Google first announced its game streaming service Stadia at GDC 2019 in March. Stadia is a service that will allow gamers to stream video games directly to their chrome browsers, regardless of what hardware or device it is running on. And now, almost 3 months later, the Company has given us what it promised back then: more information. As part of E3 2019, Google has finally released details including the specifications, price and launch date for Stadia.
Google announced that Stadia would eventually be available in two forms: the paid Stadia Pro and the free Stadia Basic. The company will however only be launching Stadia Pro in November. And initially, the service will only be limited to users who buy a $129 worth software-hardware bundle from Google, called the Stadia Founders Edition. Furthermore, the initial launch will be limited to a few countries. These include the U.S. UK, Belgium, Finland, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden. The service will eventually extend to other countries. Also, Stadia Basic will be releasing sometime next year.
In this article, we’ll take a quick look at everything from specs to price that you need to know about Stadia. If you’re interested, here’s the full video from Google:
????IT’S HAPPENING ????⁰⁰
— Stadia (@GoogleStadia) June 6, 2019
As we’ve already mentioned above, Stadia will be available in two forms. Stadia Pro is a paid premium service that allows streaming at 4K and 60fps, with support for HDR and 5.1 surround sound. Stadia Basic is a free service that can stream at full HD (1080p) and 60fps, with support for Stereo sound.
Users will have to buy Games to play on either of the two services. But Stadia Pro will offer its subscribers a few occasional free games unlike the Basic service. In a way this could be seen as a mirroring of the business model used by Sony or Microsoft with their PlayStation Instant Game Collection and Xbox Live Games With Gold services respectively. In both these services, subscribers will get a discount while buying games.
Google released this handy chart to show the recommended connection speed:
This is where things get interesting. Stadia Pro, which will be releasing in November, will be available for $9.99/month. But as we’ve already mentioned above, initially it will only be available to users who purchase Google’s Stadia Founders Edition for $129.
And the Stadia Basic, which will be available sometime next year, will be completely free. So other than a few occational free games, Stadia Pro basically offers better specs. But how exactly will Google be offering Stadia Basic for free? We can speculate that the company might resort to ads in order to make up for their server usage. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Here’s the GDC event where Google first announced Stadia:
What Games Will Be Available
Google also showed a number of games that would be available to stream on Stadia. The list included several high profile titles such as DOOM Eternal, Mortal Kombat X and Destiny 2. Other titles included, Baldur’s Gate III, Get Packed, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint and Gylt.
We can eventually expect Stadia to act as a sort of Netflix for gaming.
Stadia Founders Edition
Google will initially be limiting the service to users who purchase the Stadia Founders Edition. This is a hardware-software bundle from Google that will also include a 3-month Stadia Pro subscription. The bundle will also include a full copy of Destiny 2. On the hardware side, it will come with a Chromecast Ultra and Google’s own Stadia Controllers. The Chromecast Ultra will act as a sort of a console. The Stadia controllers are WiFi enabled controllers that are directly connected to Google’s services. Google has however said that gamers will be able to use their PS4, Xbox One or Nintendo Switch controllers for gaming on Stadia.
How Exactly Will It Work
So how exactly will this service work?
Stadia is a cloud gaming service, meaning the games will be running in the cloud on Google’s own servers. This means users won’t be needing a high-end gaming console or PC to run the game. At the user end, all that will be required is a device that can run Google Chrome and a fast internet connection. And to make full use of the Stadia Pro service, perhaps a good display and good sound system would be a nice addition. But technically, users will be able to play games on their smartphones or tablets as well.
Stadia will basically act as YouTube for gaming. Think about any gaming video you’ve ever watched on YouTube. With Stadia, you can either watch the video or actually participate (play in) the video you’re streaming. The name “Stadia” itself is the plural form of “stadium”. That kind of alludes to what the service is offering.
If you can’t wait till November, and are looking to get right into gaming, you might be interested on our list of the best prebuilt gaming PCs.