We’ve been treated this week to a stack of details about Google’s upcoming streaming gaming platform called Stadia.
Probably the biggest reveal is that the system is not primarily a subscription gaming-on-demand service, instead it will work similar to platforms like “steam or Epic games” in that it sell games from a digital storefront.
The paid ‘Pro’ version of the service will offer some free titles and improved graphic quality rising from the 1080p 60fps of the free service to 4K HDR at 60fps and surround sound for the paid, that is expected to cost around $9.99(US) a month, don’t expect this service til late in 2020.
Google have been hard at work making sure there are plenty of titles available at launch as well. The word is that number will be about 30 games from around 20 publishers. This will be a mix of existing titles and some exclusives. Some titles that we know it will start with include “DOOM Eternal,” “Rage 2,” “Wolfenstein: Youngblood”, “Destiny 2”, “Metro: Exodus”, “Thumper”, “Borderlands 3”, “Mortal Kombat 11”, “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint”, “Tom Clancy’s The Division 2” “Trials Rising” and the entire “Tomb Raider” trilogy.
Stadia is very much integrated into the “Giant Google Machine” in that at launch it will allow you to play games on a television through a Chromecast Ultra, on a Pixel 3 or 3a phone or on any computer that has a Chrome browser. It is however expected that support for other brand phones will come in further rollouts.
Now, what do you need internet wise to get the most out of your Stadia? First up you’ll want to have at least a 10Mbps connection to play games at the lower 720p / 60fps. To get the most out of your paid subscription though with the 4K / 60fps, you’ll need 35Mbps minimum. This is obviously one good reason why Australia hasn’t been included in the initial role out.
The 14 countries that are in the first Google Stadia roll out in November this year are: The United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. The next phase of countries will come as soon as 2020.
Price for the ‘Founder’s Edition’ at launch is $130 ($186 Aus). This will get you the hardware starter kit and 3 months of the premium service.
The controller itself will be available to purchase for around $69US in three colours: Clearly White, Just Black, and Wasabi (Wouldn’t it be great if they used that taste technology from the Nintendo Switch game cards, don’t lick your Wasabi controller!”.
Other specs include that it has support for both dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth Low Energy 4.2 and has a headset jack plus interchangeable Li-ion batteries. The controller will use the standard USB C port for playing wired while charging and use any additional accessories that come out.