Apple is rolling out the Apple Arcade subscription service, though that platform will be focused on mobile games and not the console titles available through Stadia. The $130 Founder's edition is available for pre-order and will include a Chromecast Ultra puck, a limited-edition Night Blue controller, and two Stadia Pro subscriptions for three months.
Today, Google took the stage ahead of E3 to announce details on their upcoming gaming service Stadia. For the program to be competitive with Google's Stadia, it would have to continue to add to its selection of games. What price is dignity?
Google Stadia will launch in November with an initial base service "Stadia Pro" at a subscription cost of $10 Dollars per month. For the first few months-at least until 2020-you'll only be able to access Stadia if you or a friend invest in the Founders Edition.
But, to users' disappointment, subscribing to Stadia Pro for $9.99 per month would not include any games unless they go for the bundle package mentioned above.
To note, the Google Stadia data usage figures that are now available may be consistent with what many have been expecting from the platform.
Arguably, that cost might be lower if you place any additional value on the other perks of the Stadia Founder's Edition bundle, such as the option to choose one of the first Stadia names, a "Founder's badge", and a second three-month Pro subscription you can give to someone else.
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You'll need Google's Chromecast to run Stadia at launch, although it'll later work with any Google device that runs Chrome.
The YouTube link is also crucial to Stadia's unique features, such as the ability to dive straight into a multiplayer game from a live YouTube video, joining the same session that you were just watching being streamed. We'll have an updated list of all the games coming to Stadia soon, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.
What do we know about Google Stadia? Personally, I'll just be excited to stream games like this on my Chromebook and actually be able to compete. Please note that Stadia Pro opens up in November but Stadia Base will become available later, in 2020.
Google will also be building its online player community from scratch, and is asking players to bifurcate their game collections from the Xbox, PlayStation, and PC libraries that they've spent years building up. The former will limit you to 1080p and stereo sound, while if you pay for the latter you'll get up to 4K HDR at 60fps with 5.1 surround sound, if you have a fast enough internet connection. This costs $129 in the U.S., and £119 in the United Kingdom, and pre-orders are open right now.
If Google has, as it claims, found a way to get the latency issues that have dogged many cloud gaming efforts, then Stadia has the potential to bring the concept to the masses and disrupt the gaming market.
More concerning is that many internet users have caps on how much data they can use in a month. Any user within 40ms round-trip-time of a Stadia Point of Presence will have a great experience. Google is also emphasizing that apps will not be reserved to its own devices so Stadia on Apple TV / Smart TVs is entirely within the realm of possibility.