Google announced a new streaming platform for gaming during its GDC keynote today. Called Stadia, the new platform is cloud-based instead of being focused on a single, local console, which will also allow Google to try new things in the world of multiplayer gaming while also reportedly wiping out the threats of cheats and hacks.
“When we designed Stadia, our goal was to solve many of the pain points that we had heard about from developers,” Google vice president Phil Harrison stated. “Particularly those related to multiplayer. In traditional platforms, the client and server are connect by the unpredictable internet, and therefore the multiplayer experience is limited by the client with the slowest or poorest internet connection.”
Google can control every aspect of the online experience since the visuals are being processed on its machines and all the data is moving through its system.
“What that means is a synchronized state across a very high volume of players, where innovations like distributed physics can be built into your games,” Harrison said. “Where battle royale games can go from hundreds of players today, to thousands of players tomorrow. And yes, no cheating, and no hacking.”
This system will also allow more games to offer couch co-op; developers won’t have to worry about the graphical hit that comes with split-screen co-op since Google will be handling the computing power. Each player will be a separate, server-powered instance.
Stadia will also “embrace full cross-platform play,” according to Harrison, although what developers can offer in that area will still remain controlled by what Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo will allow on their own platforms.