Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

The quick FCC fix that would get more students online

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the pandemic forces students out of school, broadband deployment programs aren't going to move fast enough to help families in immediate need of better internet access. But Democrats at the Federal Communications Commission say the incoming Biden administration could put a dent in that digital divide with one fast policy change.

State of play: An existing FCC program known as E-rate provides up to $4 billion for broadband at schools, but Republican FCC chairman Ajit Pai has resisted modifying the program during the pandemic to provide help connecting students at home.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

America's hidden depression

Biden introduces his pick for Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, on Dec. 1. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Biden faces a fragile recovery that could easily fall apart, as the economy remains in worse shape than most people think.

Why it matters: There is a recovery happening. But it's helping some people immensely and others not at all. And it's that second part that poses a massive risk to the Biden-Harris administration's chance of success.