Google exec sees Stadia games “running faster and feel more responsive” compared to local machines

Laurent Giret

Google Stadia won’t be launching until November, but Google execs are already making some pretty bold statements about the company’s new cloud gaming service. In an interview with Edge magazine (via PCGamesN), Madj Barkar, VP of engineering for Google Stadia, claimed that machine learning and Google’s cloud expertise will make Stadia games run better compared to other platforms.

“Ultimately, we think in a year or two we’ll have games that are running faster and feel more responsive in the cloud than they do locally,” Bakar says to Edge, “regardless of how powerful the local machine is.” Barkar went on to discuss Google’s “negative latency” technology, which would dynamically increase FPS in games to reduce latency when necessary, but the exec went as far as suggesting that Google could soon be able to predict what buttons players are going to press next.

As a new challenger in the video games industry that’s also making a huge bet on cloud gaming, Google should be careful of not overpromising and ultimately underdelivering. With data centers all over the world, Google certainly has the infrastructure to compete with Microsoft’s Project xCloud or Sony’s PlayStation Now, but in the near future it’s still hard to imagine cloud gaming technology becoming more consistent and reliable than good old PCs and consoles. Hardcode gamers will likely always prefer to play games locally, and it certainly won’t be easy for Google to convince console and PC players to switch to Stadia.

We’ll have a better idea of how Stadia works when the service launches in select markets in November, but Microsoft will be cutting the grass under Google’s feet by launching its public beta for Project xCloud later this month in the US, UK, and South Korea.