Google is taking its first significant step into gaming with Stadia, its ambitious new cloud platform. Like Microsoft’s xCloud, Stadia will offer players the ability to stream video games across a variety of devices, along with a host of other innovations such as state sharing. And while there are still many questions lingering around the platform, one thing we now know is that it won’t offer offline downloads.
GameSpot got a chance to speak with Google VP Phil Harrison at the Game Developers Conference. We asked Harrison if Google will ever consider giving players the option to download content from Stadia and enjoy it offline, as services such as Spotify and Netflix do. “No, not technically possible,” Harrison replied. “It would be a compromise of our vision if we were to do that.”
This ties into Google’s previous confirmation that it won’t release its own set-top box to run Stadia; rather, all of the games available on the platform will be streamed from the company’s data centers, and they’ll be playable across across desktops, smartphones, laptops, tablets, and TVs–the latter through a Chromecast Ultra HDMI streamer. Google will, however, release a dedicated Stadia controller that features unique buttons to capture/share gameplay and access Google Assistant.
Only a handful of games have been confirmed for Stadia thus far, among them Doom Eternal and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which was the game Google used to test the platform last year under the Project Stream moniker. Google also announced it is forming its own first-party studio led by Jade Raymond to develop games exclusively for the platform.
Google Stadia is slated to launch later this year. It will initially be available in the US, Canada, the UK, and “most of” Europe. Google says it will share additional details about the platform and its launch lineup this summer. You can read more about how cloud gaming works and check out all of the Google gaming news from GDC.