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Google announces the launch of its own video streaming platform – Stadia!

Yesterday Google unveiled a new game streaming service called Stadia at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

The platform will let players stream games from the cloud to phones, computers, and TV screens (via Chromecast dongles), turning almost any device into a console.

An optional dedicated Stadia controller will also be available. The WiFi-enabled controller has a button that lets players launch a microphone and use Google Assistant to ask questions about the games being played. Another button lets users share gameplay directly to Google’s video streaming service, YouTube. This close integration with YouTube means that gamers will be able to instantly jump into a game they're watching a walkthrough of, and even get in line to play alongside or against content creators on the platform.

CFRA Research analyst Scott Kessler said Google’s approach that ties YouTube sharing and video-game playing is unique. “It is not necessarily at this point the easiest thing for people to livestream their games and now you can do it with the push of a button,” he said. “What they’ve done with Stadia is to connect and unify both the gaming platform and the streaming platform which obviously is new.”

There are plenty of benefits to streaming games: you don't need a particularly powerful (or expensive) device at home, for example, and it means jumping between devices and carrying on gaming where you left off should be straightforward too. There's no need to wait for downloads or apply updates, as all the heavy lifting is done in the cloud.

A lot of key details about Stadia – including the price and when it'll actually go live – haven’t yet been announced but they did say it will be available late 2019.

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