Google has fleshed out its Stadia streaming games service, revealing various business models including subscription and individual game purchasing, the launch line-up of games and when it will become available.
In a Stadia Connect video (see below), Google’s Vice President, Games, Phil Harrison revealed various ways for consumers to get hold of Stadia. Initially, it will be available as a Founder’s Edition, priced at £119.99, which will include a Night Blue Stadia Controller, a Chromecast Ultra for streaming to TVs, and three free months of Stadia Pro, Stadia’s Netflix-style subscription service, which lets you play all its games and will subsequently cost £8.99 per month.
Google announced a list of 27 games that will be playable via Stadia, including the likes of Destiny 2, The Division 2, Doom Eternal, Borderlands 3, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Tomb Raider Trilogy, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, Baldur’s Gate 3 and Mortal Kombat 11. At launch there will be two Stadia-exclusive games: a puzzle game from Tequila Works called Gylt and Get Packed, from Moonshine Studios.
Stadia will go live this November, and you will need to purchase the Founder’s Edition to experience it before 2020. Next year, gamers will be able to avail themselves of a free version of the service called Stadia Base, which will require them to pay for individual games as well as a Stadia Controller (priced at $70 in the US) and a Chromecast Ultra. Google adds: “If you choose to cancel Stadia Pro, you can play the games that you’ve already purchased on Stadia Base without a subscription.”
The Founder’s Edition comes with a Buddy Pass, which Google describes thus: “Our Founder’s Edition comes with a Buddy Pass, a three-month Stadia Pro subscription that you can give away to a friend. Your friend will get access to Destiny 2: The Collection, including the Shadowkeep and Forsaken expansions with Annual Pass, and Curse of Osiris and Warmind add-ons. They’ll also unlock the doors to an ever-expanding library of games at no extra cost, together with the full benefits of Stadia Pro.”
Other relevant aspects of Stadia include a recommended minimum broadband speed of 10Mbps (which will allow Stadia to run at 720p; 20Mbps will facilitate 1080p resolution, while you’ll need 30Mbps broadband to run Stadia in 4K).
The only version of Stadia available at launch in November 2019 will be the Founder’s Edition; Stadia Pro and Stadia Base will be rolled out at an unspecified date in 2020. Google has promised to keep adding to the (already pretty solid) line-up of Stadia games, and added that it is working on a family sharing option for the future.
For all the currently available Google Stadia information, and to pre-order the Founder’s Edition, visit the service’s website.