In March, Google sent shockwaves through the games industry by announcing it’s going to release its video game console. On Thursday, the conglomerate revealed the pricing, launch title selection, and release date of the Stadia. Aside from a significant issue regarding bandwidth limitations, the company’s rollout plans for the system make it look very promising
Stadia Release Details
Google will release the Stadia on November in 14 different regions, including the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. The corporation is taking preorders for a system bundle called the Founders Edition that will retail for $129. The starter kit includes a limited-edition Stadia controller, a Chromecast Ultra device, “Destiny 2: The Collection,” and three free months of Stadia Pro.
The company is also releasing a standalone standard addition Stadia device for $69.
Stadia Pro is the name of the company’s $9.99 a month video game streaming service. Through it, players will be able to stream games at 4K, 60fps, and in 5.1 stereo sound. Paid subscribers will also get access to regularly released free games and discounts on AAA titles. Google will also launch Stadia Base, a free version of Stadia Pro that offers 1080p streaming but no free or discounted games, in 2020.
Despite some similarities, Google’s game streaming service is not like Xbox Game Pass or Play Station Now. Gamers interested in purchasing new games for the Stadia will have to pay standard console prices for them.
Google also revealed it would be launching a slew of high profile franchise games in tandem with the Stadia. The following titles will be available to stream in November:
- “Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey”
- “Baldur’s Gate 3”
- “Borderlands 3”
- “The Crew 2”
- “Darksiders Genesis”
- “Destiny 2”
- “The Division 2”
- “DOOM Eternal”
- “Dragon Ball”
- “Xenoverse 2”
- “The Elder Scrolls Online”
- “Farming Simulator 19”
- “Final Fantasy 15”
- “Football Manager 2020”
- “Ghost Recon Breakpoint”
- “Just Dance 2020”
- “Metro Exodus”
- “Mortal Kombat 11”
- “NBA 2K”
- “Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid”
- “Rage 2”
- “Samurai Showdown”
- “Tomb Raider Trilogy”
- “Trials Rising”
- “Wolfenstein: Youngblood”
The corporation’s launch plans also include the Stadia’s first console exclusive titles. First up, indie developer Tequila Works is bringing psychological horror title “Gylt” to the platform. Judging by its trailer, “Gylt” looks like what would happen if Pixar made a “Silent Hill” game.
Additionally, Coatsink is releasing an oddball removals game called “Get Packed” exclusively for the Stadia in 2020. A multiplayer title with a “ridiculous physics” engine, the game might be an indie answer to “Fortnite.”
In its Stadia announcement, Google also noted it would reveal more titles at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo.
Positives and Negatives
On balance, Google’s announcement makes the Stadia seem like a possible console killer. With a broader games selection, the platform has the potential to take a big chunk out of Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony’s market share. Since the machine is a streaming device backed by Google’s robust server network, it will likely be able to play ninth generation console games. As such, it allows consumers to play the latest titles without having to invest $500 in new hardware.
Furthermore, the Stadia’s cross-device gameplay functionality makes it a home and mobile system in one. The platform’s portability, coupled with its integrated streaming features, set it apart from the rest of the console market. However, the gaming platform is not without its drawbacks.
For one thing, the system’s release will officially bring about the era of the always online game system. In 2013, Microsoft tried to release the Xbox One with an always online functionality restriction. However, after an intense consumer backlash, the corporation reversed course and removed the requirement. Six years later, Google is forcing consumers to play by its rules.
The Alphabet subsidiary is also requiring the public to have a quality internet connection to buy the Stadia. Google noted gamers would need at least 10 Mbps of bandwidth to stream games at 720p. Moreover, the company stated players would need a 35 Mbps connection to enjoy their favorite games in 4K with 5.1 stereo sound. As the average American’s Internet speed is 26 Mbps, the firm’s platform will offer a substandard gaming experience for tens of millions of people.
That said, if the Stadia becomes a hit upon release, the point will be moot. Because of the cost and infrastructural benefits of digital distribution, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony will probably follow Google’s lead if its product rollout is successful.