Stadia is Google's new game streaming platform: Here's what you need to know
Google Stadia game streaming service: Here's what you need to know
Note: Many of the notable games aren't free on this streaming service. Read more here.
What's Google Stadia about?
It's a whole new way of playing games whereby you don't have to download or update them ever again. Streaming them as you do with a Netflix movie via a cloud-based platform, it's always updated, and just a click away to play it on any screen. This might seem like a counter to Apple Arcade, but both operate very differently.
What's powering the service?
Google Stadia servers in a data centre. Read more about it here.
What hardware does a consumer need?
As a cloud gaming service, you only need a speedy and reliable internet connection, subscription to Google Stadia, and a screen to enjoy it with. You can game on a TV, notebook, tablet or your even your phone. You will, however, need a US$69 Stadia controller as the base hardware requirement. These are are OS requirements depending on your preferred platform of gaming:-
- Android 4.2 and higher
- iOS 9.1 and higher
- macOS X 10.9 and higher
- Windows 7 and higher
Why use a Stadia Controller at all?
Valid question. Why not use an any-oh controller at your disposal, right? The Stadia controller uses dual-band Wi-Fi to connect directly to the game running in the data centre for quick response time. Additionally, it has two buttons for quick access to capture footage and Google Assistant access to trigger mic input quickly - arguably some of the more important assistive features for gamers these days. It also has Bluetooth Low Energy 4.2 support, a 3.5mm headset jack with support for mic input, USB Type-C for charging and wired gameplay. It weighs 268g and is 163 x 105 x 65mm in dimensions.
Each Stadia controller is priced at US$69 and available in three different colours: Just Black, Clearly White or Wasabi.
When and where is it available?
Available from 19th November in 14 countries at launch: US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. More regions will be added to the list in 2020.
What's the launch bundle like?
At launch, the Google Stadia is only available through purchasing the Stadia Founder's Edition priced at US$129.90. It's the only way to play at launch and this edition bundles the following:-
- Limited-edition Night Blue controller
- Chromecast Ultra
- Three-month Stadia Pro subscription
- First dibs on Stadia Name
- One 3-month Buddy Pass to give Stadia Pro to a friend
What's the Chromecast Ultra for?
Due to the nature of controller and Stadia service operation, you'll need the Chromecast Ultra if you plan on gaming on a TV. This will help pair the Stadia controller to your TV and access the service.
How much is the Stadia game service subscription fee?
Google will offer two service tiers. Stadia Pro for US$9.90/month will be the only option available at launch with the Stadia Founder's Edition bundle. Stadia Pro provides:-
- Up to 4K/60fps/HDR gaming with 5.1-channel surround sound
- Free games (access available as long as Stadia Pro subscription is active)
- Exclusive discounts on games for purchase
- For a limited time only, Stadia Pro grants you access to the full Destiny 2 experience, which includes the base game, all previous add-ons, the new Shadowkeep expansion and the annual pass. You will be able to transfer your Guardian from other platforms (currently PC and Xbox).
- Includes all Stadia Base benefits
The other service option is Stadia Base, but it doesn't have a firm launch date other than we can expect it sometime in 2020. We also don't know the expected service price. It offers these base perks:-
- Up to 1080p/60fps gaming with stereo sound
- Buy and keep the games you want
- Play in a Chrome browser on any computer or on your Pixel 3 or 3a phone (expanding to other Pixel phones over time)
Game title options?
The first wave of launch titles has 40 games from a variety of notable publishers coming to Google Stadia. However, many of them are not free. Check out the full list made available and what terms and conditions apply.
When will Singapore get to enjoy this service?
There are no details on local availability, pricing and service expansion details at the point of publication. We'll update this space when we learn of any new developments.
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