Best answer: Stream Connect is Stadia's way of supporting multiplayer gaming experiences. In particular, local couch co-op experiences via split-screen.
- Bring couch co-op back: Chromecast Ultra ($69 at Amazon)
- Play the right way: Stadia Controller ($69 at Google Store)
How does multiplayer work on Stadia?
According to Google's Erin Hoffman-John, lead designer for research and development on Stadia, the service will utilize Google's data centers. "Using Google's unique infrastructure, developers can create games built to house hundreds of players with low latency and perfect synchronization," she said.
How does Stream Connect work?
Modern games have become so robust that the utilization of split-screen technology has steadily declined because rendering two or more scenes at the same time is too taxing on current hardware. Because Stadia's clients reside in the cloud, Google hopes for a local couch co-op resurgence. Each screen on a split-screen view will be powered by a separate Stadia instance, meaning there shouldn't be any performance penalties.
What makes it different from traditional split screen?
As seen in its on-stage demo, Stream Connect is like split-screen unshackled. Players will be able to pull up individual streams of others on their squad on demand, and they will be able to use any surface on the screen to do so. The demo showed an example of two mini streaming windows opened up on either top corner of the main screen. Hoffman-John said, "We've shown you three views, but we could keep going. We can keep adding streams and shape how they're shown to the player."
Stream locally with your friends
With Google's Chromecast Ultra and Stadia's Stream Connect technology, you can start playing with your friends in local split screen experiences that you enjoyed so much as a child.
All you need
Play the right way
The Stadia Controller is all you need to use Stadia if you already have the Chromecast Ultra. You can also use it on your other devices, adding to its functions.
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Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.