Good morning from sunny California where we're about to see Google unveil its much anticipated gaming platform.
A new player enters the ring! Today at San Francisco's GDC, Google unveils its gaming proposition to the world. Will it be a traditional console, a streaming service or something else? Join us from 5pm GMT to find out.
Well, first we'll be getting a nice coffee and walking over to the Moscone Center, but that'll all happen soon enough.
The queues outside the Moscone Center are phenomenal.
And we're now inside. It's a very plush set-up - a handful of polystyrene rocks and some low-key white stage furnishings.
The weirdest thing, though, is that there's *carpet*.
I think, fact fans, this could be the first fully carpeted console reveal for some time.
One fun thing is the amount of nonsense that's whispered in the queues for these things.
I remember, just prior to the proper unveiling and naming of the Wii U, there were rumours going around that it was going to be called, simply, the 'Nintendo'. That was a good one.
Anyway today's nonsense is that Google's secured exclusives from several high profile Japanese publishers, and that a new OutRun is one of them.
Obviously if that happens you'll hear me scream. Also probably streak the stage. I'll be coming from the left side of the audience, so keep an eye out for that.
There's the air of anticipation hanging around outside the Moscone, though, the sense that something *exciting* is about to happen.
jks, that's just the thick cloud of weed smoke that hangs over downtown San Francisco now.
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Will we see some exclusive games revealed? I certainly hope so.
We might well see some Ubisoft games, seeing as I just saw little Yves saunter in and take a seat on the front row.
There is something super exciting about sitting here waiting for the announce of something potentially monumental, and to witness a new player enter the console space.
Also it'll be amazing to see new and exciting ways to cock up a console launch. Phil Harrison has *some* experience of that after that fateful Xbox One reveal.
Lessons will have been learned though, surely, so I'm expecting something a bit more robust and thought-through this time out.
I still can't over this carpet tbh.
Very thick tog, got quite a nice resistance to it under the foot.
Quite tempted to just roll around and indulge in its softness. Might well do that if there is a new OutRun.
Fwoooof, I think some of those fumes from outside the Moscone Center might have got to my head.
Still, how do you go about cleaning a carpet like this? I hope that's addressed in the keynote today.
Oh, that and a business model for whatever they're doing when it comes to streaming. That'd be nice.
That, a launch date and launch line-up and the announcement of some new studios/exclusive games. That'd all do nicely.
All that, and if they could tell me how a carpet like this can have so many dirty shoes on it and still look so spotless.
Kami is saying it's Roombas. Are they that effective?
Honestly this carpet looks as soft and inviting as the fur from that big dog thing in Never Ending Story.
We are less than ten minutes away from the big reveal. Hold me!
The lights go down!
And then they go up again, as there's still five minutes to go. It's all go hear at the Moscone.
The room is filling up nicely. On-stage there are a series of symbols that keep clouding in and out of view.
People are trying to read unnannounced games into them. At the moment we've got a pentagon, pointer arrow, log, meat and gold.
Which is an easy one. Rogue Warrior 2.
I *think* this is scheduled to last 60 minutes.
Though there are murmurings it might creep up to 90 minutes.
Oh there are cowboy symbols up on the screen now so we're totally going to see Red Dead Redemption 3 in a tick too.
T minus 60 seconds. Let's do this, people.
Geniunely thrilled. I have such a thing for video game presentations like this. Bring it.
(The disappointment and snark kicks in after about 20 minutes, don't worry).
And we're running late already. Screwed it.
Unless there are latency issues and it has started already.
Symbols now read: brains, hazard sign, grave, knife, zombie.
That's a Wet sequel right there for sure.
And here we go.
It looks kind of like the aliens from Arrival?
Is this how Google announces it's hard first contact?
No wait, it's the Google logo. Made out of a cloud!
I see what they did there.
The sub-bass game is strong in the auditorium. I'm just glad I cleared by bowels before coming here.
Sundar Pichai takes the stage to kick us off.
And we're straight in with a cricket joke, so I'm onboard.
He's starting off by saying he's not a big gamer, but is all about solving hard computer problems. The lad.
MrTomFTW - don't think a jacket can stop my prying eyes.
Our first look at a trad game is Assassin's Creed Odyssey, which has been available on Project Stream for a while.
tbh I got dazzled by the carpet again and when I looked up he was talking about traffic or something.
Oh there are games again - it's Odyssey, running through Google Chrome.
And Google obviously has the infrastructure to support an ambitious online undertaking like this.
And the mission statement - it's building a game platform for everyone.
And doing away with the barriers that are between many pepole and a lot of games.
And this is about bringing together communities too - obviously with YouTube being a part of that.
I think this is the reveal now. I hope.
Graphics look good.
btw I hope you like YouTubers, because this is a platform meant very much for them.
And the name is - Google Stadia.
I think that was the reveal?
It was! Stadia is Google's gaming platform.
And here's big Phil to rock it old school.
Phil Harrison is looking beautifully casual, untucked and with bright sneakers to boot.
He looks comfortable.
Also is it just me or has nothing of substance been said yet?
We have a name and a logo.
It's also worth remembering, of course, that this is a GDC keynote - so it's very much targeted at developers rather than scummy consumers like us.
Yves is here, as I pointed out earlier.
He's actually much bigger in person than I would have thought.
So, as you'd know if you've tried Project Stream, you can play Assassin's Creed Odyseey in a browser.
Here's an example of how this will work in the wild, though.
You can click on a play now on a game trailer on YouTube and be playing the game within five seconds.
Now that sounds a bit like magic.
It's an end to download bars and waiting for day one updates and big patches.
There are four men taking the sheets off something in the corner of the stage.
Oh it's just some computers and shit, 'cos this console is not a box.
It's still just Assassin's Creed Odyssey - a great game, but a curious thing to pin this presentation on. Though Ubisoft are obviously pleased.
Moving from device to device and picking up the game instantaneously. This is impressive stuff.
And there's our first look at the controller. It looks like a video game controller alright!
If you're playing on TV, all you need is a Chromecast.
Back quickly to that controller - the dual sticks were sitting opposite each other, unlike the staggered layout of something like the Xbox One controller.
But it mostly looked like a video game controller circa 2018.
Not sure if it has rumble as that's a last gen feature, obv.
The smart thing is this controller is wi-fi enabled and connects directly to the server.
The new buttons, on top of those we see on every other controller, is a share button that links you to YouTube, and a Google Assistant button.
Let's talk infrastructure. With Majd Bakar.
Let's talk data centres.
Let's talk edge nodes.
Actually that last one does sound kind of sexy.
By the time of Stadia's launch, it will support 4K, 60fps, HDR and surround sound.
And 8K resolution will be possible in the future.
I mostly want to know what the Konami code printed on the back of the Stadia controller does though.
'The data center is your platform'. That's sexy talk.
Google has partnered with AMD to make a GPU with some 10 teraflops.
10.7 teraflops, sorry.
That's big boy talk.
Not that I understand what it means in practice, of course.
But everyone here is cheering it and they probably know what's what.
Unity and Unreal are onboard, as are Vulkan, Havok, Improbable.
And many, many more.
id is up, so let's see how Doom runs on this thing.
2016 Doom, that is.
Would dearly love to see something a bit fresher being shown on this, as much as I adore Doom.
Oh, it's Doom Eternal. Can't get fresher than that.
It's the first game confirmed for Stadia.
And it'll run at 4K with HDR at 60fps on the platform.
There's the ability to run on multiple GPUs too, to great effect.
Here we see how it adds complexity to water deformation in a pre-baked demo.
It means an end to cheating and hacking in multiplayer games - and scalable tech too, meaning it could enable 1000 player Battle Royales. Rejoice.
And it'll be cross-platform play.
Erin Hoffman-John, now telling us how she's mates with wizards.
A proof of concept from Tangent games that looks a lot like that old Crackdown 3 demo, with destructible buildings on a grand scale.
Splitscreen gaming is also empowered by this - you can pull in multiple streams on a single screen.
Whic is all impressive but I just heard that Virtua Racing will have eight player splitscreen on the Switch so beat that yeah?
Luz Sancho from Tequila Works now on-stage.
Machine learning and its benefits to developers, who can input an image to help define an artstyle on a grey box.
From Kandinsky to Van Gogh to proper art like Pac Man, it's very impressive stuff.
State share is on now, with Q-Games' Dylan Cuthbert on-stage to talk us through State Share.
You can share a game state in the form of a link. So it sounds like sharing the timestamp on a YouTube video, but *games*.
Q-Games are developing their biggest game yet for Stadia. We won't see it today - it'll be unveiled later this year.
We're not seeing new games, though that will likely come at a consumer show like E3.
What we are seeing is a litany of great ideas that seem like they'll be the foundations for a new generation. It's quite exciting.
All that, and some bullshit about YouTubers.
Delighted to say I have no idea who this is.
God I'm old.
It's MatPat everyone!
I think we've got around nine minutes left, so after this lad has stopped knobbling on hopefully there's time to talk business model for this.
The next innovation is using Google Assistant to help in a level.
And there's a look at Tomb Raider, so it looks like Square and Crystal Dynamics are onboard.
Dev hardware has shipped to over 100 studios.
And there is Stadia Games and Entertainment, Google's own first party game studio.
Leading that is Jade Raymond.
First-party game studios but also external devs part of this.
It seems like those announcements, and any new games, are being kept for a later date.
So what we have is a concept and some fascinating ideas.
It'll be on the showfloor here, which is great - but obviously the real test will come when it's in the home on a connection out in the wild.
This is wrapping up, so it looks like there'll be no word on business model either.
We have a release date - sort of - in that it's coming at some point this year.
Coming to UK, US, Canada and large parts of Europe.
The games side of things is being covered off in the summer. So that's it. Google has just entered the game.
There are some wonderfully smart ideas under all that, and it could be incredibly empowering.
I think people are likely still burnt by their experiences with OnLive and PlayStation Now, so I think Google will be fighting some apathy until it brings out the games later this year.
That's not it when it comes to news from GDC - expect some big announcements from Epic, Valve and maybe a new game or two as well.
Hopefully catch you all later in the week - thanks for joining us here!
(Oh, and you can check out all of Digital Foundry's extensive hands-on coverage live on the site now!)