Having teased a new cloud gaming platform earlier this year, Google has finally got around to launching it properly. The stream has to be able to pick up all of your minute movements, get them to the server, process it, then spit it all back to your display quickly enough that you experience zero lag and feel like you're playing the game on the local device in front of your face. What price is dignity? An active Stadia Pro subscription will also give you "exclusive discounts on games for purchase", Google explained, similar to PS Plus and Xbox Live Gold. And now, it further made all the gamers out there super happy as it announced the pricing and availability of the much-awaited game streaming service at Stadia Connect.
But, to users' disappointment, subscribing to Stadia Pro for $9.99 per month would not include any games unless they go for the bundle package mentioned above.
Google says that with Stadia Pro, users can play games in 4K at 60 frames per second with 5.1 surround sound. Compare this to $114.98 total for the Stadia controller, a one-month subscription, Google Chromecast, and access to over 30 games.
Android TV device owners can of course buy a Chromecast and then use it to play Stadia games when the service launches in November, however, that will largely be buying the hardware for the sole objective of Stadia - which somewhat ironically goes against the "you don't need to buy devices" mantra set out by the service. You'll still need a fairly decent internet package for it, mind, but in the United Kingdom at least, it's certainly not one of the more astronomically expensive ones.
Google has also opened its own first-party development studio called Stadia Games and Entertainment.
Justice says this could be one of Stadia's secret weapons as competition increases. The minimum connection requirements, for gaming at 720p with 60fps, are 10Mbps. You can not get the Stadia Pro independently this year.
With Stadia not yet launched, I'm speculating, of course. You can already pre-order Founder's Edition for $129.99.
The service works on TVs connected to a Chromecast streaming device, and also functions across laptops, desktops, Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a. For the standard controllers, you'll pay $69 and get your choice of White, Black or Wasabi. This is well within the abilities of most consumer residential broadband services, but it means that it's going to eat a fair bit of data in the process. This will be possible due to the Internet cloud. So while it can be accessed from an Android smartphone, for example, in practice it looks like Stadia is going to be a moderately tethered service for now, favoring Ethernet and local Wi-Fi connections. The Founder's Edition pack also lets you get dibs on your preferred screen name. Given Google is able to handle the possibility of high licensing fees, which it should be able to given its cash flow, the Stadia release could prove a true problem for Sony and Microsoft and may be the start of a technological revolution in the video game industry.