Google‘s upcoming game streaming service, Google Stadia, finally have a release date. The exciting new service from the web giant will launch in November. Google Stadia lets you stream high-end console and PC games to any Chrome web browser, Chromecast Ultra TV dongle or a smartphone.
Pre-orders are now open
Google has just revealed that its Stadia game streaming service will be available starting this November. A total of 14 countries will get the service initially, including the US (except Hawaii and Guam), UK and Canada. The first release will contain more than 30 games, including a few Stadia exclusives, Google said. However, many more games may get added in the run-up to the November launch.
Google Stadia will be available for an initial “Founder’s Edition” price of $130 in November. The price includes three months of premium service, as well as a Chromecast Ultra to plug into your TV and a controller. Pre-orders for the “Founder’s Edition” are now open.
Stadia Pro subscription will cost $10 a month post the first three months. However, the subscription doesn’t include the full catalog of games. As of now, only one game – Destiny 2 – is included in that $10 monthly fee. You’ll have to separately buy any other game you want to play. The games will retail for the same prices as on other platforms like PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, and Steam.
However, at $130, which also includes freebies well worth over the actual price, Google’s offering looks compelling. It costs a lot less than a new PS4 or Xbox One, and you also get three months of service. You can also play on your Pixel 3 or 3A smartphone. Google hopes to expand to more phones and platforms in the future. Stadia Pro offers 4K, 60fps streaming with HDR and 5.1 surround sound. You’d require 35Mbps of bandwidth though. Google is also launching a separate free tier next year. It will be limited to 1080p, 60fps with stereo sound, and requires 10Mbps of bandwidth to stream at 720p.
Google Stadia availability and Prices
As said earlier, Google Stadia will be available starting this November in 14 countries. Below is the list of all the territories it’ll be available initially, along with the prices.
|Territory||Founder’s Edition||Stadia Pro (monthly)||Stadia Controller|
When asked if Google Stadia will eventually hit Apple TVs, Rokus, maybe even iOS devices, Andrey Doroniche, Stadia project manager, said: “We want to be everywhere.” He also added that Android phones don’t need any extra spec to support Google Stadia, though official support will only be provided after a certification to ensure it’s a good experience. Also, the Stadia controller is a Wi-Fi device that communicates directly with Stadia’s servers. It’ll work across platforms seamlessly.
Google is also working on to add cross-save functionality. It’ll allow Stadia users to pick up a game right where they left off on Xbox or PC. As of now, only Bungie’s Destiny 2, which also happens to be the only game you get with the $10 monthly fee, supports cross-save functionality. Other Google Stadia features include the ability to instantly start playing a game by clicking on a YouTube ad, and split-screen multiplayer functionality. The latter, however, will be limited to certain games, such as Ghost Recon.
Google may also allow YouTubers to simultaneously play and livestream a game to YouTube, and invite their fans to join in. This will certainly help the company’s cause, especially at a time when competition in cloud gaming is fierce. Microsoft and Sony are all set to take their Xbox and PlayStation services a notch up later this year. Also, several new names, including Amazon, Verizon, and Samsung, may arrive by next year. Plenty of choices for gamers!