At Stadia Connect, Google shared some important details about its upcoming cloud gaming service Stadia. The company has been testing Stadia since last year. Google announced the gaming service in March, but didn’t share the details like Stadia price, launch date, and what games you will be able to play. Now let’s take a look at all these details.
When is it coming?
The search engine giant didn’t specify a launch date, only saying that the cloud-based game streaming service will become available in November 2019. The service will launch in 14 countries via the Founder’s Edition, and more regions will be added in 2020. At the time of launch, it will have at least 31 games from 21 different publishers.
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Countries where Stadia is set to debut this November include the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. Google has already started accepting pre-orders for the Stadia Founder’s Edition on the Google Store.
Google Stadia will allow gamers to play high-end console and PC games on any Pixel 3 smartphone, Chromecast Ultra TV dongle, and Chrome web browser. Industry experts have dubbed it the “Netflix of gaming,” but that analogy might not be suitable for Stadia.
At launch, it will be available to play on desktops via Chrome browser, on TVs via a plugged in Chromecast Ultra, tablets, Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a phones.
Google Stadia price
The Founder’s Edition of Google Stadia has been priced at $130. It will include a hardware starter kit with three months of Stadia Pro subscription. After the three months are up, the Stadia Pro service is going to cost $10 per month. There will also be a free Stadia Base service with limited features, but it will launch in 2020.
The Stadia Founder’s Edition bundle will also include a limited edition Night Blue controller, a Chromecast Ultra that you can plug into your TV, and a three-month Buddy Pass to gift Stadia Pro to a friend. Customers who buy the Stadia Founder’s Edition will also get the first chance to claim a special founder username.
The Founder’s Edition sounds like a good deal. For just $130, you are getting Google’ controller and Chromecast Ultra, both of which cost $70 each if you buy them separately.
How does Stadia Pro differ from Stadia Base?
The $10 per month Stadia Pro service will give players access to deals on games, free titles, and better streaming capabilities. Though the service will have some free titles, Google expects customers to buy cloud games at retail price (or at a discount), instead of renting. Google’s director of games Jack Buser told The Verge, “We will sell these games like any other digital storefront.”
The free games will be available to you as long as your Stadia Pro subscription is active. The Pro service will give you access to exclusive discounts, the ability to stream HDR games at 4K resolution and 60fps, and 5.1 surround sound capabilities. For a limited time, Stadia Pro will be giving you full access to Destiny 2, including all the add-ons, annual and expansion pass, and the base game.
The Stadia Base service will become available in 2020. The Base users will not get free games and the ability to stream games in 4K resolution. They will be able to buy games via Stadia and keep those titles indefinitely. Base users will be able to play the purchased games in a Chrome browser on any computer or a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3a phone. Google plans to expand to other phones in 2020.
Google Stadia controller features
The Stadia controller comes bundled with the Founder’s Edition. Customers will also be able to buy it separately for $70. It will be available in Clearly White, Just Black, and Wasabi color options. The Stadia controller will have a dedicated button to share the gameplay on YouTube and another to activate Google Assistant.
The controller uses built-in WiFi to connect to whichever screen the game is running on. You don’t have to pair the controller with the supported devices again and again because the controller connects directly with Google’s servers over WiFi. The controller also features a USB-C port for charging, wired gameplay, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and some accessories.
The Stadia gaming library
Google has partnered with at least 21 different developers to bring their games to the Stadia platform. The search engine giant has shared only a partial list of games. More games are expected to be announced at the E3 event next week. The recently announced Baldur’s Gate 3 will become available on Stadia and PC at the same time.
Notably, Google hasn’t yet revealed the titles it’s developing in-house. The company has set up a game studio to build Stadia-exclusive titles. These are the third-party titles coming to Stadia:
- Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
- Doom Eternal
- Doom 2016
- Rage 2
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood
- Destiny 2
- Get Packed
- Metro Exodus
- Farming Simulator 19
- Baldur’s Gate 3
- Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
- Football Manager
- Samurai Shodown
- Final Fantasy XV
- Tomb Raider Definitive Edition
- Rise of the Tomb Raider
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Borderlands 3
- NBA 2K
- Mortal Kombat 11
- Darksiders Genesis
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
- Just Dance
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint
- Trials Rising
- The Crew 2
Google has already revealed the Internet speed requirements for its subscription service. Stadia Pro customers will need at least 35Mbps of bandwidth to stream 4K games at 60fps with HDR and 5.1 surround sound. The Stadia Base requires 10Mbps of bandwidth.