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Google Begins Tests for Stadia Streaming on Mobile Data

UTC by Natallia Maksimenko · 3 min read
Google Begins Tests for Stadia Streaming on Mobile Data
Photo: Unsplash

As both online gaming and streaming software go from strength to strength, Google’s Stadia could be one of the first to offer its service without WiFi.

At the end of July, Google announced that it was launching tests to see whether users can play games on its Stadia app over 4G and 5G. Until this point, the app has only been available on Android devices with a reliable WiFi connection – but if the tests are successful, users will be able to stream games from their favorite provider or online casino in ‘cellular play’ mode, using their device’s mobile data.

The tests are being run via an ‘opt in’ program. This means that existing Stadia subscribers can choose to take part in the experiment from within the app itself. Google has told users that they can opt into the test by clicking on their avatar icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen, where they can access a section labelled ‘Experiments’. From here, they can select to use mobile data.

What is the Stadia app?

Powered by Google, Stadia is a gaming platform that enables users to play games across a number of different devices using streaming software (hence its name, ‘stadia’, which is the plural of ‘stadium’). It was launched to a limited audience in 2019 as beta software, but is now available on the Google Play store for Android smartphones, tablets, laptops, and TVs.

From video games to online slots, Stadia means that players can enjoy the games they already love on the devices they already own – rather than having to invest in a new piece of physical technology. But although it’s compatible with most games equipment, Google has also launched its own Stadia-specific games controller. This features both a Google Assist and a Share button, which allows users to stream their game directly on social media or YouTube.

The Google Assist button works with the controllers inbuilt microphone, meaning that players can use voice commands to access extra gameplay features.

What Do We Know About the Experiment?

The Stadia experiment went live on the 28th July 2020. The devices which can support the app include most OnePlus devices as well as the Google Pixel 2, 3, and 4, and Samsung’s Galaxy S8, S9, and S10 series.

What Don’t We Know?

It’s worth noting that Google has not told users how much mobile data the Stadia streaming app is likely to use. Although the tech giant has confirmed it’s able to stream games in up to 4K quality and 60 frames per second whilst using an Internet connection, it’s not stated whether this quality is replicable in cellular play mode. 

Google has previously claimed that it aims to allow streaming in 8K quality and 120 frames per second in the future.

What’s Next for Stadia?

Throughout the course of 2020, Google has announced that it will be adding more than 120 new third-party games to the Stadia platform. The company has also planned to start supporting various game subscription services, including Ubisoft’s Uplay+ which will expand Stadia’s game list by over 100.

Currently supported are the popular games Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Borderlands 3, Football Manager 2020, Just Dance 2020, Marvel’s Avengers, Read Dead Redemption 2, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, among others.

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