Gaming

Can Stadia Really Change YouTube Streaming?

At GDC 2019 in San Francisco, Google announced their latest in web-based technology: Stadia. The game streaming service skips the console box and has players stream their games directly from the Google Cloud to any device that uses the Chrome browser. Stadia devs claim you can play games like the highly-anticipated Doom Eternal without any lag on devices like your Chromebook or tablet. While those claims are lofty in themselves, it’s the streamer and influencer integration could potentially have a much bigger impact.  

Stadia will allow YouTubers to stream their gameplay at 4k directly to fans, allowing content creators to go directly from game to viewer eyeballs. Crowd Play is an option for streamers to allow their fans to join their games and participate in real time. Stream snipers, or players that actively try to join streamers just to grief or murder them, can ruin a content creator’s day without much effort. Now those same streamers can decide who plays with them, which I worry might just exacerbate the problem. If you’re playing in a battle royale with 99 of your fans, what’s to stop them from peeking at your stream and seeing your location? I’m sure other games will capitalize off this trend, but Fornite won’t be one of them.

Currently, if streamers want to play a console game and show their gameplay to viewers, they have to use an external device like an El Gato. If the promises behind Stadia are to believed, you won’t actually need any other external hardware to show off your content. You’ll most likely still need to use software like OBS, which helps when creating a streaming template for your screen, but that could also be a thing of the past.

The potential benefits of streaming on YouTube just increased exponentially. Currently, streaming on Google’s platform is difficult because there’s very few ways to discover new creators. The YouTube Live page can be confusing to navigate, with no direct resource for finding specific games or content you’d want to watch. You either have to know the name of the content creator or hope that a fan finds your stream; Twitch is much easier to use. With Stadia, players can just click on a game and find streamers, making it even easier than Twitch.  

I’m skeptical about Stadia since we still don’t know the games and studios it supports, how fast an internet connection you’ll need to play or what you do when the wifi goes out. But it still shows promise. If I could get rid of those butt ugly consoles sitting in front of my television, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I’m also a huge fan of watching gaming content on YouTube and would love to see the platform give more to their gaming content creators.

Do you think Stadia will change the face of streaming or is it just an empty promise like the Power Glove? Tell us on twitter @RealNewsgeek.

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