What is Stadia?
Yesterday, Google shared an update to Stadia, a streaming platform for games, through Stadia Connect. Stadia was initially announced in March to many skeptical members of the gaming community. The idea of Stadia is to allow a person to play a game from any platform whether that’s a phone, TV, or PC. The platform is slated for an early release in November of this year to those that order the Founder’s Edition for $129. After that, the regular usage of the data centers will be $9.99/month. The Founder’s Edition includes the controller, a Chromecast Ultra, and three months subscription free.
This is not the first time we have heard about a streaming platform from Google. In 2018, the company announced Project Stream which tested the waters in streaming Assassin’s Creed Odyssey through a browser.
Does it work?
Google claims that Stadia will not have any downloads, patches, or installs. Instead, users will stream the game from their data centers. This requires users to have an internet connection (a minimum of 10 Mbps), and depending on that will decide the resolution. The quality is said to be always at 60 FPS, no matter the device as everything is server side. However, there are caveats to the quality based on subscription level.
The Stadia Connect video was not only more marketing and hype, but also included an overview of what’s required to utilize the platform. Google has developed its own controller that has two new buttons, specifically for Stadia. One is a screen capture button for streamers and friends to share, while another is the Google Assistant. Other controllers, along with mouse and keyboards, will be supported, but the list of acceptable controllers have yet to be released. The controller has a direct connection to Google’s servers and will require Wi-Fi to be used.
But what games do I get?
In between tech specs and prices, Google shared a number of games that will be released on Stadia. Here’s the full list of games and publishers that we know so far:
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – Ubisoft
- Baldur’s Gate 3 – Larian Studios
- Borderlands 3 – 2K
- The Crew 2 – Ubisoft
- Darksiders Genesis – THQ Nordic
- Destiny 2 – Bungie
- Doom – Bethesda Softworks
- Doom Eternal – Bethesda Softworks
- Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 – Bandai Namco
- The Elder Scrolls Online – Bethesda Softworks
- Farming Simulator 19 – Giants Software
- Final Fantasy 15 – Square Enix
- Football Manager – Sega
- Get Packed – Coatsink
- GRID – Codemasters
- Gylt – Tequila Works
- Just Dance – Ubisoft
- Metro Exodus – Deep Silver
- Mortal Kombat 11 – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- NBA 2K – 2K
- Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid – nWay Games
- Rage 2 – Bethesda Softworks
- Rise of the Tomb Raider – Square Enix
- Samurai Shodown – SNK
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider – Square Enix
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint – Ubisoft
- Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 – Ubisoft
- Tomb Raider Definitive Edition – Square Enix
- Thumper – Drool
- Trials Rising – Ubisoft
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood – Bethesda Softworks
Of course, streaming technology is not new as millions of people subscribe to Netflix and Hulu, but for the gaming industry, this is huge. For people who already have a lightning fast internet connection, it should be a fine time, but what about gamers that live in rural communities or in places with no internet at all? If the future of gaming means no longer developing and manufacturing consoles, then the world’s broadband capability needs to step up.
If you’re a Stadia Founder, we’d love to hear your thoughts!