At last night’s Made by Google event, the company showcased its upcoming lineup of the Nest speaker, mesh WiFi and the Pixel 4 phone which isn't coming to India. But that's not all. Google also dropped the release date for its upcoming game streaming service, Stadia. The service will go live on November 19 and here is everything you need to know about Google’s game streaming service.
There is no information when Stadia will come to India. Considering the scope and growth of the Indian gaming consumer and growing broadband connectivity, India could be a lucrative market for Google Stadia. But we will reserve our thoughts on this for when the service hits Indian shores. Until then, know that the service will go live in 14 countries - United States, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland.
There are two versions of Stadia that users can get access to - Stadia Base and Stadia Pro. Stadia Base is free while Stadia Pro is $9.99 per month. Stadia Base will be available in 2020 only. Stadia Base will limit the games to 1080p, 60fps and stereo sound. Stadia Pro will give gamers access to 4K HDR gaming at 60fps with 5.1 surround sound. Remember, Stadia isn't a Netflix for games kind of service. You will have to pay for each game you want to play.
In a tweet, Phil Harrison has said, “All games at launch support 4K. We designed Stadia to enable 4K/60 (with appropriate TV and bandwidth). We want all games to play 4K/60 but sometimes, for artistic reasons, a game is 4K/30 so Stadia always streams at 4K/60 via 2x encode”. How this 2x encoding works is something we will have to wait and see.
Apart from being able to play in 4K at 60fps with 5.1 sound, you will also get one free game a month just like you do with your Xbox Live Gold membership or Playstation Plus which gives you three and two games a month respectively. The first of the free games is Destiny 2: The Collection
Google has said that that a 10Mbps connection is enough to run the game at 720p 60fps. For 1080p gaming at 60fps with 5.1 sound, it recommends a speed of 20Mbps. For 4K gaming at 60fps with 5.1 sound, Google recommends a speed of 35Mbps. There is no information on bandwidth consumption during gaming.
More than 30 games are slated to be available at launch. These include Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, Doom (2016), Rage 2, The Elder Scrolls Online, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Destiny 2, Get Packed, Grid, Metro Exodus, Thumper, Farming Simulator 19, Baldur’s Gate III, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid, Football Manager, Samurai Shodown, Final Fantasy XV, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, NBA 2K, Borderlands 3, Gylt, Mortal Kombat 11, Darksiders Genesis, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Just Dance, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Trials Rising, and The Crew.
No. You will be able to use any popular controller with the service such as a keyboard and mouse, console controller and more.
The Stadia controller is priced at $69. It will be available in Just Black, Clearly White, and Wasabi. It connects to the Stadia server directly and helps with latency as the controller input is interacting directly with the server. The controller can be set up using the Stadia app on a smartphone.
Stadia can run on your TV, but you will need a Chromecast Ultra to do so. There is no information on a Stadia app for smart TVs yet. For any other device, like a laptop, desktop or tablet, all you need is the Chrome browser and an internet connection. On smartphones, however, Google has said Stadia will be available on the Pixel 3, 3 XL, 3a, 3a XL, the Pixel 4 and the Pixel 4 XL to start with. It will launch on other devices, but there is no timeline for that.
Well, we do have GeForce Now but that isn’t a widespread launch. Microsoft’s Project xCloud has seen a beta launch in October with a full launch set for 2020. Sony’s Cloud gaming service, PlayStation Now, that has a library of 800+ games, saw a 50% price drop in the international markets where it is available. The service isn't available in India.
Sony recently opened up its Remote Play app for all Android devices. You can play on an iOS device, PC or Mac or an Android smartphone /tablet by simply downloading the app and going through the setup process. As long as your PS4 is on and you have good upload speeds back home and good download speeds wherever you are, you can enjoy your PS4 games on the go. If you are at home and someone else wants to watch TV, you can stream your PS4 game to your smartphone, tablet or computer over the local WiFi (without consuming internet) and play them using your PS4 controller. Microsoft is looking to do something similar with Project xCloud for Xbox One owners.
If you would like to understand Google’s cloud gaming service in detail, you can do so here. We also have a detailed FAQ about the service. You can check that out here. You can also see how your Xbox One can become a free Project xCloud server here.
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