Skip to Content

Google’s Stadia is a video game-streaming platform that is taking aim at consoles

March 20, 2019

Is this the death of the traditional console? The new service will let people stream video games that usually have had to be bought as a download or CD.

The details: Google says Stadia will work on any device, be it a TV, laptop, or smartphone. It also promises that games on its platform will be available in resolutions up to 4K and 60 frames per second, with HDR and surround sound. The cloud computing power that Google is promising is more than what’s available to a PS4 and XBox One X combined. The firm also unveiled a Stadia controller including a button that will let users capture game play and share it straight onto YouTube. YouTube gaming content has an audience of more than 200 million people every day.

When can I buy it? Google is yet to say how much Stadia will cost, but it’s promised it’ll launch later this year in the US, Canada, UK, and much of Europe.

A bold move: The idea of a “Netflix for gaming” holds huge promise, and that’s why Sony, Microsoft, and other tech and gaming giants have been working on it for years. However, it’s a lot harder to make it work than you might imagine. Others have tried and failed. For example, cloud gaming service OnLive, which launched in 2003 but closed in 2015, was killed by its frustratingly slow speeds. To try and avoid this, Google says its Stadia controller will connect to its servers directly. If any company can make this work, it might just be Google, thanks to its vast, global network of data centers.

Some questions: While gamers at home might be excited, game developers might be wary about Google extending its grip into yet another industry. Streaming could enable new types of games, and access to a vast catalogue of content, but the prospect of Google as sole gatekeeper will make some uneasy. There are also questions about exactly which games the platform will have and whether gamers will need super-high-speed internet connections for it to even work.

Sign up here to our daily newsletter The Download to get your dose of the latest must-read news from the world of emerging tech.

Deep Dive


child outside a destroyed residential building in Kiev
child outside a destroyed residential building in Kiev

Russia hacked an American satellite company one hour before the Ukraine invasion

The attack on Viasat showcases cyber’s emerging role in modern warfare.

hacked telecom concept
hacked telecom concept

Chinese hackers exploited years-old software flaws to break into telecom giants

A multi-year hacking campaign shows how dangerous old flaws can linger for years.

stock image of robots in a car plant
stock image of robots in a car plant

Transforming the automotive supply chain for the 21st century

Cloud-based tech solutions are helping manufacturers manage a new ecosystem of suppliers with greater agility and resilience.

gitee censored
gitee censored

How censoring China’s open-source coders might backfire

Many suspect the Chinese state has forced Gitee, the Chinese competitor to GitHub, to censor open-source code in a move developers worry could obstruct innovation.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.