A couple months ago, Google announced the Stadia streaming platform, which would allow users to stream games over the internet. Today, the tech giant revealed that Stadia will launch in November alongside a Founders Edition starter kit retailing for $129.99. Here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know.
Is the price right?
The short answer is that you don’t need to pay for Google Stadia if you don’t want to. Users can create a Stadia Base account for free and purchase games to stream a la carte. We’ve been told that game pricing will fall in line with what consumers expect from other online stores. However, Google will not open up signups for the free Stadia Base accounts until early 2020, so if you want access to the platform this year, you’ll need to purchase the Founder’s Edition.
What is the Founder’s Edition?
The Founder’s Edition is the only way to play Stadia games at launch this November. The package retails for $129.99 and includes a limited-edition night blue controller, a Chromecast Ultra device for streaming to a TV, a three-month Stadia Pro subscription (more on that in a bit), and a three-month buddy pass so you can give Stadia Pro to a friend. Founder’s Edition users will get a copy of Destiny 2 – including all previous add-ons and the new Shadowkeep expansion. Bungie has even said that users can transfer their profiles over to the Stadia platform, so you can bring over your current Guardian and all their gear.
What’s the difference between Stadia Pro and Stadia Base?
In early 2020, Google will open up signups for players who didn’t purchase the Founder’s Edition. Stadia Base users can sign up and start purchasing games. Stadia Base is free to use, and those users can expect to stream their games at 1080p/60fps with stereo sound.
Alternatively, for $9.99 a month, Stadia Pro users can stream games at 4K/60fps with HDR and 5.1 surround sound. Pro users will also get exclusive discounts on games and occasional free games. We imagine this will be similar to Sony’s PlayStation Plus or Microsoft’s Xbox Gold services, but Google hasn’t detailed the specifics about how often and when these free games will roll out. At Launch, Pro user will also have access to the full Destiny 2 experience just like those who purchased the Founder’s Edition.
Tell me about the controllers, Davey?
The Stadia’s Bluetooth controllers connect directly to WiFi, which should offer a reduced-lag experience. Each controller cost $69, and comes in three different colors: black, white, and wasabi (greenish).
What about cross-platform play?
Google has said it is leaving the platform open and want to allow for cross-platform play, but those specifics will depend on developers and other platform holders. Hopefully, we’ll get to see some games take advantage of that.
Which countries will Stadia launch in?
In November, Stadia will launch in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland, but Google plans to roll out in other countries starting in 2020.
Google has opened up pre-orders for the Founder’s Edition this morning, and you can read about the launch game line-up here.
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