Google Stadia: the Cloud Gaming service at an ultra competitive price
In a video released two hours ago, Google Stadia announced its price, launch date and the games available on the Cloud Gaming platform.
We politely waited for the start of the conference before publishing an article. However, all the information from this Pre E3 conference leaked before the official Stadia announcements .
At the origin of this “leak”, the Canadian media La Presse. Games, pre-order prices, subscription price, launch date: everything goes. Significant fact: the interview was subsequently deleted. In fact, journalists interviewed Madj Bakar, vice president of engineering for Google, and published the article two hours in advance. This programming error, whether intended or not, caused a media tidal wave. The information is now confirmed.
Stadia Pro: 9.99 euros subscription for 4K Cloud Gaming
Tech and video game magazines take up information from La Presse. There are therefore two Stadia formulas. The first is called Stadia Pro. It costs 9.99 dollars or 9.99 euros per month . This allows you to unlock all the computing capacities of Google’s machines and take advantage of 4K at 60 frames per second. Unlike services like Playstation Now or Xbox Game Pass, Stadia does not include a catalog in the subscription. Only a few games will be provided in this offer. For the rest, you will have to get the new titles, such as on Steam, Origin, Epic or Uplay . The platform’s website promises “exclusive discounts” for customers.
The other subscription, Stadia Base, is simply free. Obviously, you will have to buy the games to benefit from them. Similarly, users will not have access to 4K and 5.1 sound. They will be limited to 1080p 60 FPS and stereo. It will be available in 2020 . This will allow unsubscribed players to continue enjoying the games purchased on the platform.
31 games announced for launch so far
At launch, the streaming service will contain 31 games including Baldur’s Gate III presented in preview by Larian Studio, developer of Divinity: Original Sin II and Darksiders Genesis. Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Gylt, Get Packed (in 2020), Destiny 2 (including the DLC Shadowkeep) and Tom’s Clancy Division 2 were shown at the conference.
“ Our goal is to make video games more accessible, ” says the presenter. Thus, Stadia will be, as we already knew, available on pc, tablet, laptop, Chromecast Ultra and Pixel 3 and 3A smartphones.
There remains the question of latency. Stadia promises that we can benefit from 4K with 35 Mb / s, 1080p with 20 Mb / s and 720p at 10 Mb / s . You therefore need a good ADSL or fiber connection in order to use the service. As you can see on the screenshot, we will be able to enjoy “a high performance gaming experience”. In France, the average speed is around 8.9 Mb / s, proving that there is a great disparity between Internet users.
Founder’s Edition: a good way to sell peripherals
Google also offers a Stadia Founder’s edition. It gives an exclusive controller, 3 months subscription, a Buddy pass of 3 months for a friend, a Stadia name of their choice and a ChromeCast Ultra. Those who purchase this edition will receive Destiny 2 and all extensions. PS4 players will be able to transfer their data. The whole will cost 129 dollars or 129 euros and will be in limited quantity . It will be shipped from November 2019. The Stadia controller itself is worth 69 euros. Otherwise, a PS4, Xbox 360 and One controller is enough.
Clearly, Google has made the right pricing choice for its Cloud Gaming service . It becomes in fact The Netflix of the PC in the Cloud. Yes, because offers like Playstation Now are more interesting for those who would not want to buy their games. Indeed, the subscription costs 14.99 euros. We are therefore awaiting Microsoft’s response with its Xcloud project. Shadow, which offers a virtual machine for 29.99 euros per month, is partly competed by the very low price of Stadia. There remains a greater dependence on the ecosystem of Google which will weigh in the choice of players.
Little technical information about Stadia
However, the developers and officials of Stadia did not reveal more details about the infrastructure . The technical sheet presented during the announcement three months ago has not been expanded. A member of The Division 2 team said: We know how to make games and they (Google developers) are masters of infrastructure design. Porting our The Division 2 for Stadia was a rewarding experience, and I hope there will be more. ”
Stadia will be available at launch “in the following 14 countries: United States, Germany, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Netherlands, United Kingdom and Sweden. Other countries are expected to follow in 2020 ”.