Google Stadia vs. Project xCloud: Here's Wha
It’s 2020, and playing a video game is no longer limited to popping a disc in your console and pressing the power button. Instead, we now have digital downloads and, more recently, game-streaming services that let you instantly begin playing the latest titles without having to install anything or make an a la carte purchase.
There will be no dedicated console or box needed to play games on either Google Stadia or Project xCloud, but the two services won’t work identically, either. Depending on the systems you own, one could seem like the better choice, especially if you have a preference in the games you play.
Google Stadia is designed to run through your Chrome web browser. During initial tests as 「Project Stream,」 it could be used only on desktop computers, but you can now use it on devices like phones and tablets as well. Because it uses your Google account, this theoretically means you’ll be able to stop playing a game on your PC and start playing on your phone in mere moments.
Currently, Stadia supports televisions via Chromecast Ultra as well as Pixel phones and a selection of other devices. Support for other devices is coming soon.
Google Stadia’s freedom-of-choice approach continues for the controllers the platform will use. You are free to use several different popular game controllers you already own, including the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 and Microsoft’s own Xbox One controller and Xbox Adaptive Controller. Mouse and keyboard are also supported.
However, for more platform-specific interactivity, you can use the Google Stadia controller. In terms of form factor, it’s somewhere between the Xbox and PlayStation options, with similar face button and stick layout, and comes with a share button. It also includes a Google Assistant button which allows you to speak into a microphone and get tips for your games on the fly. The Google Stadia controller is connected to the platform via Wi-Fi. It will cost $69.
Google and Microsoft are not promising the same streaming quality on their services, at least when it comes to resolution. This is hardly surprising, as Microsoft’s Xbox consoles continue to be its go-to destination for 4K and HDR gaming.
At launch, Google Stadia supports 4K gaming with HDR and 60 frames per second, and will lower down to 720p resolution for those with slower internet speeds. In the future, it could get up to 8K resolution and 120 frames per second. The GPU Google is using in its data centers allow for up to 10.7 TFLOPS of power, which is nearly double what the Xbox One X is capable of. To run games at 4K, players will need 35 Mbps or higher in internet speed. During our tests of Project Stream, we found the quality of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey to be good, but not as impressive as if it had been running on a console.
Using the 8220;Stream Capabilities API 8221; included in what Google has dubbed the 8220;Playability ToolKit, 8221; developers have live access to a player 8217;s stream capabilities, including HDR, surround sound, and resolution. This will allow them to adjust game settings on the fly, providing the best possible settings for players.
Microsoft has not shared specifics regarding resolution targets for xCloud, but it will be leveraging its own 54 Azure data center regions to power the service. Because of the local Bluetooth connectivity, and assuming the service has low latency, it should provide players with an experience comparable to what they get on the Xbox One or PC.
Alongside third-party games, Google is also jumping head-first into game development with Stadia. Former Electronic Arts and Ubisoft producer Jade Raymond leads Stadia Games and Entertainment, a first-party studio dedicated to producing exclusive titles for the platform.
Project xCloud won’t be getting exclusive games, at least not ones that aren 8217;t also available on Xbox consoles and PC. This means you’ll be able to enjoy the same games as someone playing Xbox games on a console or PC and vice versa. If you are choosing a service based on which will offer you more unique experiences, Google Stadia looks to be the early winner here.
That said, Microsoft is bolstering its first-party game development studios, with recent acquisitions of Obsidian Entertainment, Ninja Theory, Compulsion Games, and Playground Games, as well as the establishment of The Initiative. We will not see the fruits of these studios’ labor quite yet, but it points to exciting possibilities in a few years. The platform currently has more than 50 games being added for the preview period alone, including games not found on Stadia like Devil May Cry 5 and Halo Wars 2.
Google Stadia is designed to create a more organic and symbiotic relationship between game developers, content creators, and players, with a series of tools to enhance games 8212; both during their creation and afterward.
Developers will have access to the Style Transfer ML feature for environmental design, which could cut down on the time it takes to add skins or textures to play areas. During a demonstration at GDC 2019, we saw the A.I.-powered tool add several different textures to a black-and-white environment, effectively transforming it seamlessly.
Game developers and publishers will have an easier time getting their games into the hands of players, as well. When watching a YouTube advertisement for a game from a company’s official channel, there will now be a button you can click to instantly start playing the game. Because there is no download necessary, you can get from watching the video to playing the game in less than five seconds.
If a streamer is playing your favorite game on YouTube, you will be able to join them in their game, as well. Using Stadia’s 「Crowd Play,」 you can jump into the same game they are playing and even join their multiplayer session. Most excitingly, you can also jump into a version of the game with their save data and start exactly where they were. However, neither of these features are currently live yet.
Features like these have not been shared yet for Project xCloud, but Microsoft promises more details over the next few months. E3 2020 seems like the most likely place for a new announcement to be made.
Thus far, only Google has revealed its pricing structure and launch window. The pricing structure and availability will vary depending on the model you want:
Stadia Founder 8217;s and Premiere Edition, $129: Comes with three months of Stadia Pro, as well as a limited-edition Night Blue controller, Chromecast Ultra, first dibs on a name, and three-month buddy pass. Available in November, sold out. Premiere Edition is available for the same price and includes the same content with different colors for the controller and no Buddy Pass.
Stadia Pro, $10 per month: 4K resolution with 60 frames per second and HDR, discounts on game purchases. Full Destiny 2 access. Free games available with a subscription. Launches in 2019.
Stadia Base, free: 1080p resolution with 60 frames per second. Buy games you want, play in a Chrome browser. Launches in 2020.标签：