On Nov. 19, Google will launch Stadia, its cloud-based game streaming service, letting any user stream a game over the air using a compatible device.
Not everyone will get to try the service on that date, though — only the early adopters who dropped $130 for the Founder's Edition package. Google says Stadia will work on the just-announced Pixel 4 phones, too.
Google exec Rick Osterloh made the announcement during Google's fall hardware event. In a separate blog post, Google confirmed servers will be live to the public on Nov. 19 at 12 p.m. EST, or 9 a.m. PST. On top of the United States, Stadia will also launch in Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland.
Google Stadia Founder's Edition Package
The Founder's Edition package, which has been available for preorder since June, includes a Chromecast Ultra dongle, limited-edition Night Blue controller, and two three-month Stadia subscriptions. It also grants players access to Stadia's entire library of games, which can be played at up to 4K resolution and 60 fps, supporting both HDR and 5.1 surround sound.
Like any streaming service, Stadia will require a monthly subscription, in this case it's $10 a month. But next year, Google plans to offer a Stadia Base subscription tier that will allow to purchase games individually and play them at 1080p resolution and 60 fps.
Some of the games that will be available come launch time include Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Red Dead Redemption 2, Destiny 2, and Wolfenstein: Youngblood. Stadia will be accessible via TVs, laptops, desktops, and select tablets and phones, according to Google.
Possible Google Stadia Issues
By the looks of it, cloud gaming looks primed to be the next-generation of gaming, that is if it leapfrogs speculated hurdles along the way, chief of which is latency and lag issues. Google says these won't be an issue for Stadia, though — it has developed a technology that can achieve what it calls "negative latency." The details are still fuzzy, but it appears the tech works by pre-rendering multiple gaming elements so they're immediately ready regardless of what action a player makes in-game.
There's also the matter of internet speed, as Stadia will no doubt require an excellent connection to work properly, many of which don't have access to, especially those living in more rural areas. Plus, there's no assurance other game developers will warm up to Stadia and decide to put their titles on the platform, a move that can likely cannibalize individual sales for other systems.
Will Stadia be the next gaming innovation? Or is it primed to suffer the same fate as Google Glass? Time, as always, will tell. Feel free to sound off in the comments section below if you have any thoughts!