Stadia, Google’s cloud-gaming company, is looking for new hires with a preference for virtual reality development experience.

Stadia is Google’s cloud-gaming service which runs games on powerful computers in the cloud and then streams them to your PC, laptop, or even smartphone. The idea is to allow any device to feel like a high-end gaming PC.

Stadia doesn’t currently offer VR cloud-gaming, but it seems to be a natural fit for the use-case considering that high-end VR gaming is exclusively in the realm of beefy gaming PCs, which create a high barrier to entry. If you could keep the high-powered processing in the cloud and then stream the results down to a headset connected to a low-powered computer (or even a standalone headset), you could make PC VR much more accessible. Indeed, new Stadia job listings from Google suggest the company is exploring the possibility.

Four job listings posted or updated as recently as September 7th seek developers and engineers with virtual reality experience among the “preferred qualifications” of the roles.

Interestingly, the roles are spread across Stadia teams that cover the spectrum from developer features to end-user features like game discovery.

[IRP]

Google isn’t the only company with VR cloud-gaming ambitions. Nvidia has already created its own VR cloud-streaming infrastructure called CloudXR, though it’s designed as a foundation for others to build upon rather than being a user-facing service itself. Still we may see the company use CloudXR to bring VR cloud-gaming capabilities to its existing consumer-facing cloud-gaming service, GeForce Now.

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Similarly, Facebook kicked off its own cloud-gaming service last year. While it doesn’t offer VR gaming yet, the project is led by a former Oculus executive who clearly understands the potential of VR cloud-gaming.

VR cloud-streaming is definitely viable, but the key bottleneck is less about software or bandwidth and much more about latency. As we explored in our article about the ramifications of 5G on VR and AR, the real holdup for such services becoming widely available is the proliferation of edge computing infrastructure.

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  • oomph2

    Exciting

    • d0x360

      How about we just run the game locally so there isn’t so much latency that it makes you sick.

      Also DLSS wouldn’t lower data use and neither would foveated rendering.

      • oomph2

        Look DLSS & foveation will reduce the effort at server end , and also large pixels i.e reduced data can be sent , say in HD (720) mode.

        • Cless

          That’s not how video streaming compression works my man..
          Latency will be a VR killer until we have VERY VERY good almost non-existent latency.

  • d0x360

    Oh wow that would be horrible. The latency already sucks for normal games… I can imagine this making tons of people sick, even those that don’t get vr sickness

  • Dirtrot

    Maybe its just for playing stadia like a hmd…you can still do this with daydream and chrome dev 84 apk with a daydream set up….they musta been working twords something like this before the shut down daydream because when you access stadia via the browser the back ground in daydream turns a dark purple kinda like vr desktop.

    • Ryan McClelland

      I think you are right. Makes sense to offer 2D console games in the headset, for kids that don’t have access to the TV for a display all the time.

  • Anonymous

    Any other (non-Chinese) company I would have wished them luck.
    But it’s Google, pretty sure they would shut it down at the slightest sign of trouble or not turning profit in 1-2 years, which there will be.

    • Adrian Meredith

      They’ll launch it with minimal fanfare and with major fundamental features missing. not update it for two years then complain theres no market for it and just unceremoniously drop it

  • xyzs

    VR is THE medium that requires the less lag in order to work properly.

    Sending data to a server, having the server computing the input, packing the data to transfer it back to the user, then having the VR hardware to read the data, all of this at the needed pace… hum, that just sound like an incredible waste of effort and quite a stupid plan compared to keeps things simply locally.

    All it means is that trapping users inside a online only ecosystem on which they have absolute zero power is really worth crazy efforts for theses companies, hence the even bigger NO for me.

    • Adrian Meredith

      contrary to popular belief its not the network part that causes most of the latency, its the encoding/decoding of the video

      • xyzs

        Which I absolutely mentioned by saying packing the data and reading it.

        However the network is maybe good enough for latency, if you live in a rich and modern city, but for 99 percent of the world, it’s not the case.

        • Andrew Phillips

          What about 5G at edge locations?