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Google's Phil Harrison introduces the Stadia controller. Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Google on Tuesday unveiled what it sees as the future of video gaming: A streaming service called Stadia that allows anyone with a Chrome browser and a controller to experience console-quality gaming. It will launch this year, Google said, in the US, Canada and Europe.

Why it matters: Google's general approach — that what used to be a console for playing physical media is headed to the cloud — is widely shared. Microsoft and Amazon are also seen as likely entrants in this space.

Details: Google unveiled Stadia and the controller during a talk at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. So far, Google has announced that Stadia will offer:

  • Games can open in just 5 seconds
  • A single game can run on phones, tablets, TVs and computers
  • Stadia uses custom designed AMD graphics chips
  • Works with existing controllers and devices
  • Google will also have its own controller designed for Stadia, with buttons to stream to YouTube and summon Google Assistant to get help with the game
  • Players can share not just video of their game, but also the game state itself, letting others play from the same position. (Thought bubble: This is a very big deal.)
  • At launch, Google said Stadia will support up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second and eventually work at up to 8K resolution
  • Among the first games will be Id's Doom Eternal. Google will also have its own studio making Stadia games, to be led by Jade Raymond, formerly of Electronic Arts.

What they haven't said: What Stadia will cost and which games will be available. More details are coming this summer, it said.

Flashback: Google has been testing the technical underpinnings of its game-streaming technology since last fall, when it debuted Project Stream. With that, it streamed a single game, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, running off Google's servers.

Between the lines: The key to any gaming service is having the right content. Hence, today's appeal to developers.

Go deeper

Neera Tanden withdraws nomination for Office of Management and Budget director

Neera Tanden testifying before the Senate Budget Committee in Washington, D.C., in February 2021. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Neera Tanden withdrew her name from nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget after several senators voiced opposition and concern about her qualifications and past combative tweets, President Biden announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: Tanden’s decision to pull her nomination marks Biden's first setback in filling out his Cabinet with a thin Democratic majority in the Senate.

What's ahead for the newest female CEOs

Jane Fraser (L) and Rosalind Brewer. Photos: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images; Rodrigo Capote/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

The number of women at the helm of America’s biggest companies pales in comparison to men, but is newly growing — and their tasks are huge.

What's going on: Jane Fraser took over at Citigroup this week, the first woman to ever lead a major U.S. bank. Rosalind Brewer will take the reins at Walgreens in the coming weeks (March 15) — a company that's been run by white men for more than a century.

3 hours ago - Health

Biden says U.S. will have enough vaccines for 300 million adults by end of May

President Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday said that ramped-up coronavirus vaccine production will provide enough doses for 300 million Americans by the end May.

Why it matters: That's two months sooner than Biden's previous promise of enough vaccines for all American adults by the end of July.