Google to challenge games market with launch of Stadia

Google says its challenger in the lucrative games market will launch later this year - but cannot confirm yet if Ireland will see the platform in 2019.

The internet giant this week launched Stadia, a platform that does not require a console and allows users to play games across a range of internet-connected devices.

Google says Stadia will "free players from the limitations of traditional consoles and PCs" by allowing users connect to Google’s data centres to play the game.

“Stadia is a new video game platform, delivering instant access to your favourite games on any type of screen — whether it’s a TV, laptop, desktop, tablet or mobile phone. Our goal is to make those games available in resolutions up to 4K and 60 frames per second with HDR and surround sound,” the company said.

The platform will also interact with other Google services.

A user watching a gamer on YouTube, for example, will be able to play the game on display themselves with a push of a button.

“Data centres make Stadia possible, but what sets the system apart is how it works with other Google services,” Google said.

“In a world where there are more than 200 million people watching game-related content daily on YouTube, Stadia makes many of those games playable with the press of a button.

“If you watch one of your favourite creators playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey, simply click the “play now” button.

"Seconds later, you’ll be running around ancient Greece in your own game/on your own adventure — no downloads, no updates, no patches and no installs,” it said.

"The new generation of gaming is not a box," said Google vice president Phil Harrison. "The data centre is your platform."

However while Google said Stadia will be launching this year “in select countries including the US, Canada, UK and much of Europe”, a spokesperson for the company told the Irish Examiner that it is not in a position to say whether Ireland is in that list of countries.

A dedicated controller will also be launched which will connect directly to the Google data centres in an effort to minimise the potential for any lagging issues - or a delay - during game play. The controller will also include a ‘capture’ button that will allow gamers to record their play and upload it to YouTube.

Doom Eternal is one of the first games to be confirmed for Stadia, which will run at 4K resolution and 60 frames per second.

Google has yet to announce the pricing structure for Stadia.

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