Google has just lifted the curtain on a new game-streaming service called Stadia at the Game Developers Conference that's being held in San Francisco this week.
Unlike services already on the market, Google's game-streaming service will work on any screen including desktops, laptops, TVs, phones and tablets.
There's also going to be a heavy emphasis on integrating streaming services like YouTube Gaming to create a single unified gaming experience.
What do you need to get started? If you're playing on PC, all you'll need is an internet connection to achieve a 60fps/1080p experience - though it's possible for Stadia to reach 4K/60 and even 8K gaming. (According to Google, Stadia offers 10.7 terraflops of processing power, compared to the 4.2 on PS4 Pro and 6.0 Xbox One X.)
For those playing on Chromecast Ultra or on mobile devices, Google unveiled the new Stadia Controller that will join the Google hardware family.
Of course, this won't just be a clone of the hardware already out there - the Stadia will include a capture button, a button for YouTube, Google Assistant and a built-in microphone for "special in-game features from devs".
Move over Steam, this is a Stream Machine
The big focus here is on designing a system that's both easy to play and easy to show off to your friends. To that end, Stadia will send both a 4K signal to both your device and to YouTube simultaneously, allowing you to record what you're doing.
If you're concerned that games might not be playing on their highest setting on Stadia, you'd be incorrect. According to id Software, Doom Eternal will be available on Stadia in 4K HDR at 60 frames per second.
If you're concerned that you'll be alone in the new frontier of gaming, Google says it will enable cross-play and cross-game progression on Stadia so that you'll be able to go from a traditional console to the streaming service and back seamlessly.
Speaking of multiplayer, Stadia wants to revitalize couch co-op splitscreen with a feature called Stream Connect. Stream Connect allows two gameplay sessions to combine into a single session without any compromise in the quality of the game.
The last feature Google showed off was called State Share - i.e. the ability for you to share any spot in your adventure with anyone via a Google link. One use case would be that State Share would allow you to record your spot in a tough boss fight and challenge your friends to beat it.
Streaming for the streamers
Stadia is also changing the game for streamers. Crowd Play, a feature that's built into Stadia, will allow you to join a streamer's game any time while they're streaming.