, which was 5pm UK time. They keynote just wrapped up, and it brought the announcement of Google Stadia, the anticipated new cloud gaming platform that will bring AAA games to multiple devices in the Chrome browser.

How to watch the Google GDC keynote

You can watch the Google GDC keynote on the below Youtube video. The stream just finished, but if you missed it live, a full version of keynote will be available later on the same URL as the embedded video below.

Google Stadia launch – as it happened

Google has unveiled a game platform will lower the entry level to high-end gaming experiences. Google CEO Sundar Pichai says it’s for “people who love to play games, love to watch games and like to build them” and is designed for gamers of all levels.

It’ll be available to play from any screen at any time and it’s called “Stadia”. Google says it’s “one place” for all the games we play and watch. It brings together the currently fragmented world of those playing games and those who like to stream them on YouTube and the all-important game developers. Here are the key updates as they come in:

Chicken Widget

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  • Google says the Stadia, previously known by its test name Project Stream, demonstrated AAA gaming in the browser, without limits. The new platform will go well beyond just the single Assassins Creed: Odyssey game used for the test.
  • Google says users will see a Play Now button in game trailers on YouTube, where they’ll be taken to the game in as quick as five seconds, with no download, no patch, no upload and no install. It reduces the friction between being excited about a game and playing it. From hours waiting for large update files to download and install, Stadia players will be playing in about five seconds.
  • At launch, Google will offer support across desktops, laptops, phones, televisions (via Chromecast Ultra HDMI streamer) and tablets. There’s no limit on where gamers can play.
  • Google says gamers can instantly transfer 1080p/60fps gaming experiences from PC to phone to tablet, to Pixelbook at the exact same point in the gaming experience.
  • Gamers can use existing keyboards and controllers to further limit barriers to entry, but Google is also launching its own Google Stadia controller in three shades. It will connect via Wi-Fi to the display the game is running on. The controller also has two new buttons: The capture button enables sharing back to YouTube, while there’s also a Google Assistant button that gives access to in-game features integrated by developers. Of course, that means there’s a microphone in the controller too. Woo!

Google Stadia controllers

  • Stadia will be able to support 4K games at 60fps with HDR support. In the future, it’ll be 8K and 120fps+ as the display technology becomes available. Gamers can choose to share a separate 4K 60fps recording to YouTube, directly from the Google data centres. That’ll mean game footage will always be saved at the best possible resolution.
  • At Google’s end, there’s also a custom GPU doing all of the heavy lifting. That graphics interface provides users with 10.7 teraflops. That’s more than double the PS4 Pro (4.2 GPU teraflops) and the Xbox One (GPU teraflops). Google Stadia gamers will benefit from multiple GPUs for a single game, as well as that single 10.7 teraflops of GPU.
  • Finally, here’s some new game news. id is on stage announcing Doom Eternal for Google Stadia. The game will be capable of running at true 4K with HDR at 60fps. It will also run on a single Stadia GPU. The full game is running on Google data centres and will be on display at a different keynote at GDC.

Doom Eternal

 

  • Google says the multiplayer interface is also benefitting from this with Google saying battle royale games can go from hundreds of players today, to thousands of players tomorrow. Stadia is embracing full platform multi-player, including game saves and progression.
  • Google says its machine learning capabilities will help developers realise their vision faster than before. The Style Transfer ML brings machine learning to game design. Developers can take a single image or piece of artwork and run it through the game to immediately offer a new design theme for the game. Wow.

  • Google is debuting a new State Share tool, which enables players to share from specific moments in games. Developers will be able to add these state shares that will enable users to infinitely share new achievements, player positions, inventories, world states and more. It will add more life to games and enable content providers to share states viewers can simply just simply jump into. Content providers can develop specific challengers for their audiences.

State Share

 

  • Google is now introducing Crowd Play, which will enable Stadia gamers to join in with content creators they enjoy watching on YouTube. Clicking a link within a YouTube video will place gamers into a lobby to play the next game with some of their favourite creators.

Cloud Play Stadia

 

  • The Google Assistant button on the controller will enables to get help when they reach troublesome moments within games.
  • Google says links posted anywhere (by text, on Reddit, etc.) will take you straight to the games.
  • Google is launching Stadia Games and Entertainment as a first party studio to be led by Jade Raymond, en experienced developer and studio executive who founded Ubisoft Toronto and Motive Studios.
  • Google is bringing the tech unveiled today to third-party developers, big and small, Raymond says.
  • Developers can apply for dev tools at Stadia.dev. Stadia Partners is designed for those who want to bring their game to the platform.
  • Stadia is launching in 2019 in the US, Canada, UK and most of Europe. Go to Stadia.com for more details. News on games will come this summer. We can expect Google to announce a pricing and release strategy then too.

Excited by Stadia? Or sticking to your Nintendo Switch? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews