Days before E3 weekend kicks off, Google streamed its Stadia Connect video detailing the pricing and release date for its game streaming service, Stadia. On top of sharing when and how players can get in on the upcoming platform, the tech giant also showed off a line-up of games both new and old coming to the service.
Users can open a basic Stadia account for free which lets them stream games up to 1080p/60fps with stereo sound. Players looking for a premium experience can subscribe to Stadia Pro. For $9.99 a month subscribers can stream in 4K/HDR with 60fps and 5.1 surround sound. Similar to Xbox Gold/PS Plus, Pro users also receive free games and discounts. The big caveat is that neither the free accounts nor Stadia Pro will be available until 2020.
That’s because Google Stadia technically launches this November. However, you’ll need to purchase the Stadia Founder’s Edition to play then. The $129 bundle includes a Chromecast Ultra, a limited edition Night Blue Stadia controller, 3 months of Stadia Pro, a 3-month buddy pass of Stadia Pro to gift to a friend, and a copy of Destiny 2: The Collection. Founders also get to claim their Stadia usernames before anyone else. Players can pre-order the Founders Edition beginning today with Google stressing that the offer only lasts for a “limited time in limited quantities”.
Google Stadia will first rollout in 14 countries: USA, Canada, UK, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, Spain, and Norway. Stadia will become available in more countries beginning next year. Games are purchased the same way as always in that they’re bought individually at prices similar to those on other platforms. Stadia controllers run separately for $70 and come in three colors: white, black, and wasabi (pale green).
Google also broke down the resolutions various internet speeds allow. The minimum required 10MBps will stream games at 720p resolution. Speeds clocking around 20 Mbps run games at 1080p. Finally, 35 Mbps grants the much-touted 4K/HDR visuals. Resolutions may vary, but Google promises games will run at 60 frames per second no matter what internet speed players fall under.
On the software side, the reveal of Baldur’s Gate 3 kicked things off on a high note. Fans have waited/begged for a new sequel in acclaimed RPG series since the mid 2000's making its debut a major get for Google (it's coming to PC too and is NOT a Stadia exclusive). A cinematic trailer, posted above, transitioned to a chat about the game's origins from the head of developer Larian Studios. Another new title is GYLT, a Pixar-esque horror adventure title from Rime developer Tequila Works. Party game Get Packed is coming in 2020 and appears to channel the multiplayer insanity of Overcooked but trades hectic cooking for hectic moving.
The Division 2 and the upcoming Ghost Recon: Breakpoint both received overview trailers confirming their inclusion. Destiny 2: The Collection bundles every piece of DLC including the newly revealed Shadowkeep expansion. Bungie confirmed that players can upload their Guardian's data to the Stadia version of the game (though a disclaimer points out that PS4 transfers are still pending due to Sony, likely due to their slow adoption to cross-play).
In addition to the games already discussed, the Stadia website lists these additional titles for purchase:
Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
Farming Simulator 19
Final Fantasy XV
Football Manager 2020
Mortal Kombat 11
NBA 2K (year not specified)
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
The Crew 2
The Elder Scrolls Online
Tomb Raider Trilogy
Google seems to be taking a gradual approach with Stadia by rolling the service out for premium members first before opening the floodgates for everyone else next year. That’s probably the best route for testing the service’s stability, though in a way the Founder’s Pack feels like a pricey ticket to a beta test. It all comes down to just how well Stadia lives up to its lofty promise.
What do you think of Stadia’s details. Does the roster of announced games excite you? Let us know in the comments.
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