After several months since its introduction, Google finally revealed more information on its cloud gaming service, Google Stadia. We now know how much it will cost, exactly when it will go live, and even what games that are coming to the service – it’s quite a respectable lineup too.
That being said, not all of Stadia’s touted features will be available at launch, including the ability to play alongside your favourite YouTuber. Nonetheless, here’s what you need to know about Google Stadia – it’s set to be an exciting game streaming service.
First of all, let’s talk about the most important part of Stadia: pricing. Many were referring to Stadia as the “Netflix of gaming,” but that is not really the case here. In fact, Google even went as far to say that you should expect to buy games on the streaming service (for the same price you pay on other platforms too) rather than rent them.
However, there will be a list of free games for those who subscribed to the Stadia Pro service that costs $10 (about RM40) a month. The caveat? Only Destiny 2 is in the list right now, and even that has a free-to-play version that’s coming out later this September on Steam.
If you don’t feel like spending any amount of money on Stadia just yet, good news: a free tier will be introduced sometime in 2020. Unfortunately, it remains to be seen what aspects of Stadia will be available to free users, but the stream quality will be limited to 1080p at 60fps.
You’ll need 20Mbps of bandwidth to play at that quality, but if your connection isn’t quite as fast, you only need 10Mbps of bandwidth to stream at 720p60. That’s pretty good quality with only 10Mbps of speed to work with.
Of course, those who are subscribed to Stadia Pro can get much better stream quality. 4K, 60fps streaming is available to these users, and it will come with HDR support and 5.1 surround sound too. In order to get this stream quality, 35Mbps of bandwidth is required.
Now then, what kind of games will be available on Stadia? As mentioned, Destiny 2 is in the list, along with Baldur’s Gate 3. In fact, the latter will launch simultaneously on Stadia as well as PC. Not bad for a brand new cloud gaming service.
In total, there are at least 31 titles coming to Stadia at launch, and these include the Tomb Raider trilogy, Final Fantasy XV, Borderlands 3, Mortal Kombat 11, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and even Metro Exodus. Also, there are two exclusive titles in the list: Get Packed and Gylt from Coatsink and Tequila Works respectively.
Other big publishers like Capcom, Electronic Arts, and Rockstar Games are also on board Stadia, though they have yet to introduce any titles for the cloud gaming service yet. Regardless, Google promises that more exclusive titles will be added to Stadia in the future.
Google Stadia will be available in 14 territories come November 2019, which include US, UK, Canada, and selected European countries. Unfortunately, Malaysia isn’t in the list, and it remains to be seen when (or if) Malaysia will receive the cloud gaming service.
Markets that will get Stadia at launch can opt to purchase the $129 (around RM535) Founder’s Edition, which include a limited-edition Stadia controller in Night Blue, as well as a Chromecast Ultra to plug into your TV to start streaming. On top of that, a three-month subscription to Stadia Pro is also thrown in for you (and a friend).
Hopefully, Google Stadia will be available in more markets after its November launch later this year. It’s an interesting game service, and it’s likely the reason why other big players in the gaming industry like PlayStation and Microsoft are focusing more on their respective cloud gaming services.
Nevertheless, the cloud gaming space is one to watch in the coming months.