In its presentation from GDC 2019 this afternoon, Google announced Google Stadia Cloud Gaming: It’s not a console but a platform that will run even the most graphics-intense PC games from Google’s data center to an existing device without much lag time. And yes, the company is plainly competing directly with existing platforms. It will indeed launch this year, though the company didn’t discuss expected fees.
The idea is to “reduce the friction” of gaming by allowing people to play pretty much any game on any device, from phones to browser – in fact, developers showed the easy movement from Android phone to crappy PC to high-end TV, allowing gamers to begin playing almost immediately with “no download, no patch, no update, and no install.”
There’s also a new controller to go along with it, the Stadia Controller, though it’ll be an optional device.