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Google launches Stadia game platform, arrives November

by Mark Tyson on 7 June 2019, 10:11

Tags: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)

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Google has revealed more details about its upcoming Stadia game platform. In a launch event ahead of E3 2019, we got to learn more about the platform; the hardware Google has prepared for November, the pricing of the hardware and optional subscriptions, and the games that people will be able to play.

Google's central proposition for Stadia, and its Founder's Edition hardware combo, is as follows:

"The Stadia Founder's Edition lets you instantly enjoy games in up to 4K on your TV without a console. You can also play across laptops, desktops, Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a with cross-screen early access from day one."

On a PC you will be able to access Stadia via the standard desktop Chrome browser to play the games available with mouse/keyboard or any other controllers you have. If you are on a smartphone or tablet there will be the Stadia app to stream the very same games. Where the Founder's Edition hardware combo hardware is really useful is for playing on your big screen TV.

For $130 / £120, the Stadia 'Founders Edition' pack comes with a limited edition nigh blue controller and Chromecast Ultra. As a bonus you will get three months of Stadia Pro subscription paid, as well as three months 'Buddy Pass' for a friend - but more about subscriptions later. Google says this bundle represents "nearly $300 of value". (However, the purely hardware sum is as follows: Chromecast Ultra for £69 + Stadia Controller for £59 = £128).

When the Stadia service goes live in November Google promises there will be at least 30 games available from big studios such as Bethesda, EA Games, Rockstar, Sega, Square Enix, Warner Bros and Ubisoft. In turn that means AAA titles like Doom, Destiny 2, Final Fantasy XV, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and Tom Clancy's The Division 2 will be playable via the streaming service. One notable name missing from the partners list at this time is Epic Games.

Moving on to the optional subscriptions that Google hopes gamers will sign up to; there is one paid for option and one free. You can see the official comparison table below. However, in summary, paying subscribers get higher resolution streaming, a growing library of free games available to them, and discounts on buying new games. Please note that Stadia Pro opens up in November but Stadia Base will become available later, in 2020.

At launch, Stadia will be available in 14 countries; U.S., Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the U.K. More countries will follow in 2020.

AMD's CEO Dr. Lisa Su offered her congratulations to Google in the wake of the announcements. This is particularly understandable, as Stadia servers will be AMD GPU powered.

HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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Too expensive (even if you have decent internet). When you can pick up an xbox one s digital for £150ish (Should be this price by the time this launches - I got an open box non-digital for £130 recently).

Game pass is then a similar price as pro but you get 100 games from day one and no lag issues (i'd argue 1080p local is roughly as good as streamed 4k after compression). For info I wasn't keen on the idea of netflix style gaming until trying game pass and to be honest I now sold. Its saved me cash and I've always got something waiting to scratch a gaming itch now…
Too expensive
Well… one it is just a cc ultra and a controller. You can just get the free service when it comes out and play it on any computer. So it depends on what you want to do.
Well… one it is just a cc ultra and a controller. You can just get the free service when it comes out and play it on any computer. So it depends on what you want to do.

Yes but xbox s + controller vs CC ultra + controller is comparable. Without the CC ultra + controller its just an alternative to steam that swaps PC GPU hardware requirements for broadband requirements! I was more trying to show the subscription isn't good value to be honest anyway…
Given that this is a console replacement, and not a games rental system, it's not cost effective. You still have to buy games, and unless they're significantly cheaper than console prices (also noting that you won't be able to sell-on your game), then it just doesn't make financial sense.

£324 subscription over 3 years (a reasonable time to own a console, life-cycle is longer), plus £120 if you're truly looking at this as a console replacement and plugging straight into your TV.
This might, for many of us, be a convenient way to play AAA games on devices that lack the GPU grunt… I'll definitely be taking it for a spin on my Surface Pro at some point just to see what it's capable of on modest hardware (and reasonably fast internet of course).

I don't expect this to replace a gaming PC or high-end console just yet, but if the latency and image quality of this and Microsoft's incoming service are decent, I'm sure lots of us would be glad to be insulated from buying Nvidia's overpriced GPUs!