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The need to know with Google Stadia

Finally, the key questions missing from Google Stadia’s March announcement have been answered ahead of it’s release on November 19th.

This week Google has finally given gamers the low-down on what Google Stadia is, what it’s offering, how much we gots to pay, and what we’ll be able to play when it drops on November 19th.

The shiny new console/non console streamy thingy will launch in 14 different countries including the UK, US, and Canada, with around 30 games available on the library from over 20 publishers. With an initial price of $130 (£101) for the starter pack, which includes three months of free premium service, players will be required to pay $10 a month afterwards which will also cover the ‘free tier’ Google have been harping on about coming in 2020.

We were pretty confused as to exactly what Google Stadia was up until recently, so here’s the lowdown for those who’re still unsure. Unlike conventional consoles, Google Stadia will stream games directly to players from PCs in Google’s cloud data centres.

This means Stadia can make high-quality games available to play on any device with the Google Chrome browser in glorious 4k resolution. We’re talking smartphones, computers, and Google Chromecast… I just happen to own all three. Tehe.  All that’s needed is a strong and steady internet connection, and access to the Google Chrome app.

Initially gamers on social were describing Stadia as the Netflix or Spotify of the gaming world, but these comparisons were pre-emptive. While Google fully intends to eventually have a back catalogue of free games included in the monthly fee, Stadia will not function like a subscription service at launch.

Certain AAA games will be free to download (like Destiny 2 on day one) but games will still need to be purchased for the same hefty retail prices on the Xbox Store, the PS Network, and Steam. I know, it took the wind outta my sails a little too.

The future of Stadia and cloud gaming in general is undoubtedly bright, but a whole bunch of the key selling points from their lofty conference in March will be absent at launch. One the coolest features for me was the ability to click on YouTube video ads for available games and instantly start playing, but that won’t be ready this month.

There’s still no news on when Stadia will start developing exclusive IPs either despite bringing onboard Ubisoft and EA Industry vet Jade Raymond to build its internal game development arm: Stadia Games and Entertainment.

The Stadia controller looks pretty neat, and developers have revealed that they’ve made other popular gamepads compatible so long as they’re physically plugged in to your device of choice. At launch, the Stadia controller to TV will be the only wireless pairing, while phones, tablets, and laptops will require a manual connection via the dreaded USB. Time to whip the duct tape back out I guess.

It’s simply the promise of ground-breaking games impossible to render on PCs and consoles that has gamers hanging on with Stadia who’re determined to become the face of cloud gaming. It bodes well for Google that their product is a whole bunch cheaper than forking out for a PS4 Pro or an Xbox One X too, not to mention the potential it has to absolutely trump both on a technical front if all goes well in the long run.

We’ll make our own judgement just as soon as we get hands on with Stadia.

Are you at all interested in picking up the Stadia this month, or waiting to see if Google can make good on their crazy ambitions? Let us know in the comments or on social media.