Published: Wed, March 20, 2019
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Google unveils first-party game studio led by Jade Raymond

Google unveils first-party game studio led by Jade Raymond

Stadia Games will also work with third-party developers to help implement all of Google's new game streaming technology.

Watch the Google Stadia keynote at GDC 2019 below.

Developer creativity will be enhanced through a framework called Style Transfer ML, allowing you to fee Google's AI with art or colour palettes and then have it automatically map colours and textures into the game.

"This is the first step in the journey", said Phil Harrison, a former Microsoft and Sony executive who joined Google to work on Stadia a year ago. Unfortuantely, the code does not work on Stadia.dev at this time. No download, no day one patch, no install - just instant access. There's also a Google Assistant button that accesses an internal microphone so players can get help with game features that have been integrated by developers.

He said it reduces the friction between being excited about a game and playing it. At launch we'll support being able to play games across desktops, laptops, TVs via Chromecast, tablets, and phones. Players can play on devices they already have, and by using the new Stadia controller, which Google calls "your gateway to the best of Stadia". It was a very impressive technical showcase, and alongside the reveal of it all came the Google Stadia controller.

Google wouldn't say how much it will charge users, or whether it will be funded through advertising like most of its other businesses.

Stadia is a game-changer for gamers and could completely upend the current market.if Google can in fact deliver on its promises. And just like that, Google has a game console attached to millions of TVs.

"There is no console that limits where gamers can play", he said.

Speaking of hardware, there is no actual console.

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There hasn't been a release date or price on Stadia, but Google announced that the cloud gaming service will arrive "Later in 2019". For launch, they're promising 4K gaming at 60 frames per second. Still, some areas of the USA have low broadband penetration, which is why Ubisoft's Yves Guillemot says the platform is likely to be used alongside consoles and PCs, not as an outright replacement-at least for the time being.

Part of Google's value proposition for Stadia is its compute infrastructure, spanning 19 regions and 200 countries connected by hundreds of thousands of miles of fiber optic cables.

As for the games?

Meanwhile, companies such as Epic Games, the publisher of "Fortnite", have introduced their own game marketplaces and app launchers, which could compete with Google. Doom Eternal will be capable of running at 4K with HDR at 60FPS.

An interesting forward-thinking and relevant tidbit is that Stadia will fully support cross-platform play.

Stadia is all about making games more accessible. The controller also has a built-in Google Assistant button and a Share button to upload sessions directly to YouTube.

This, YouTube Gaming's Ryan Wyatt said, would allow YouTubers to curate a group gaming experience.

Similar to services like GeForce Now, Stadia will render games in the cloud and stream the video down to your device.

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