IPHONE and iPad owners can now play console games on their Apple devices with the arrival of the Google Stadia app this week.
Described as "Netflix for games", the platform lets you play top titles without a console – by streaming the visuals over the internet.
After Google launched a beta on iOS and iPadOS last month, the full version – accessible via a web app – dropped on Wednesday.
It means gamers can now play top titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Assassin's Creed Valhalla for a small monthly fee.
Google Stadia launched last year but has taken a while to hit iOS devices due to Apple's strict App Store regulations.
Under the Store's current rules, video game streaming platforms like Stadia and Microsoft's Xbox Games Pass cannot run iOS apps.
To get around this, Google has created a web app that works through your phone's Safari browser instead of the App Store.
It's perfectly safe to use, though is not subjected to security regulations set by Apple.
To access the service, head to stadia.google.com from your iOS device.
Log in to your Google account, add a shortcut to your home screen and open the web app.
Video game streaming – how does it work?
We explain it all…
- When you watch a movie, the images you see are already prepared
- That's why very unsophisticated computers inside your TV, DVD player, or computer can playback film footage
- But video games render the visuals in real-time, because a game never knows what you'll do next
- That means you need much more computing heft to produce game visuals, compared to a standard movie
- So if you want amazing 4K PC-style graphics, you'll need to fork out for an expensive computer
- Alternatively, you could use game streaming technology
- The idea is that a company like Google, Microsoft or Sony would handle the generation of the visuals on powerful computers at its own HQ
- Then it would send what's effectively a video of that game to your smartphone
- You tap and play, and those commands get sent back to Microsoft or Sony, which then inputs them into the game, and sends you the visuals again
- Because modern internet connections are so fast, this all happens in milliseconds
- The resulting effect is 4K PC-style graphics on a smartphone – which is only possible because it's not the phone itself rendering the graphics
- It also means that you could potentially be playing an Xbox or PlayStation game on your console, and then leave the house and carry on playing using your iPhone
- This sort of technology could eventually kill off gaming consoles for good, because all you'd need is a TV with game-streaming tech built in, and a controller to play with
- But game streaming is still trying to get off the ground
- Sony bought a game-streaming called OnLive, but shut it down in 2015
- Google launched the relatively successful Stadia last year
- And Microsoft is currently preparing to launch its xCloud streaming service
Google Stadia is a game streaming service that lets you play console-level titles on smartphones and laptops.
Normally, a games console renders graphics on the machine – requiring powerful and expensive hardware.
Stadia renders the graphics on a Google computer and sends them to you over the internet, a bit like Netflix.
It means you can play games on rubbish devices, such as smartphones or the Google Chrome web browser.
The service costs £119, and includes a Chromecast Ultra and three months of access to Stadia Pro’s free library of games.
You can also buy additional games from the Stadia store.
A free tier called Stadia Base lets you buy your own games to play at 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second.
To use the service on your Apple device, you'll need to sign up for a Stadia account here.
In other news, cyber security buffs have issued a warning over dangerous Cyberpunk 2077 scams that could rinse your bank account.
Read our verdicts on the Xbox Series X and PS5 – if you can buy either.
And take a look at our 2020 Christmas tech gift guide.
What do you think of Stadia? Let us know in the comments!
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