Google Stadia has been having a good time in recent weeks, with a number of games revealed. But the focus today is shifting quite a bit from the games to the people who play them. Google has announced a new feature in Stadia called Party Stream, along with improvements to the existing live streaming functionality.
New features will start rolling out immediately and will be available to everyone during the week. Here’s what you can expect.
The best Stadia live stream
Starting with the latter, Stadia has always been very easy for players to broadcast their own gameplay. It only takes a few taps or clicks to push your content all over YouTube with your microphone. Besides highlighting recent improvements like 4K streaming and HDR, Google now offers the ability to switch games and even devices without having to quit and restart the stream.
It’s common when using third-party software like OBS to be able to switch on the fly, but previously it was impossible thanks to the way Stadia works. The new feature will allow the player to finish the game without ending the broadcast, and then switch to a new game or even a completely new device. You can, for example, start streaming Destiny 2 from your PC, finish the game, and then continue playing Far Cry 6 on your Android tablet. All without ending the stream.
When you leave a game and start another from a supported device, you will be prompted to “Resume Live”. It’s a small touch, but a huge quality-of-life improvement for creators who stream live on YouTube. The new feature will be rolled out in stages but all Stadia players are expected to have it within a week.
Party Stream means your friends can always watch you play
The all-new feature coming to Google Stadia is Party Stream. This is exactly what it sounds like, the gameplay streaming inside Stadia parties. It’s a much more intimate way to share your gameplay because instead of broadcasting to YouTube members, you’re sharing it with up to 9 of your buddies.
Each Party Stream can support up to 10 players. And this can be a mixture of those who broadcast and watch. You can have one playing and nine watching, five players and five spectators moving between them, or any other combination adding up to 10.
While enjoying Party Stream, existing Stadia group chat features are available, including voice feedback and emojis. If you’re streaming, you’ll see popups on your screen to let you know when one of your friends starts watching, as well as when they post a message or reaction.
Party Stream is another example of a feature that the cloud can offer that other platforms can’t at the moment. Gamers and viewers alike won’t see any noticeable overhead, just like when streaming to YouTube. And it definitely makes game nights more interactive.
Party Stream goes live today and should be available to all Stadia players within the next 48 hours. Initially, it is only available on desktop and via the mobile web on Android, but assuming all goes well, this will likely expand in the not too distant future. It’s here just in time for these Saints Row games too!