The world of gaming is changing. Google has a new platform called Stadia, and rather than coming to market with another console or PC competitor, Stadia's a new service that allows you to play your favorite games on all of your devices using powerful streaming technology.

Ready to learn more? Let's dive in.

The latest Stadia news

March 19, 2019 — Stadia is announced at GDC 2019

At the annual Game Developers Conference, Google held a press conference to officially announce its game streaming service — Stadia!

All the big details

Check out our hands-on impressions

At GDC 2019, we were able to go hands-on with Stadia and see if it's really all Google's cracking it up to be.

Well, kind of.

You see, a lot of Stadia's big features aren't available to use yet. In fact, Google hasn't even let anyone use the Stadia Controller.

Until we see/use more, here's what we think 👇

Stadia hands-on: Big gaming promises and lots of unanswered questions

What exactly is Stadia?

Stadia is the name of Google's game streaming service. Similar to NVIDIA GeForce Now and Shadow, it's a platform that allows you to play video games on virtually any device thanks to streaming technology (e.g. Netflix or Hulu but for games).

Rather than launching a new physical console that accesses Stadia, you'll just use it on the tech you already own. This includes phones, tablets, computers, etc. At its demo during GDC, Google showed Stadia working on a Pixelbook, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel Slate, and on a TV using a Chromecast Ultra.

At launch, Stadia will allow you to stream games in up to 4K quality and 60 frames-per-second. In the future, Google says that it'll allow for streaming in 8K at 120 frames-per-second. In other words, it'll be just as powerful as the Xbox One X at launch and only get better as time goes on.

What games work with Stadia?

Stadia works with existing third-party games that you'd expect to find on any gaming console. Third-party developers that want to bring their games to Stadia can do so at stadia.dev.

Perhaps even more exciting, Google's also launching its own first-party game development studio where it'll not only be creating new first-party games, but also working with other studios to get Google's cloud technology in the hands of as many developers as possible.

That's all exciting, but the big question remains as to how you'll access these games. It's unclear if you'll need to buy games individually, if they'll be included in a subscription, or something else entirely.

There's a new Stadia controller

While Stadia works with all of your existing game controllers, keyboards, and mice, Google's also launching a new Stadia-specific controller.

The controller has a pretty typical design, including two analog sticks, a directional pad, bumpers, etc. It'll be available in three colors (white, black, and aqua) and features two buttons specific for Stadia — a Share and Google Assistant button.

The Share button enables users to instantly share their gameplay to YouTube. Users can control if they want to keep the shared video private, only send it to certain friends, or have it be publically viewable. When the stream is shared, it'll be in 4K at 60 FPS.

As for the Google Assistant button, this works with the controller's built-in microphone and allows you to issue voice commands as you would with any other Assistant-enabled device, Unique to the Stadia controller, you'll be able to use Assistant to access special in-game features.

Stadia ties in seamlessly with YouTube

Gameplay videos are huge on YouTube, and on Stadia, one of the main focuses is to make it easier than ever to capture and share your gaming moments.

On Stadia, Google is introducing a new feature called Crowd Play. If a YouTuber is livestreaming themselves playing a game, they can allow their audience to instantly jump in the game with them via Stadia by clicking a button on the video. Additionally, if you're watching a trailer for a game like Assassin's Creed Odyssey, there will be a button that allows you to instantly jump in the game and start playing in as little as five seconds.

Furthermore, if a player finds themselves stuck on a level or can't find a hidden collectible, they can use the Google Assistant to find a tutorial video and be on their way.

And, like mentioned above, the Stadia controller has a physical button dedicated to sharing your gameplay on YouTube.

When does Stadia launch?

While we don't have anything super specific, Google has said that it'll be available in 2019.

Stadia will initially launch in the United States, Canada, Europe, and the United Kingdom.

You can sign up for updates to learn more

While we already know a lot about Stadia, there's plenty of info that we've yet to learn.

To make sure you receive the latest updates on Stadia as they're announced, you can sign up on the Google Store website.

Sign up for Stadia updates