Google has finally unveiled some major details about the upcoming Stadia launch. And now, we have the first of what may be a few essential dates, including the Founder’s Edition launch of Stadia. Plus, of course, Google is trying to hype up their gaming streaming service with some new details.
So what’s Stadia again? When is it coming out? And what’s the price tag look like?
The game streaming service works like any other, except it’s Google, so they get to flex a bit more. Basically, the games stream directly to a television via a Chromecast, or through a PC or phone. Instead of a Bluetooth controller, controls go through your local wifi as well, then to the Chromecast. It’s a similar technology to past streaming services available through Chromecast and Nest.
If you want to play a game, you still have to buy it. Your “subscription” fee essentially covers the streaming cost, as opposed to owning a physical disc or a digital download. However, with promises of high-definition streaming up to 4K, some visual quality elitists may be highly tempted.
Our social editor Nicholas Grayson already got to go hands-on in August with Google’s iteration of the technology. He notes that only Pixel phones will be able to play at launch; now, we know it’s only Pixel 4. They also allegedly trade off framerate in order to maintain decent latency. In other words, it may not look as smooth, but maybe it’ll feel smoother at a solid 60 frames per second.
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Since then (as in, as of today), we’ve learned when the first people will get their hands on Stadia. Those will be future players who bought the Founder’s Edition; this release date of Stadia for these players was today during the Made By Google 2019 presentation. Those with the Founder’s Edition will be able to play starting November 19th, at 9AM PT.
If you’re interested in getting in early, the packages go for about $129. They include a blue controller, a “Buddy Pass” for a friend, and first dibs on gamer handles. There’ll be a Chromecast Ultra packaged in, which enables streaming with quality up to 4K. The pre-order also comes with three free months of Stadia, and access to select games the “early access” phase of the service. Basically, if you’re really excited about Stadia, this is the way to go.
What about the rest of us? Unfortunately, the rest of Stadia’s social media still shows the 2020 date. We don’t have a precise date for that, but if the Founder’s Edition goes well, hopefully it’ll be sooner than later. When it launches, though, it looks like it’ll go for prices similar to other streaming services across media. Streaming via Stadia will be about $10 per month.
Google’s not the first, but they’ve certainly created a lot of hype around it. Sony launched their PlayStation Now service in January 2014, and Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass came out in mid-2017. The main difference is, these services actually come with the games, whereas with Stadia you’ll still need to purchase many of the titles. Will this difference be key in whether or not Stadia succeeds?