Google officially unveiled its new video game streaming service Stadia during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, along with a new controller.
Where other wireless game controllers typically use Bluetooth, the Stadia Controller uses Wi-Fi to connect directly to a game running in Google’s data center. It can identify which screen or device a person wants to play on and links it with a game session running in the cloud, Google vice president and general manager Phil Harrison explained during the company’s GDC presentation. It also comes with a capture button that allows players to save and share their gameplay directly to YouTube, while a new Google Assistant button lets players access the A.I. and special developer-created features via a built-in microphone.
The Stadia service promises 60 FPS gaming at 1080p on a variety of devices without the need for downloads or installs. The player can seamlessly switch between a phone, desktop, laptop, or tablet. Their progress is stored in the cloud and carries over between devices. Google says the service will support full cross-platform play as well. It’s expected to launch sometime this year.
In addition to the Stadia announcement, Google revealed newly-minted vice president Jade Raymond, a longtime video game producer best known for her work on the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise, will lead the company’s first-party game development studio, Stadia Games and Entertainment. It also brought developer id Software onto the stage to announce that its upcoming action sequel “Doom Eternal” will come to Stadia in 4K and 60 FPS when it launches.