Google finally unveiled concrete details surrounding its forthcoming video game streaming service, Stadia, including previews of some of the games that will be available at launch and more details on how Stadia subscriptions will work when the service launches in November.
In 2020, Google will launch a "Stadia Base" model that's totally free, but only allows you to play games at 1080p resolution. However, there will also be a limited edition "night blue" version (see below) if you decide to get the Stadia Founder's Edition. Stadia can work with a variety of controllers and screens, so recipients of the Buddy Pass may not need to purchase anything extra to begin playing, though Google has made Stadia controllers available outside the Founders Edition package for $89.
Google's not saying exactly how many games will be available at launch, but it did announce 30 titles from creators including Ubisoft, Bethesda, Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive Software, and Warner Bros.
If you don't want Stadia Pro, you don't need it, and you can access the service for free as "Stadia Base".
Think of it as being able to drive 75 miles per hour on the highway, but then you hit the city and your speed unavoidably drops to an average of 25 miles per hour.
The Google Stadia Connect livestream will be going live within the next 15 minutes.
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The Founder's Edition pack will be the first option for Stadia, though contrary to what was said in the earlier leaks, Google seems to suggest that the Stadia Base sub will also be released sometime this year. The Stadia Founder's Edition can be pre-ordered starting today to get first access when the service launches later this year.
The service is launching in November and it will cost $9.99 per month for 4K 60fps HDR with 5.1 sound gaming, which Google will be calling Stadia Pro. Additionally, Pro subscribers will receive discounts on full game purchases.
If this isn't a play to squeeze the consumers who are most excited about Stadia, then why launch the service in phases like this? If that connection's quality drops to 10 mb/s, Stadia will downgrade itself to a 720p stream. Just like Netflix, it would appear Google is locking off higher resolutions for higher subscription tiers, despite having you pay for the game.
Separate Stadia controllers are available in Just Black, Clearly White and Wasabi colourways at £59 ($69) each. Mobile and browser support will be rolled out in 2020, with Google planning to expand the range of phones that can carry the Stadia service.
KitGuru Says: I wanted to give Google Stadia a chance but the pricing and device limitations have really muddied the waters.