Support us on Patreon to keep GamingOnLinux alive. This ensures we have no timed articles and no paywalls. Just good, fresh content! Alternatively, you can donate through Paypal, Flattr and Liberapay!

Google have now finally unveiled their new cloud gaming service named Stadia, offering instant access to play games in Google Chrome.

What they joked was the worst-kept secret in the industry (no kidding), sounds like quite an interesting service. Certainly one that could eventually end up redefining what gaming is. A little hyperbolic maybe? I'm not so sure considering how easy this should be to jump into a game. On top of that, they very clearly talked about how it's built on Linux (Debian specifically) and Vulkan with custom GPUs from AMD.

Something they showed off, was how you could be watching a game trailer with a button to play it on Stadia and (supposedly within a few seconds) you would jump right into it. That's quite en exciting idea, one that would easily pull in quite a lot of people I've no doubt.

As for resolution, they said it will support 1080p and 4K around 60FPS at release with 8K being worked on as well but that sounds further out if anyone even cares about 8K right now.

They also showed off their new controller, with a dedicated Google Assistant button and a button to capture video immediately for YouTube:


While Google are making their own dedicated gamepad, they did say it will be compatible with other devices too.

They also announced partnerships with both Unity and Unreal Engine and Stadia will "embrace full cross-platform play" including "game saves and progression". They also had id Software, talk about how it didn't take long to bring the new Doom Eternal to Stadia, thanks to how they made the previous Doom game with Vulkan.

This means, that development for Linux is suddenly going to become a priority for a lot more developers and publishers. I don't want to overstate how important that is, but it's a very exciting prospect. This doesn't suddenly mean we're going to see a lot more Linux games on the desktop, but it's entirely possible after they go through all the work to get the games working on Linux with Vulkan for Stadia.

Stream Connect is another service they talked about. They mentioned how developers have pushed the boundaries of gaming but often local co-op is left out, as doing it multiple times in top-end games can require really beefy hardware. With Stradia, each instance would be powered by their servers so it wouldn't be such an issue. They also talked about how if you're playing some sort of squad-based game, how you could bring up their screen to see what they're doing which sounds very cool.

Google also announced the formation of their own game studio, Stadia Games and Entertainment, to work on exclusive games for their new service.

As for support from more external game developers, they mentioned how they've shipped "development hardware" to over 100 developers. From what they said, it should be open to smaller developers as well as the usual AAA bunch.

Stadia is confirmed to be launching this year and it will be first available in the US, Canada, UK and "most of Europe". One thing wasn't mentioned at all—price, but they said more details will be available in the summer. The official site is also now up on stadia.com and developers have their own website to look over.

Google also posted up some extra information on their developer blog:

Google believes that open source is good for everyone. It enables and encourages collaboration and the development of technology, solving real-world problems. This is especially true on Stadia, as we believe the game development community has a strong history of collaboration, innovation and shared gains as techniques and technology continually improve. We’re investing in open-source technology to create the best platform for developers, in partnership with the people that use it. This starts with our platform foundations of Linux and Vulkan and shows in our selection of GPUs that have open-source drivers and tools. We’re integrating LLVM and DirectX Shader Compiler to ensure you get great features and performance from our compilers and debuggers. State-of-the-art graphics tools are critical to game developers, and we’re excited to leverage and contribute to RenderDoc, GAPID and Radeon GPU Profiler — best of breed open-source graphics debugging and profiling tools that are continually improving.

There's probably plenty I missed, you can see their video on YouTube here.

As exciting and flashy as it sounds, it's obviously not Linux "desktop" gaming which is what the majority of our audience is likely interested in. However, things change and if it does become a huge hit we will cover it more often if readers request it. Linux gaming can mean all sorts of things from native games to emulators, Wine and Steam Play and now perhaps some cloud gaming so I don't want to rule it out. However, I can't see this replacing Steam, Humble, GOG, itch.io and so on for me personally.

Obviously there’s still a lot of drawbacks to such a service, especially since you will likely have zero ownership of the actual games so they could get taken away at any time when licensing vanishes. At least with stores like Steam, you still get to access those games because you purchased them. Although, this does depend on what kind of licensing Google do with developers and publishers, it might not be an issue at all but it’s still a concern of mine. Latency and input lag, are also two other major concerns but given Google's power with their vast networks, it might not be so bad.

Also, good luck monitoring your bandwidth use with this, it's likely going to eat up a lot all of it. YouTube and Netflix use up quite a bit just for watching a 30-minute episode of something in good quality, how about a few hours per day gaming across Stadia? Ouch.

That doesn't even address the real elephant in the room, you're going to be giving Google even more of your data if you use this service, a lot more. This is the company that failed to promptly disclose a pretty huge data leak in Google+ after all. I don't want to be some sort of scaremongering crazy-person but it's something to think about.

As always, the comments are open for you to voice your opinion on it. Please remain respectful to those with a different opinion on the matter.

56 Likes, Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG and Humble Store. See more information here.
310 comments
Page: «20/31»
  Go to:

Aeder 21 March 2019 at 2:23 am UTC
Well, if nothing else this might generate experience with Linux and Vulkan development among devs, as well as Vulkan adoption, significantly lowering the hurdles for future ports.
Shmerl 21 March 2019 at 2:37 am UTC
AederWell, if nothing else this might generate experience with Linux and Vulkan development among devs, as well as Vulkan adoption, significantly lowering the hurdles for future ports.

Yep, indirect and ecosystem (Linux / Vulkan and other FOSS) benefits is the good thing here. How many games we'll actually get on desktop Linux out of this remains to be seen.


Last edited by Shmerl at 21 March 2019 at 2:38 am UTC
14 21 March 2019 at 3:57 am UTC
View PC info
  • Supporter
I did not read the 20 pages of comments before writing my own here. So, sorry I guess. My reaction:

The only gotcha for us in this news is if developers choose to steer Linux gamers to a streaming service like this instead of packaging their game for Linux desktop. Am I super afraid of that? No. I'm just trying to imagine all angles.

I think the pro's will outweigh any cons for us by a large margin.

I can also picture myself using the streaming service myself in small quantities. I prefer to be able to play games offline without DRM (thanks, GoG), but I would probably make exceptions. I can't think of any examples off the top of my head, but... OK, I got one. Total War: Warhammer. Why? So I can play the campaign with my Windows friends. It's also not an FPS, so I wouldn't be as concerned about input lag.
tonR 21 March 2019 at 4:21 am UTC
Ok... But Google... Didn't you people now focusing on Fuchsia because something regarding GPL?

Sorry, I'm remain skeptical on Google effort on Linux gaming. Nothing to comment much here.
Purple Library Guy 21 March 2019 at 7:58 am UTC
etonbearsFor me, the interesting implication of Stadia is its ability to change the supply side. The Steam survey shows that the average PC gamer does not have particularly good hardware, and this actually limits developers in what they can do and still address a large enough purchase market.

If Stadia has nodes with Vega56 GPUs as a minimum, and allows arbitrary combining of nodes to produce output, then the complexity of what developers may produce for Stadia can scale very quickly to the point that you actually could NOT run it on any normally available desktop hardware, let alone the average rig, making traditional sales of such games redundant. That may be why the new Google game studio is suggesting their titles will be exclusive to Stadia.

Of course, however amazing their back-end might be, Google still need to get the right price model, overcome the possible network limitations and avoid their normal habit of turning everything into advertising revenue.
Interesting point. Mind you, for most games most of that power would be dedicated to graphics stuff, in which case wouldn't those extra-power-hungry games also be extra-bandwidth-hungry? You could end up trading one bottleneck for another.
Which in turn makes me wonder about two futures clashing. Imagine the future of gaming is this kind of streaming solution. Now imagine the future of gaming is VR. I don't think it can be both unless someone spends a bunch of billions on last-mile fibre optics.
Purple Library Guy 21 March 2019 at 8:08 am UTC
14I can also picture myself using the streaming service myself in small quantities. I prefer to be able to play games offline without DRM (thanks, GoG), but I would probably make exceptions. I can't think of any examples off the top of my head, but... OK, I got one. Total War: Warhammer. Why? So I can play the campaign with my Windows friends. It's also not an FPS, so I wouldn't be as concerned about input lag.
That is actually a new point. This service would be totally local-system-agnostic for multiplayer. In that sense it would be better than many native desktop ports.

By the way, a lot of posters are quite pessimistic about whether this will result in actual desktop Linux versions. I'm not sure; have to wait and see. Liam has pointed out that if game studios are doing these versions but aren't sure about a desktop version with issues like support and multiple distros, it could be an opportunity for the likes of Feral.
Sir_Diealot 21 March 2019 at 9:07 am UTC
etonbearsFor me, the interesting implication of Stadia is its ability to change the supply side. The Steam survey shows that the average PC gamer does not have particularly good hardware, and this actually limits developers in what they can do and still address a large enough purchase market.

If Stadia has nodes with Vega56 GPUs as a minimum, and allows arbitrary combining of nodes to produce output, then the complexity of what developers may produce for Stadia can scale very quickly to the point that you actually could NOT run it on any normally available desktop hardware, let alone the average rig, making traditional sales of such games redundant. That may be why the new Google game studio is suggesting their titles will be exclusive to Stadia.

Of course, however amazing their back-end might be, Google still need to get the right price model, overcome the possible network limitations and avoid their normal habit of turning everything into advertising revenue.

Oh don't you worry, it won't be long until the first game can't be run on a desktop machine anymore and it will be a point of pride for the developer. The resource demand will scale with the available resources, so unless Google puts a hefty price tag on that they'll soon have a serious issue on their hands.
silmeth 21 March 2019 at 9:51 am UTC
Sir_DiealotYeah I didn't do the math before, it should be about 11 GB per hour. That's still plenty, way more than you'd need for a regular online multiplayer game and it will be needed even for single player games. The longer you play, the worse it gets, 5 hours and you've used up more bandwidth than the 50 GB download.
Other services like Steam are also wasting huge amounts of bandwidth (always update everything by default), but this is something else.

And then you'll have to ask yourself what for?
I see a lot of benefits for Google (total control, data collection platform, ad delivery platform).
I see mostly drawbacks for the user.

I don’t see any problem here. 25 Mbps doesn’t even get close to saturating my transfer speed limit, and as for the amount of data being sent… I don’t care, why should I? I have the connection to use it.

It would be a problem with my mobile connection, I don’t see myself streaming a game outside of my home wireless anyway.

I guess it might be a problem in those parts of the world with ISPs capping data (USA, I guess?), but that’s not a problem at least in most of Europe.
Sir_Diealot 21 March 2019 at 10:52 am UTC
silmeth
Sir_DiealotYeah I didn't do the math before, it should be about 11 GB per hour. That's still plenty, way more than you'd need for a regular online multiplayer game and it will be needed even for single player games. The longer you play, the worse it gets, 5 hours and you've used up more bandwidth than the 50 GB download.
Other services like Steam are also wasting huge amounts of bandwidth (always update everything by default), but this is something else.

And then you'll have to ask yourself what for?
I see a lot of benefits for Google (total control, data collection platform, ad delivery platform).
I see mostly drawbacks for the user.

I don’t see any problem here. 25 Mbps doesn’t even get close to saturating my transfer speed limit, and as for the amount of data being sent… I don’t care, why should I? I have the connection to use it.

It would be a problem with my mobile connection, I don’t see myself streaming a game outside of my home wireless anyway.

I guess it might be a problem in those parts of the world with ISPs capping data (USA, I guess?), but that’s not a problem at least in most of Europe.

I think you are greatly overestimating the capabilities of networks in Europe. Maybe a great number of networks can handle this on paper, but not in practice. In my country they sell up to 300 Mbit/s, but it's "up to" and for the most part they can't even deliver a fraction of that in practice. Maybe the situation is better in Poland and some cities.

Also 25 Mbps is roughly 5-10x the bandwidth of a twitch live stream, probably similar for Netflix. I don't think this number will be typical, or they'll have a serious issue on their hands.
Dedale 21 March 2019 at 11:21 am UTC
I get 55 Mbps tops in the Centre of well connected Brussels. From a theoretical 100 Mbps With a data cap of 750 G0 a month. I can ask for an extra 150 for free trough a procedure. Note that is an expensive formula. A basic one would give you less bandwith and a strict data cap of 100 G0


Last edited by Dedale at 21 March 2019 at 11:30 am UTC
  Go to:
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on Patreon, Liberapay or Paypal. We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!

Due to spam you need to Register and Login to comment.


Or login with...

Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
  • Crawl About: „StarCrawlers“
  • Date:
See more!
Popular this week
View by Category
Contact
Latest Comments
Latest Forum Posts