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Google Stadia now up for pre-order, launches in November at $10/mo, requires $130 upfront

By Cal Jeffrey · 51 replies
Jun 6, 2019
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  1. Stadia is a gaming platform that can stream content to practically anything capable of running a Chrome browser or beam to a TV through Chromecast Ultra. What we did not know is where or when it will be available.

    On Thursday Google announced that Stadia would be available in 14 regions including the US, UK, Canada, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. It will be launching sometime in November with at least 31 day-one titles.

    The “Founder’s Edition” starter package will go for $130 contains three months of Stadia Pro service ($10 per month after), a “Buddy Pass” to give a friend three months free, Destiny 2, exclusive Night Blue Stadia Controller, Stadia Controller Power adapter, Google Chromecast Ultra dongle, Google Chromecast Ultra Power adapter with an Ethernet port, and a Founder's Stadia name and badge.

    Google says that with Stadia Pro, users can play games in 4K at 60 frames per second with 5.1 surround sound. This is a bombastic claim, which it follows up with a disclaimer.

    “Gameplay experience will vary depending on internet connection and device. 4K-capable HDTV and high-speed broadband internet connection required to play in 4K. Google Chromecast Ultra required to play on TV. 4K, 60 FPS, HDR, and 5.1 surround sound only available to Stadia Pro subscribers. Non-subscribers may experience up to 1080p and 60 FPS.”

    So please don’t hold your breath for smooth 4K gaming. We wouldn’t want anyone passing out from lack of oxygen.

    One common misconception of the Stadia service is that it will be like Netflix — a subscription service where you have a catalog of games you can play for free. This is not the case. Users should expect to have to purchase games just as they would on Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network. “We will sell these games like any other digital storefront,” Google’s Director of Games Jack Buser told The Verge.

    As for titles that are expected to be available — 21 publishers have signed on to provide content for Stadia, and each will have at least one title ready for launch. Most are currently available on other systems, with the exception of Larian Studios’ just announced Baldur’s Gate 3, 2K’s Borderlands 3 and a few others.

    • Bandai Namco — Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
    • Bethesda — DOOM Eternal, DOOM 2016, Rage 2, The Elder Scrolls Online, Wolfenstein: Youngblood
    • Bungie — Destiny 2
    • Capcom — TBD
    • Coatsink — Get Packed (Stadia exclusive)
    • Codemasters — GRID
    • Deep Silver — Metro Exodus
    • Drool — Thumper
    • Electronic Arts — TBD
    • Giants Software — Farming Simulator 19
    • Larian Studios — Baldur’s Gate 3
    • nWay Games — Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
    • Rockstar Games — TBD
    • Sega — Football Manager
    • SNK — Samurai Shodown
    • Square Enix — Final Fantasy XV, Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow of the Tomb Raider
    • 2K Games — NBA 2K, Borderlands 3
    • Tequila Works — Gylt (Stadia exclusive)
    • Warner Bros. — Mortal Kombat 11
    • THQ — Darksiders Genesis
    • Ubisoft — Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Just Dance, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Trials Rising, The Crew 2

    The current list of titles is not enough to sell the platform even with Baldur's Gate 3 on the list, especially not knowing how Stadia will perform for the average user. However, Google said that this is just a sampling of the games coming to Stadia and that it would be announcing more at E3 next week. It also has not mentioned the first-party games that it has in development.

    Google has started taking pre-orders with the Founder’s edition. As mentioned, it goes for $130 and considering a controller and a Chromecast Ultra are going to run you $70 each, it would be a bargain were it not for the unknown — and that is a big unknown.

    A Google graphic claims that if you have at least a 10Mbps internet connection, you should be able to use Stadia and get 60 fps, albeit at 720p and standard stereo sound. For 4K and 5.1 surround sound it says you need at least a 35Mbps connection. This I have a hard time swallowing.

    As for streaming games to your phone, Google says:

    "At launch, if you’re a Stadia user, you can play Stadia exclusively on Pixel 3 and 3a devices. However, you’ll be able to create your account and make subscription and game purchases from any Android M+ or iOS 11+ device that has access to the Stadia app."

    I average 150Mbps and have had issues with Sony’s PlayStation Now streaming service. It works as long as you don’t mind missing textures and the occasional hiccup. Maybe Google has figured out a better way of streaming games, but we’ll see. Seeing is believing. I'm inclined to wait until Stadia goes live and then pay $10 for a month and try Destiny 2, which is going free-to-play in the fall, just see how it goes than to blindly lay down $130 and hope for the best.

    Google's full Stadia Connect livestream is below.

    Permalink to story.

  2. neeyik

    neeyik TS Addict Posts: 33   +16

    Although it's not a service I'd go with, the folks I've spoken to who are potentially interested have all asked the same questions: 'what are the titles?', 'am I restricted to how many I can play?', 'how long do I have access to them for?'
  3. Adi6293

    Adi6293 TS Maniac Posts: 191   +155

    I've got a 388Mbps broadband so I will give this a try, I am against not owning my games but at £9.99 a month this is very very tempting since even my £2000 PC can't do 4K at 60fps in all titles I play :)
  4. Slappy McPhee

    Slappy McPhee TS Addict Posts: 153   +81

    Never thought that Google would go the Apple route, but here we are. You have to buy the games plus pay $10 a month and oh yeah, you want it on your TV you have to buy our device. You want to use it on your phone you have to use OUR phones. I hope that this crashes and burns a painful death for Google. They have a hell of an opportunity, but they seem like they are squandering it all in the name of the almighty dollar.
    Strango likes this.
  5. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,426   +983

    Yeah.... there's still no way that I am paying for a service that can only be played online for games.

    And I'm certainly not paying for better internet right now just to have a better chance of streaming video without lag/interruptions.
    loki1944 likes this.
  6. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,426   +983

    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  7. Dimitrios

    Dimitrios TS Guru Posts: 430   +310

    In a few months after release, visit YOUTUBE for a Documentary on, " THE RISE AND FALL OF STADIA."
  8. Cal Jeffrey

    Cal Jeffrey TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,698   +410

    To be fair, Google is only releasing Stadia play on Pixel 3 or Pixel 3A phones at first. It says it hopes to expand to other phones and platforms “over time.”
    TheBigT42 likes this.
  9. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,426   +983

    Hmmmm... it seems like your article is lacking then.
    I'm now seeing that (after a correction), technically, it will be available on Android and iOS, but only the Pixel 3(A) will be able to stream at launch.

    Which is disappointing. But I don't plan on getting it, letalone buying a new phone and data plan to stream to mobile.
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  10. penn919

    penn919 TS Maniac Posts: 261   +143

    According to the Verge article, Stadia is mostly a Storefront with a select few games available with the subscription. Count me out. I'm not "buying" a steaming-only game. Why would anyone do that?
  11. Cal Jeffrey

    Cal Jeffrey TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,698   +410

    I intentionally left out mentioning phone compatibility because I have tried playing 3A games on my iPhone X Max and it is a joke even with a controller. Playing Assassin's Creed on a 6-inch screen is wholly and completely unsatisfying. However, you make a good point -- there are players willing to and wanting to play games made for consoles and PC on their phone, so we should provide them that information. Correction added. ;)
    Dimitrios and m4a4 like this.
  12. ZackL04

    ZackL04 TS Guru Posts: 519   +251


    Remember google is the youtube/youtubeTV/streaming pro vs. Sonys PSNow service. I have no problem “trusting” their claims for now, I use youtubeTV and its 100x better stream quality wise vs PSVue
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  13. koblongata

    koblongata TS Addict Posts: 181   +56

    It's sad they overlooked Asia altogether at launch... Most of the Asian countries have much better Internet speed/latency which are exactly what Stadia need, what were they thinking... work with Japan Korea Taiwan Singapore Hong Kong work with each country's game companies bring out local games and work with local ISP for Stadia bundled deals... it should have a much greater chance of success there TBH...
  14. Cal Jeffrey

    Cal Jeffrey TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,698   +410

    Yeah, I know that. But I was not too convinced when watching today's live stream that kept buffering and auto-bumping my resolution down to 360p. I was averaging around 170Mbps with a 10Mbps variance after several checks, so there was no excuse for such a poor stream.

    Jury is still out. I've not bought into any game streaming so far other than tho test it out. It's just not there. Maybe Stadia will change that but until I see it, I'll be content remaining skeptical.

    *Disregard if you were being sarcastic. lol
  15. brucek

    brucek TS Maniac Posts: 148   +185

    I really don't see how this is going to be able to outperform a high end gaming PC. Google's rack of server CPUs are in all likelihood clocked slower than the one in a high end gaming PC (which will have been picked precisely for maximum possible single thread performance), and their GPUs aren't going to be any more powerful than the ones you can buy for yourself either. And sure while in theory they could allocate multiple CPUs and multiple GPUs to each player, that won't actually do anything because the games themselves generally aren't written to take advantage of more than 1.

    Not to mention your home PC will not have added micro delays from the latency of your network connection + whatever hiccups it might have in bandwidth.
  16. brucek

    brucek TS Maniac Posts: 148   +185

    Streaming video is a lot easier than streaming a game. Video can use a buffer to insulate the user from brief hiccups in network performance... even if the network stops dead for a few seconds, a video can keep playing from the pre-loaded buffer. But games rendered server-side can't do this - a tiny hiccup of even only a fraction a second will be noticeable as a period in which you are not seeing your actions and the actions of others reflected in your game.
    Burty117, m4a4 and Dimitrios like this.
  17. BossyNeighbor

    BossyNeighbor TS Rookie

    I dont see the value proposition on gaming on a phone or tablet, it just doesnt seem to work on a small screen to play major games, simple mobile games work I'd much prefer a big screen. If you have an older PC and dont want to upgrade and shell out big bucks for hardware it makes sense, just have to see if the idea can execute without speedbumps. Google is making a lot of promises but its wait and see to see if they can deliver
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  18. Gahl1k

    Gahl1k TS Rookie

    And you think Stadia is gonna provide you with 4K Ultra@60FPS? 'Up to 4K 60FPS' doesn't equate definite 4K@60FPS. You'll get medium/high settings with certain features off at best (similar to consoles). And the more users use the service the worse its quality will become.
  19. PcePce

    PcePce TS Enthusiast Posts: 79   +25

    Zero interest.
  20. Toju Mikie

    Toju Mikie TS Booster Posts: 89   +86

    Yeah, I don't believe the 35 Mbps for 4K either, but that could also be a minimum for 4K
    Even on YouTube's recommended upload encoding settings for 4K 48-60 fps HDR videos, the recommended bitrate is at 66-85 Mbps, which is more in line with what I was thinking. I believe Google has the technological prowess to handle game streaming better than Sony. PSN has had a long history of downtimes, which Google has had a lot less of.

    I don't think I will go for the paid subscription, but I may try out the free version when it comes out next year.

    Also, sucks for people who have data caps. This will go through data very fast. It's 2019 and many people are still suffering with a 1 terabyte data cap.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  21. arrowflash

    arrowflash TS Enthusiast Posts: 32   +21

    Then Google bans your account for wrongthink, you lose access to all the games you paid for and maybe, depending how their system works, your $130 Stadia controller becomes a paper weight.
  22. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,496   +514

    If "lag" a is not an issue
    If they have plenty of content
    If the settings aren't turned down to much

    You're getting the performance of a $1200 GPU for 10$ a month. The same monthly price of xbox live... You also get two of the pros that come with consoles, everyone is using the same hardware. Less hacks.

    "Google of course hyped its Stadia controller, but specified that it could be used with any controller or a mouse and keyboard."
    So that 129$ does not seem like a requirement.

    "According to Phil Harrison, Google’s head of Stadia, the service will offer a quality experience cognate with the user’s connection speed. Harrison said a user with a 35 Mbps connection could run a 4K HDR stream at 60 FPS. They did specify that users with a connection as weak as 10 Mbps could use Stadia, but would only be able to stream in 720p.

    Google revealed two different Stadia packages: Stadia Base and Stadia Pro. Stadia Base is free, and you can buy and play individual games at your leisure and use them with Stadia. However, according to the Google Stadia store page, Base won’t launch until 2020, and you won’t be able to stream games on it in 4K, only in 1080p.

    A Stadia Pro subscription, which costs $9.99 a month, gets you access to 4K streams, free games, and discounts. The 4K access seems rather fruitless if you don’t already have 35 Mbps connection speed — according to Harrison’s words earlier in the stream you can’t make use of that feature with a less powerful connection. Neither Harrison nor co-host John Justice gave any details about just which games you’d get for free and which games would be merely discounted — I’m going to assume brand new AAA titles likely won’t be forked over with the monthly subscription."


    I think the main problem will be that people don't even understand what it is. Luckily google has insane advertising power, all they need to do is slap it on google search like they did with Chrome.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  23. ghostf1re

    ghostf1re TS Guru Posts: 407   +260

    I'm sorry, but playing my games locally is the only route I'll ever take unless I can be provided with a 100% lag free and input latency free experience. No exceptions. I could not be less interested in this console. I'm sure it'll appeal to some, but not me. Hard pass.
  24. Eldritch

    Eldritch TS Addict Posts: 119   +112

    "So please don’t hold your breath for smooth 4K gaming. We wouldn’t want anyone passing out from lack of oxygen."

    Straight up savage.
    Gahl1k likes this.
  25. brucek

    brucek TS Maniac Posts: 148   +185

    Chrome was/is a free download, easy to set up, that many found to offer an immediate improvement over the default browser that came with their computer (I.e., early days IE.)

    Stadia will be a much tougher sell, especially at $130 up front. If the target market is folks who don't want to pay for a GPU, I'm not sure why they'd be thrilled at $130 + $10/month instead. At that rate it won't be too many months before it is more expensive than a mainstream GPU, and after accounting for lag and compression, I doubt it'll provide a better experience than one either.
    SpatulaCity likes this.

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