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Stadia

Released 19 November 2019 by Google
Gaming platform
Stadia was a cloud gaming service from Google. Unlike most regular gaming platforms, the games were run through Google's infrastructure and no hardware was required from the players outside of a screen. Players could either buy games for purchase or pay for a premium subscription which provided access to a limited catalog of games which could be claimed and freely played as long as the player maintained their premium subscription.

Originally, supported displayed included TVs (with a Chromecast Ultra), laptop and desktop computers via a web browser, ChromeOS devices and Pixel phones. Support was later expanded to more Android phones and some Android TV devices. iOS devices were officially supported by a Safari web app. Google sold its own controller for Stadia which connected via WiFi to lower latency when playing with a Chromecast or could be connected via USB to other devices. Stadia also supported a number of other controllers that could be connected via Bluetooth or USB.

Google servers ran Linux servers and Vulkan was used for their graphical API. The free platform of Stadia offered 1080p graphics and basic stereo sound. Premium subscribers were able to enjoy 4K graphics, HDR and surround sound on supported titles. Although few titles supported it, the Stadia platform could technically support 60 fps at 4K.

Stadia always had troubles being taken seriously by much of the gaming community, and concerns were raised when Google closed its own studio, Stadia Games and Entertainment in February 2021 which had published several games for Stadia. Google publicly continued to support the viability of the platform until September of 2022 when it was announced that Stadia would be shutdown and players would be refunded for any game or hardware purchases. Some developers were taken by surprise as Google had continued to promise support for the platform until right before the shutdown was announced. Stadia servers remained operational until January 18th, 2023.
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