On March 19, 2019, Google released some big news. At the Game Developers Conference, the tech giant announced its own streaming service for games. Google Stadia should not only compete with conventional consoles, but also be an affordable alternative to expensive gaming PCs. The streaming service is now entering the next phase and it’s ready to transform the gaming landscape. Here’s everything you need to know about Google Stadia.
Google Stadia released
Google Stadia is slated for release on November 19, 2019. The streaming service will launch that day in fourteen countries, including the Netherlands and Belgium. Stadia will go live here in the Benelux from 5 p.m. The only way to use the service is through Founder’s Edition or Premiere Edition.
Google Stadia Premiere Edition (et Founder’s Edition)
Do you want to work with Google Stadia as the first adapter? Then you need to have the Founder’s Edition or the Premiere Edition. Both editions include a Chromecast Ultra, a Stadia controller, and a three-month Stadia Pro subscription. With a Founder’s Edition, you also get a midnight blue controller instead of a white controller and an additional trial subscription for your friends. However, the Founder’s Edition is out of print. There is no price difference: the two editions cost 129 euros (with free delivery).
Google Stadia Award
To use Google Stadia, you basically need a subscription. Pro is the paid version of Google Stadia and costs € 9.99 per month. This plan currently supports resolution up to 4K, frame rate up to 60 FPS, and 5.1 surround sound. Plus, like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold, you get access to free games. At launch, it’s Destiny 2: The Collection. You are also entitled to exclusive discounts. Note: Stadia Pro is not Netflix for gaming. So you have to buy games separately.
There is also a free subscription, but it has certain limits. Stadia Base supports resolution up to 1080p, frame rate up to 60 FPS and stereo sound. With this version you also do not have access to free games and you are not entitled to any additional discounts.
Do you want to play on your TV with Google Stadia? Then Chromecast Ultra controller and Stadia are a requirement. The two hardware are sold separately, but you are cheaper when you buy the Premiere Edition for 129 euros. Do you prefer to play via your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone? The Chromecast Ultra controller and Stadia are then not required. To be sure, check the official Google Stadia site to see if your device supports the streaming service.
Google Stadia Specifications
Stadia works entirely from the cloud, so you don’t need specialized hardware to play games. Your current TV, PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone will suffice according to Google (check the official Google Stadia site to see exactly what this is). After all, all the calculations are done in the cloud. As long as you have a device with a 4K display, so it is possible to play your games in such a resolution. All games are also playable at 60 frames per second. In the future, Google even wants to make it possible to play games with 8K resolution at 120 frames per second.
Previous services like PlayStation Now and OnLive also promised smooth streaming service, but users of these services often felt frustrated. Google already has an advantage in this area. After all, the company today has data centers in over 200 countries that can be deployed to deliver a lag-free experience.
For these data centers, Google has developed specialized GPUs with AMD to support Stadia. According to Google, they have a wattage of 10.7 teraflops, which is more than the wattage of the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X together. This GPU is further supported with a 2.7 GHz x86 processor and 16 GB of RAM. One GPU is provided for each gaming session, but for demanding games it is also possible to use multiple GPUs.
A 10 Mbps internet connection is a minimum requirement for gaming. This makes the games playable at 720p resolution, 60fps frame rate and with stereo sound. How would you like to play with specs like HDR, 1080p, and 5.1 surround video? It is then preferable to have an Internet connection at 20 Mbps. For 4K games, the bandwidth should be at least 35 Mbps.
Google Stadia Games
As mentioned earlier, Google Stadia doesn’t give you access to a large library of games. With a Pro membership, you get one free game every month, but otherwise you buy them separately.
During the streaming service’s reveal, Stadia CEO Phil Harrison revealed a glimpse of the developers Google is currently working with. These are not the least of the names, as they include EA, Ubisoft, Capcom, Rockstar, id Software, and Square Enix.
However, Stadia doesn’t just get third-party games. Google also recently founded its own studio called Stadia Games & Entertainment. It is directed by Jade Raymond. She now has over twenty years of experience in the games industry and previously worked for EA and Ubisoft, among others. Nothing is yet known about possible titles from the new studio, but others will undoubtedly follow soon.
There are 22 games available with the Google Stadia version:
- Destiny 2: The Collection (free with Pro)
- Samurai Showdown (Free with Pro)
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
- Mortal Kombat 11
- Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
- Rise of the Tomb Raider
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Samurai Showdown
- Just Dance 2020
- Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle
- Farming Simulator
- Final Fantasy 15
- Football Manager 2020
- Grille 2019
- Metro Exodus
- NBA 2K20
- Rage 2
- Testing on the rise
- Wolfenstein Youngblood
Later in the year, Google expands that number with a number of other games, including Borderlands 3, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and Darksiders Genesis. For 2020, Doom Eternal, Watch Dogs Legion, and Cyberpunk 2077 have been announced so far.
Google Stadia integration
Stadia offers users “a single service for all forms of games”. This makes it possible to switch between different platforms in a fraction of a second and continue playing your game on your PC, TV, smartphone or tablet. It is even possible to play cross-platform multiplayer games with your friends on different devices. To make switching between different devices as easy as possible, Google has also developed its own controller which is connected to your WiFi network.
In addition, Stadia also offers interaction with other Google services such as YouTube. For example, it is possible to watch a trailer on YouTube for a new game and access that game at the push of a button. Another feature of Stadia is Crowd Play. This makes it easier to play some games with your favorite streamer.
Finally, Google Stadia also presents State Share. It is a kind of interchangeable backup file. You can use the file not only to play the same game on different platforms but also to let your friends relive a great time from one of your games. Several developers are even currently working on games in which State Share is an important part of the gameplay.
Google Stadia Controller
The Google Stadia controller was also announced at the Game Developers Conference. It differs from other controllers by connecting directly to Google data centers through your WiFi network. According to Google, this not only ensures a fast and lag-free connection, but also makes it possible to connect the controller to your smartphone or tablet without any problems and immediately continue your gaming session on these devices.
In addition to the standard buttons on a controller, the Google Stadia controller offers a few new features. The “capture” button allows you to record images of your session and immediately share them with your friends via YouTube. Via the Google Assistant button, you can then search for online tips and walkthroughs for your game.
Do you want to keep a close eye on all Google Stadia updates? Keep an eye on this page, because here you’ll find everything you need to know about Google Stadia!
Source : IGN