Stadia is a subscription-based cloud gaming service,and requires no additional computer hardware, only requiring the device to have an Internet connection and support for Google Chrome. Stadia works atop YouTube’s functionality in streaming media to the user, as game streaming is seen as an extension of watching video game live streams, according to Google’s Phil Harrison; the name “Stadia”, plural of “stadium”, is meant to reflect that it will be a collection of entertainment, of which the viewer can choose to sit back and watch, or take an active part in.[3]

As Google had built out a large number of data centers across the globe, the company believes that Stadia is in a better position for cloud gaming compared to past endevours like OnLive, PlayStation Now, and Gaikai, as most players would be geographically close to a data center. Stadia supports the streaming of games in HDR at 60 frames per second with 4K resolution, and anticipates eventually reaching 120 frames per second at 8K resolution.[3] Once subscribed to the service, players can start games without having to download new content to their personal device. Players can opt to record or stream their sessions onto YouTube through Stadia. Viewers of such streams, subscribed to the service, can launch the games directly from the stream with the same save state that they were just watching.[3] While Stadia can use any HID-class USB controller, Google developed its own controller which connects via Wi-Fi directly to the Google datacenter in which the game is running, to reduce input latency.[3] During its GDC 2019 keynote reveal, Google confirmed that the controller would also feature Google Assistant, which will automatically search YouTube for relevant, helpful videos related to the game they are currently playing at the touch of a key.

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