Google has been teasing its GDC show where it will unveil its “vision for the future of gaming” for a while now, and now we finally know where they think games are headed. Today, Google announced Stadia—a brand new, streaming-only platform that uses the Google Chrome browser as a platform to be able to deliver games across a variety of devices, regardless of their native hardware.
According to what Google has announced at their event, they are promising a low latency experience (which so far has been the fundamental undoing of streaming services), integration with social services like YouTube (e.g., you could be watching a streamer play, say, Fortnite, and if the streamer shares their game with you, you could join right in to accompany them as they play), and will come with its own controller, which seems like a blend of the Xbox, Nintendo, and PlayStation controllers (you can see pictures below).
Stadia is due out this year, and Google promises it will deliver games to “everyone” regardless of the device they play on—though how they surmount the question of data caps and bandwidth issues remains to be seen.
— Stadia (@GoogleStadia) March 19, 2019