Google Confirms Stadia Launch Titles

After what feels like years of speculation (largely because it has been), we’re now closing in rapidly on the launch of Google’s Stadia gaming hardware. November is the scheduled release date for Stadia, and details are now being announced about the subscription packages people can sign up to. Irritatingly, Google […]

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‘Cyberpunk 2077’ and ‘Mortal Kombat 11’ are coming to Google Stadia

Just before Gamescom's opening ceremony got underway, Google revealed a bunch more games that are coming to its Stadia streaming platform. One of the bigger titles is CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077. Google didn't say exactly when the game would be a...

The Google Chromecast gets an Apple TV style makeover… and a remote!

Although clearly a concept, Roel Heyninck’s version of the Google Chromecast 3 is interesting because it actually makes sense. Up until now, the Chromecast has been a pretty shoddily-built bridge between your phone and your television. Using the Chromecast requires using your phone as a remote, which means A. having your phone charged, and B. dealing with lag, as well as streaming problems every time the phone’s locked and then unlocked. The conceptual Chromecast 3 doesn’t face any of those problems because it separates your phone from the multimedia setup once you’ve successfully cast media onto your TV.

The Chromecast 3 isn’t a hockey-puck as much as it’s a hub. Designed with the stylings of the Apple TV box, Heyninck’s Chromecast 3 box looks pretty nifty, and in many ways follows Google’s product and CMF language. The box connects to a television via a single USB-C connection that has the ability to pull power as well as push media (I assume the cable branches into USB and HDMI ports at its other end.)

Using the Chromecast 3 is as simple as pressing the ‘cast’ button on your phone or tablet and forgetting about it. If you want to interact with or navigate through media, the Chromecast 3 comes with a pretty slick remote control that features 4 buttons and a touchpad on the top, and a standby button on the bottom that you can use to switch the TV on or off. Designed to be a much better solution to using your phone as a controller, the Chromecast 3’s remote is handy and even serves as a gaming controller when you hold it horizontally. Could that be hinting at a possible compatibility with Google Stadia? I’m pretty sure Roel Heyninck and I have a shared sense of excitement!

Designer: Roel Heyninck

If Google Stadia is meant for everywhere gaming, shouldn’t the controller be portable?

Touted as the Netflix for gaming, Google Stadia promises the ability to play A-list games on any device. Imagine being able to play console-level games on your smartphone, Assassin’s Creed on potentially a $400 device. The promise of Stadia is to take hardware constraints away from gaming, allowing you to play the best games over the air, as everything renders out on Google’s servers, with just the graphics reaching your device like a livestream video would. Google’s Stadia is made for everywhere gaming. On your phone, laptop, tablet, desktop, even your TV… so shouldn’t the controller be accommodating of that?

Designer Devin Sidell’s re-envisioned the Stadia controller as a NES-style bar-shaped controller that’s easy to slide into pockets and backpacks. Its slim profile feels almost like a remote, and comes with all the functionality you need. Devin hasn’t taken away from the Stadia controller’s abilities, but rather just streamlined the form to make it more portable. In your hand, the Stadia Bar Controller concept feels a lot like a single Joy Con from a Nintendo Switch (albeit slightly thicker). It has all the buttons, including all four trigger shoulder-buttons (with their numbers written upside down, so when you tilt the controller over, you can read them), and a tear-drop shaped D-Pad and XYAB buttons, giving the Stadia a unique visual appeal. Stadia’s USP isn’t comfortable gaming, but rather gaming unchained… and the bar-controller’s portable-over-organic form factor plays perfectly into that ethos!

Designer: Devin Sidell

Phil Spencer: xCloud runs ‘fine’ on 4G

Xbox needs cloud gaming to work. Microsoft has been pushing the industry toward a digital-first, streaming future since 2013 -- years before players or infrastructure were remotely ready for the idea. It makes sense: Microsoft is uniquely posi...

Xbox on a phone: Microsoft Project xCloud hands-on

Microsoft's Project xCloud is almost ready for public consumption. In fact, it's launching in some capacity this October, with the ability to stream games from your at-home Xbox One to any device you own. The company's big E3 showcase mentioned t...

Google Stadia may offer publisher-specific subscriptions

Last week, Google revealed pricing and availability for its much-anticipated game streaming service Stadia. It announced the Founder's Edition and Stadia Pro packages, as well as a targeted November release date. Later, Phil Harrison, a vice presiden...