Google unveils Stadia video game streaming service, reveals launch window

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Google on Tuesday unveiled Stadia, a long-rumored video game streaming service that will allow users to play high-quality games on nearly any device without a need for a traditional console like Microsoft’s Xbox One or Sony’s PlayStation 4.

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Stadia will use Google's cloud-computing and data network to stream video games at a high resolution to nearly any device with access to the Chrome internet browser, including desktops, laptops, tablets, phones and smart televisions. Google executives said users will be able to use their existing computer hardware or a Stadia-branded controller with WiFi connectivity and a voice assistant to run high-quality streams.

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The streaming service will connect users to games within five seconds without a need for downloads or installation. A YouTube integration will allow users to jump from watching a game clip to playing the game with one click.

“Stadia offers instant access to play,” said Phil Harrison, head of Stadia and longtime video game industry executive. “There is no console required to reach this experience.”

Stadia is expected to be released later this year in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe.

Officials said “Doom Eternal,” the latest installment in the popular video game franchise, is already in development for Stadia. Google concluded testing on the technology behind Stadia in January after allowing users to stream “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.”

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Google announced the service as several companies prepare next-generation video game platforms. Amazon and Microsoft are also said to be exploring their own streaming services, according to The Verge.

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It's currently unclear how much the service will cost. Google is expected to announce more details on Stadia this summer.

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