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

Trump says he wants 9 justices in case Supreme Court must decide 2020 election

President Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday that part of his urgency to quickly push through a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is that he believes the Supreme Court may have to decide the result of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump claimed at the Republican National Convention that the only way he will lose the election is if it is "rigged," and he has declined to say whether he would accept the results of November's election if he loses to Joe Biden.

"Not enough": Protesters react to no murder charges in Breonna Taylor case

A grand jury has indicted Brett Hankison, one of the Louisville police officers who entered Breonna Taylor's home in March, on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots blindly into neighboring apartments.

The state of play: Angering protesters, the grand jury did not indict any of the three officers involved in the botched drug raid on homicide or manslaughter charges related to the death of Taylor.

Judge orders Eric Trump to testify in New York probe before election

Photo: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

A judge on Wednesday ordered Eric Trump to comply with a subpoena to testify before the presidential election in a New York probe into the Trump family business.

The state of play: New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) last month said her office had filed a lawsuit to compel the Trump Organization to comply with subpoenas related to an investigation into whether President Trump and his company improperly inflated the value of its assets on financial statements.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

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

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!