Abhijit DeyNov 19, 2019 07:52:43 IST
The long awaited game streaming service from Google is finally out. Stadia, as it's called, will let gamers play games on the cloud, AAA titles like Red Dead Redemption 2, for as little as $10 a month. The service was announced in June and is now finally available in select countries.
Stadia is a game streaming service, which means users can stream and play games on anything from a phone to a TV without requiring a powerful gaming rig. The service will enable gamers to play games on any Chrome browser, Chromecast Ultra dongle or a Pixel 3 smartphone including Pixel 3a (using the Stadia app). It was initially announced at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this year.
Stadia Pro and Stadia Founder’s Edition pricing
For a monthly fee of $10, gamers will be able to stream games at 4K resolution and HDR quality at a frame rate of 60 fps with 5.1 surround sound, in the Stadia Pro subscription plan.
There’s a premium Stadia Founder’s Edition kit that can be pre-ordered at a price of $130. It includes a limited-edition ‘Night Blue’ Stadia controller, Chromecast Ultra, three months of Stadia Pro subscription pack, exclusive Stadia username, buddy pass for a friend to try Stadia Pro for three months, and the full Destiny 2 game, including the latest expansions.
A free tier will also be coming out in 2020 that will be limited to 1080p and 60 fps streaming with stereo sound, but its details and pricing haven’t been revealed.
There are about 31 games supported in Stadia from 21 different publishers for now. Since this is only a streaming service, users will have to own the supported games in order to play them using the service. Only Destiny 2 will be included in the Founder’s Edition without any additional cost.
Google will add free games to the service later that will be covered by the monthly subscription. The list will continue to grow. At launch, we're looking at the following titles:
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
- Attack on Titan: Final Battle 2
- Destiny 2: The Collection
- Farming Simulator 2019
- Final Fantasy 15
- Football Manager 2020
- Just Dance 2020
- Metro Exodus
- Mortal Kombat 11
- NBA 2K20
- Rage 2
- Rise of the Tomb Raider
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Samurai Shodown
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Tomb Raider
- Trials Rising
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood
Minimum requirements and device support
For the best experience with 4K, HDR, 60 fps and 5.1 surround sound, users will need a bandwidth of 35 Mbps. Google’s minimum bandwidth requirement is 10 Mbps that will deliver 720p, 60 fps and stereo sound.
To play the games, Google has its own Stadia controller that’s priced at $70. Users don’t necessarily need to buy one since the service supports virtually every standard HID controller out there. However, the advantage of the Stadia Controller is that it will directly connect to Google’s servers rather than going through the device on which users are streaming.
For now, games can be streamed from any Chrome web browser on any PC, laptop or tablet. In phones, users will be able to play games using the Stadia app but for now, Google has only announced support on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a. The company hopes to expand to other phones and platforms in the future.
Google Stadia will be rolling out in 14 different countries and territories starting from November, with more countries being added on later.
The cloud gaming industry is going to see more action when Microsoft launches its Project xCloud service.
While the idea of cloud gaming or ‘Netflix for gaming’ sounds impressive, latency, the delay between you pressing a button and having that input register in-game, is a big concern. We're keeping a close eye on reviews of the service (it's not out in India yet, sadly) to determine how Google is dealing with it.
So far, those who've tried it all seem to agree that Stadia works, just not as well as they'd hoped.
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