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Tech and Gaming

Google Stadia is the Next Big Thing in Gaming

Words by Nathan Irvine

The US tech giant takes a huge step towards competing with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

Google just dropped a huge surprise at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The US tech giant announced Stadia – a cloud gaming service that’s being billed as (wait for it…) the Netflix of gaming.

Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, says that Stadia – due to launch in 2019 – aims to “stream games to all types of devices”. This means smartphones, laptops, tablets and TVs – all without the need of a gaming console.

The move represents a canny move for Google as it attempts to tap into the multi-billion dollar games industry.

Google Stadia Controller


Google The controller is your gateway to gaming on pretty much any device

Game on

Heading up the project is former PlayStation and Xbox executive, Phil Harrison, who brings a wealth of industry knowledge to the Stadia.

The way that it will work is fairly simple. All you need is a stable internet connection, a subscription to the service (price TBA) and a device with a screen. You’ll then have access to games stored on cloud servers, which you can even play through the Google Chrome web browser.

For TV, you’ll need the Google Stadia controller to play your games.

Interestingly, Google is using YouTube to peddle its games, too. When you watch a gaming clip there’ll be a button that says “Play Now”. Click it and you’ll be transported to the game where, yes, you’ll be able to play it instantly.

Google Stadia


Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Google Vice President and General Manager, Phil Harrison

Up in the clouds

We’ve tempered our excitement though. See, this isn’t the first time cloud gaming tech has promised to revolutionise video games.

OnLive arrived with a big fanfare in the early 2000s, but struggled badly. The service failed to gain traction due to flaky connections that disrupted gameplay.

Obviously, Google has far more might and money to make Stadia work. And if it comes anywhere close to what’s initially being promised, then Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are about to be faced with their biggest rival yet.

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