Google announced Stadia, its cross platform game streaming service in March and will launch the service in November. The company has revealed new information pertaining to game ownership. The search giant previously revealed details about the games that will be available to play. It also revealed the price of this new game streaming service. Google Stadia will be available in November in 14 different territories, which includes the US, UK and Canada. At the time of its launch, Google plans to offer 31 games from 21 different publishers. Google’s newest changes to the FAQs section answers a new question. “What happens to a game I bought if the publisher stops supporting Stadia in the future? Can I still play the game?”
Google answers this, “Yes. Once you purchase the game, you own the right to play it. In the future, it is possible that some games may no longer be available for new purchases, but existing players will still be able to play the game. Outside of unforeseen circumstances, Stadia will aim to keep any previously purchased title available for gameplay.”
The company had originally mentioned that Stadia would require Chromecast Ultra streaming dongle and dedicated Stadia Controller. But the update FAQs section now says Pixel 3 and 3a smartphones will be able to play the service as well as tablets running Chrome OS. Devices running Android M, iOS 11 or newer versions of these will let users access their accounts and make purchases. The new FAQs also mention that any USB HID controller should work with the service. But VR is not something Google plans to support at the moment.
Alongside availability of the service and games, Google previously confirmed the pricing of its game streaming service. Google plans to initially offer a “Founder’s Edition” hardware starter kit for $130, which includes three months of premium service. Afterwards, Stadia users will have to pay $10 a month. While Stadia’s pricing sounds akin to Netflix, Google says it is designed to be a subscription game service. The pre-orders for the Founder’s Edition is now open and Google plans to offer a separate free tier next year.
The subscription will only include a single game at the time of its launch – Destiny 2. Like PlayStation Network, Xbox Live and Steam, Google Stadia customers will also have to buy games and not rent them, as previously deduced from the announcement in March. In theory, Stadia will be streaming games from Google Cloud, but it won’t be much different from existing platforms as far as purchasing game titles are concerned. “We will sell these games like any other digital storefront,” Google’s director of games Jack Buser told The Verge.
WATCH: Stadia Connect 6.6.2019 – Official Sizzle Reel
The Stadia Founder’s Edition priced at $130 is cheaper than the PS4 or Xbox One and for the price, early adopters will get a Chromecast Ultra that can be plugged into your TV, a limited edition dark blue version of Stadia controller, three months of Stadia Pro, a three month buddy pass to bring along a friend and dibs on selecting a Stadia name. Each of these devices will retail for $70 but the three month free subscription makes the price of Founder’s Edition attractive on its own.
With Stadia pro subscription, gamers will get options to stream 4K games at 60 frames per second with HDR and 5.1 surround sound and you will need 35Mbps data connection. The pro subscription will also give access to Stadia’s free catalog and probably discounts on games. The free tier, Google says will be limited to 1080p60 with stereo sound and requires 10Mbps of bandwidth to stream games at 720p.