New information about the Google Stadia, dubbed as the next big thing in gaming, has emerged. In a Reddit AMA, Stadia product director Andrey Doronichev shared a handful of new tidbits about the forthcoming cloud gaming project, including its release date, how Google plans to distribute free games, and more.
When Google revealed Stadia, nearly all publications were quick to call it the "Netflix" of video games. However, it appears this isn't entirely accurate. As Doronichev has now clarified, Stadia is not the "Netflix for Games" some people have made it out to be. Instead, it's more accurate to say that it's similar to Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus. "Pro" subscribers of Stadia, as on those two services, will get extra perks, including 4K and HDR streaming, 5.1 surround sound, exclusive discounts, and access to free games. Google plans to push one free game a month. Destiny 2 will be the first to be distributed.
Stadia "Base" users, however, won't get free games.
There are plans for an achievements system, but it won't be available at launch, according to Doronichev.
The controller won't be able to pair up with Bluetooth headphones at launch. Users can plug in a wired pair into the controller's built-in 3.5 mm jack as an alternative, though. A workaround will be available around launch time — as 9to5Google points out, Stadia users will be able to use their Bluetooth headphones by pairing them with a PC or a Pixel phone. The Pixel lineup will be one of the only few mobile device lines that will support Stadia at launch, though Doronichev failed to specify which models would work on the streaming platform.
Many are probably wondering what would happen to their purchases in the event Google discontinues Stadia. Fortunately, Doronichev told users not to worry.
"The games you buy on Stadia are yours to play. From day one we'll support Takeout, so that you can download your game metadata, including saves if you want to," he said. The product director also acknowledged some gamers' apprehension on the topic of games being in the cloud.
"Of course, it's ok to doubt my words. There's nothing I can say now to make you believe if you don't. But what we can do is to launch the service and continue investing in it for years to come."
Google is poised to launch Stadia later this year, and the company is aiming to have it on as many devices as possible. It should hit iOS and Android come 2020.
Read the AMA in full to know more.
Excited for Google Stadia? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!