[Update 5: Reddit AMA info] Google Stadia launches in November with 31 games for $10 per month
Google Stadia has been one of the most exciting things to happen in the gaming industry this year. It brings high-quality gaming to the masses using Google’s technology. Up until today, very little was known about the actual details of the service. Google has finally announced a game lineup, pricing, and launch date for Stadia.
The service is launching in November and it will cost $9.99 per month for 4K 60fps HDR with 5.1 sound gaming, which Google will be calling Stadia Pro. If you are looking at this and concerned about the price, basic 1080p gaming will be available for free next year. On the free tier, called Stadia Base, you will have to buy games separately.
If you pay for the subscription service for Stadia Pro, you will get a set of games for free as well. Stadia Pro works similar to how the Xbox Game Pass does, at least that’s the intention. Destiny 2 is currently the only game included with the subscription. They will add more games to Stadia Pro as time goes on. Games not included in the subscription will have to be purchased separately at their retail cost.
In order for Stadia to work, you will need a minimum of 10mbps download and 1mbps upload. This 10mbps download will get you 720p gaming with surround sound. For an optimal 4K 60fps with HDR and 5.1 surround sound gaming experience, you will need around 35mbps. You will also only be able to play on Chromecast Ultra, Google Chrome browser, and the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 3a XL at launch. More mobile devices will be supported, but it will be a Pixel 3+ exclusive at first.
After all the technical details, we have the all-important game lineup. Stadia will have 31 games at launch (listed below). There will also be games coming from Capcom, EA, and Rockstar Games.
- Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
- Doom Eternal
- Doom (2016)
- Rage 2
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood
- Destiny 2
- Get Packed
- Metro Exodus
- Farming Simulator 19
- Baldur’s Gate III
- Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
- Football Manager
- Samurai Shodown
- Final Fantasy XV
- Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
- Rise of the Tomb Raider
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- NBA 2K
- Borderlands 3
- Mortal Kombat 11
- Darksiders Genesis
- Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
- Just Dance
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint
- Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
- Trials Rising
- The Crew
To play, all you will need is a device with Google Chrome or a Chromecast Ultra. You will need a Stadia controller or any controller that can be connected to your devices. Of course, a normal old mouse and keyboard will be supported. This opens up the ability to play high-quality games to almost anyone, pretty much anywhere.
If you are interested in Stadia and want to preorder, you can preorder the Stadia Founders Edition today. The Founders Edition costs $129 and it comes with a limited edition Night Blue Stadia Controller, Chromecast Ultra, Destiny 2, and 3 months of Stadia Pro for you and a friend ($300 value). You also get first dibs on your Stadia name. The Stadia Controller will be available separately for $70 in Clearly White, Just Black, and Wasabi colors.
As for availability, Stadia will launch in 14 countries in November. Those countries are Belgium, Finland, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the USA. When it launches, only Stadia Pro will be available. There is a lot more information to come throughout the duration of E3, so keep an eye out on the XDA Portal for any more information we might get about Stadia.
Update 1: Publisher Subscriptions, Multiplayer included in Stadia Base, and no Android TV at launch
During his interview with Geoff Keighley, Phil Harrison confirmed that the Stadia Base free tier also includes online multiplayer. That means you can stream games you purchase, but you won’t have to pay anything extra if those games have a free online multiplayer component (like Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 or The Elder Scrolls Online without ESO Plus.) In contrast, you have to pay a monthly subscription service to Microsoft and Sony for access to Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus respectively if you want to play any games online.
Besides the Stadia Base free tier and $10/month Stadia Pro tier, you will also have the option to pay some publishers additional subscription fees to gain access to those publishers’ game libraries. Harrison said that this model is up to publishers to support, but those that have bigger libraries may consider it. This will allow you to pick and choose which publishers’ games you want. EA already offers something it calls Origin Access to let you play its collection of games, for example.
Lastly, a Community Manager for Stadia confirmed on Reddit that Android TVs will not support Stadia at launch, so you’ll need to have a Chromecast Ultra to play.
Update 2: Uplay+ support in 2020
Announced at E3, Ubisoft’s new subscription gaming service, Uplay+, is launching later this year. Sometime next year, though, it’ll be available on Google Stadia.
Uplay+ is coming to Stadia! We'll share more details closer to the launch of the Uplay+ subscription on Stadia in 2020. #UbiE3
— Stadia (@GoogleStadia) June 10, 2019
According to VentureBeat, Uplay+ will cost $15 per month when it debuts on September 3rd this year. More than 100 PC games, including new titles like the upcoming Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint and Watch Dogs Legion, will be downloadable for users in North America and Europe. Furthermore, players will have access to premium content, DLCs, betas, and updates. If you sign up before August 25th, you’ll get a free trial to the Uplay+ launch between September 3rd and September 30th as well as early access to Ghost Recon’s closed beta and Ultimate Edition on September 5th and October 1st respectively.
Update 3: Stadia Library Details
Speaking to IGN, Phil Harrison confirms that Google won’t remove games from your library if they’re no longer on sale. However, new customers will not be able to add the games to their library.
“Yes, you will still be able to access the game…Now there may be, as we’ve seen in the past, times where the developer or publisher no longer has rights to sell to new players…And that means that the game will not be available to new players, but it will continue to be available to existing players.” – Phil Harrison, Vice President and GM at Google for Stadia
This is reassuring to hear given that you won’t have physical copies of the games you’re buying.
Update 4: New FAQ Information
The FAQ page for Stadia now has more information about the sign-up process, controller, game ownership, and redemption codes. People who signed up for the Founder’s Edition will be sent a redemption code:
Is my Founder’s Edition purchase tied to the Google account that I used at time of purchase or can I switch accounts later?
You can use any personal Google Account when you sign up for Stadia. We’ll send your redemption code to the email address associated at the time of purchase. You can then use a different email account when redeeming your Stadia redemption code.
A big question about Stadia is game ownership. How will all of that work since you never actually own a physical or digital copy?
What happens to a game I bought if the publisher stops supporting Stadia in the future? Can I still play the game?
Yes. Once you purchase the game, you own the right to play it. In the future, it is possible that some games may no longer be available for new purchases, but existing players will still be able to play the game. Outside of unforeseen circumstances, Stadia will aim to keep any previously purchased title available for gameplay.
People wondered if there would be a way to use hard-wired controllers and the Stadia controller will be able to do it via USB-C.
Will the Stadia Controller only connect via Bluetooth to phones and tablets or can you also connect via USB-C?
The Stadia Controller uses BLE for setup and then connects via Wi-Fi for gameplay. You can also connect your Stadia Controller to your phone, tablet, or computer with a USB cable plugged into the Stadia Controller’s USB-C port.
Stadia works with Chrome OS devices, but Google clarified that does include tablets as well. For mobile devices, the first options are Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a.\
Which mobile devices (tablets and phones) will support Stadia at launch?
At launch, we will be supporting Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a (3a, 3a XL, 3, 3XL) phones for mobile gameplay, tablets running Chrome OS, and more devices will be made available in the future.
Lastly, there is a question about VR that leaves open the possibility of future plans.
Will Stadia be compatible with Daydream or other VR headsets?
At this time, we have no news to share regarding VR support on Stadia.
Update 5: Reddit AMA info
Andrey Doronichev, the Director of Product for Stadia, answered questions on Reddit for a couple of hours today. The full summary can be read here. Unfortunately, there were a lot of non-answers, but we’ve also compiled a few of the noteworthy tidbits below.
- The Stadia Controller has a headphone jack but does not support Bluetooth audio.
- Stadia will have social features such as a friends list, create parties, and platform-level voice chat.
- Stadia game metadata and saves will be downloadable through Google Takeout.
- Family Sharing won’t be ready at launch, but it will be enabled early next year.
- Parental Dashboard controls will allow parents to control their kid’s experiences.
- Stadia Pro subscribers will get roughly one free game per month, added to a pool.
- If you unsubscribe/resubscribe, you don’t get access to the free games added while you were gone.
- Achievements will not be ready at launch.
- Stadia will have tools to help users manage data usage.
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