Stadia, Google’s cloud gaming company, is looking for new contracts with a preference for the virtual reality development experience.
Stadia is Google’s cloud gaming service that runs games on powerful computers in the cloud and streams them to your computer, laptop, or even smartphone. The idea is to allow any device to feel like a high-end PC.
Stadia does not currently offer VR cloud games, but it seems to be a natural fit for the use case given that high-end VR games are found exclusively in the realm of rugged gaming computers, which create an elevated entry barrier. If you could keep high-power processing in the cloud and then stream the results to headphones connected to a low-power computer (or even stand-alone headphones), you could make PC VR much more accessible. In fact, Google’s new Stadia job listings suggest the company is exploring the possibility.
Four job listings published or updated through Sept. 7 look for developers and engineers with virtual reality experience among the “preferred qualifications” of the roles.
Interestingly, the roles are distributed among Stadia teams ranging from developer functions to end-user functions, such as game discovery.
Google isn’t the only company with ambitions for VR cloud gaming. Nvidia has already created its own VR cloud streaming infrastructure called CloudXR, although it is designed as a foundation for building others rather than being a user-oriented service. Still, we may see the company use CloudXR to bring VR cloud gaming features to its existing consumer-oriented cloud gaming service, GeForce Now.
Similarly, Facebook launched its own cloud gaming service last year. While not yet offering virtual reality games, the project is led by a former Oculus executive who clearly understands the potential of virtual reality cloud games.
VR cloud transmission is definitely viable, but the main bottleneck is less software or bandwidth and much more latency. As we explored in our article on the ramifications of 5G in virtual reality and virtual reality, the real delay in making these services widely available is the proliferation of cutting-edge computing infrastructures.