This morning at GDC 2019, Google Stadia boss Phil Harrison announced the tech company’s plans to launch a game streaming service that will stream high-end games in a Chrome browser. But how good, exactly, does your internet have to be in order for Stadia to work?
Do you need one of Google’s new Stadia controllers? Jason and I sat down with Phil for an interview on Kotaku Splitscreen where he answered some of our questions and dodged a few others.
Get the MP3 here, or read about some of the highlights below:
What internet speed do you need to run Stadia? “We were able to test a lot of this with our Project Stream test late last year, starting back in October. To get 1080p, 60 frames per second, required approximately 25 megabits per second. In fact, we use less than that, but that’s where we put our recommended limit at. But with innovations that we’ve made on the streamer side and on the compression side since then, when we launch, we will be able to get to 4K but only raise that bandwidth to about 30 megabits per second. So if you have less bandwidth, we’ll give you a lower resolution… We do a lot of that for you in the background, and we will only offer up the appropriate bandwidth for the infrastructure that you have.”
What hardware do you need to get Stadia on your TV? “Chromecast is the way that you reach TV at launch.” And, by the way, an Xbox controller won’t do the trick: “In order to reach our Chromecast, you need the Stadia controller.” You can use whatever USB controller you want on PC, though.
Is this just another ambitious Google project that will disappear in a few years, like Google Plus? “I understand the concern. But I think that all you have to do is look at the level of investment that we have made and continue to make in Stadia. This is not a trivial project by any means. This is a very, very significant cross-company effort that isn’t just my team, but it’s also across YouTube, it’s across our technical infrastructure and networking team. It represents thousands of people who are working on this business.”
What will it cost? “I’m not going to talk about it today… We will talk in great detail about that in the summer.” (That’s the Australian winter, for reference.)
Is that announcement going to be at E3? “In the summer.” Well, OK then!
We also asked Phil Harrison about the hands-off attitude that Google has taken with YouTube moderation and whether Stadia will be different (it will, supposedly), and also, what the name “Stadia” even means. In the second half of this week’s podcast, we interview Sarah Elmaleh, the voice actor behind the female protagonist of BioWare’s Anthem.