Google Stadia may have one advantage beyond the ease of access of game streaming: sheer hardware power. By leveraging datacenters to render the games that gamers are playing, Google effectively has access to far more capable hardware that can scale up and down as needed. That will enable some unique gaming experiences, we're told, beginning with a 40-car race on the Stadia version of Grid when it debuts in 2020.
Apparently, this is a technological achievement that isn't even possible on a powerful gaming PC. It's not exactly clear why that's the case, as PC and console games have had 100 person battle royale games for years, so 40 doesn't seem like a crazy stretch of the imagination. But that's said to be the case and Stadia will be the exclusive home of 40-car Grid races.
"Perhaps the area with the biggest difference was the streaming, but also the ability of Stadia to talk to other Stadia so quickly transforms some ideas around multiplayer – for example developing a whole new mode for GRID Stadia which has 40 cars on track at the same time, something that just isn’t possible with other hardware," Mark Green, Development Director for GRID at Codemasters, said in a chat with WCCTech.
This is said to be just scratching the surface of what's possible with Stadia though, suggesting that we may see even more expansive or transformative gaming experiences on Stadia than we'll see anywhere else.
While that might sound hyperbolic, Microsoft recently announced that it would combine local rendering with cloud streamed weather and textures in the upcoming Microsoft Flight Simulator, so we could be entering an era of gaming that combines the cloud with the local hardware in unique and interesting ways.