Last night Google unveiled its new Stadia gaming platform, as the tech firm looked to dive deeper into the world of streaming.
For those unfamiliar with the newly announced service, it’s designed to allow gamers to stream titles via their browser. As such it could open up a wealth of options to the more casual gamer who may not have the funds to purchase a dedicated gaming PC or console, with Stadia said to work on TVs, notebooks, PCs and even smartphones.
It still remains to be seen, however, if there are restrictions in terms of hardware specifications for Stadia along with when and where the new service will be made available. For now Google has committed to launch it in select regions later this year.
Along with the announcement, Google also had a demo of the Stadia streaming platform in action. Said demo showcased how the platform would work on a tablet-hybrid, along with revealing the controller that Google has designed for Stadia.
A leaked patent for the controller surfaced last week in anticipation for Google’s GDC 2019 keynote, and a lot of the elements rumoured then appear in this simple looking, yet feature-rich device.
In terms of layout it looks very similar to a existing controllers, although it does seem to be a bit slimmer and sleeker. That said, we don’t know how much it weighs, or indeed how it feels in hand compared to other controllers.
It also bears the Stadia logo, which sits between two analog sticks. The rest of the controller features a D-Pad, four button (Y, B, A, X) layout and some shoulder buttons as well.
Google will be producing two colour options for the Stadia controller, white and black, although the latter is not pictured above.
There’s a Google Assistant button too, which works in tandem with the controller’s built-in mic, and can be used to ask Google for some help if you’re finding a game particularly challenging.
It’s unclear though if this new piece of hardware is compatible with other gaming devices, namely the PS4 and Xbox One. If it is, however, it may give us a better indication of whether Google has plans to make Stadia available on consoles too.
That said, we doubt Sony and Microsoft want Google eating into their potential streaming revenue.
Much like the Stadia platform itself, we do not know how much the new controller costs, or indeed when it will be available to purchase.