Google just beat Microsoft at their own game.

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Google has unveiled its new gaming initiative, Stadia, detailing features for players, developers, and streamers, as well as giving an overall vision of Google’s future game streaming platform.


Stadia lives inside of Chrome.  That means it’s going to launch with immediate support for a variety of screens: desktop, laptop, TV, tablet, and smartphone. There’s a Google-made Stadia Controller that connects via WiFi to whichever game you’re playing, but it’s necessary; any controller that works with the device you’re playing on will work with Stadia as well.

The Stadia Controller does bring a couple of advantages. There’s a capture button, now a common feature on most modern gaming systems, that lets you share content directly to YouTube. There’s also a Google Assistant with game-specific GA integration that’s capable of pulling up hints and walkthrough videos when requested.

Microsoft was quick to respond about the Google Stadia. Thurrott has published the full memo, and it reveals that Microsoft President Phil Spencer feels validated by Google’s efforts. “Their announcement is a validation of the path we embarked on two years ago,” says Spencer. Microsoft is also creating its own cloud gaming service, dubbed xCloud, that will rival Google and many others for streaming games to phones, tablets, PCs, and TVs. Microsoft recently demonstrated xCloud publicly for the first time, and it’s promising trials of the service later this year.

With both Google and Microsoft entering the cloud base gaming business, it seems this might be the first signs of what the future of gaming will be.

Expect Stadia to launch sometime in 2019.