What Google promised
On November 19, Google launched one of its most ambitious and important products – the Stadia streaming service, first presented at a gaming conference in March 2019. The service allows you to run games with high system requirements from the “cloud” on phones, tablets, computers and televisions. All calculations are performed on Google servers, only the picture is transmitted to the devices. Accordingly, Stadia users do not need to download and install anything. In Stadia, you can start playing the game on the phone, and then switch to the TV and continue from the same place. Just like it works with TV shows and movies on Netflix.
At the presentation, Google promised that users could instantly get into the game directly from the YouTube trailer – that is, start from the same moment that was shown in the commercial. Then the company announced other opportunities. For example, the support of a voice assistant who will give hints to players who do not understand how to move forward.
How it works
Google described Stadia as a gaming platform that, unlike PS4 and Xbox One, does not need a physical device and a place under the TV. But now the service is only available in the Premiere Edition version for $ 130. It includes:
- branded gamepad;
- Chromecast Ultra TV adapter
- three months of the so-called Pro-subscription to the service (provides access to streaming and a set of free games).
A pro-subscription to the service after three months received when purchasing Premiere Edition, will cost $ 10 per month. Games must be purchased separately – they cost from 20 to 60 dollars, that is, as on consoles. In the same Netflix subscription provides access to TV shows and movies without restrictions, for the content you do not need to pay extra. In fact, Google released Stadia in what is known as early access. Now this is a product for those who are eager to experience experimental technology. Nevertheless, it is still cheaper than buying a new powerful video card, home console or gaming computer.
What you need right now to play on TV through Stadia:
- Google Account
- Pre-order Stadia or purchased Premiere Edition (or Stadia controller and invitation from a friend);
- Stadia mobile application for iOS and Android, through which the service is managed;
- Stadia gamepad and Chromecast Ultra (if you do not buy Premiere Edition);
- fast internet, from 10 megabits per second – the faster the better.
On computers, in addition to a Google account, a mobile application and access to the service at the invitation of a friend or with a paid subscription, you will need a Google Chrome browser. It is in it that Stadia works. Instead of a branded gamepad, you can use your own mouse and keyboard, as well as gamepads for PS4 and Xbox One – or any others supported by the service. In addition, Stadia now only works on Google Pixel phones through the mobile app. Although some claim that they managed to launch the service on other phones through the Google Chrome browser. Phones are attached to the controller and serve as a small screen.
The journalist Wired calls the real launch date of the service February 2020. According to his assumption, only in February Stadia will come closer to the product that the company showed at the conference. Then the free version of the subscription will appear – users will not need to immediately give 130 dollars. Games in it will go in 1080p resolution and at 60 frames per second.
The paid Pro version will allow you to play the same games at 60 frames per second and in 4K resolution using HDR technology. And paid users will have 5.1 surround sound support. Pro subscribers also get discounts and access to a free set of games. Therefore, journalists advised not to rush and not to buy an expensive version of Premiere Edition, but to wait for February next year.
That’s what Stadia is praised for
Journalist The Verge calls Stadia the best streaming service for games of all that he experienced. Agrees with him analyst Eurogamer, the host of the blog on the technical side of games Digital Foundry. He considers the technology and service “impressive.” The journalist was struck that Stadia, albeit with reservations, copes with the basic needs of players without any problems. According to him, for only a developing culture of streaming games, this is a real achievement.