- Oct 25, 2017
Stadia Premiere Edition - November 19th, 2019
Stadia Pro (without the Premiere Edition) - February 2020
Stadia Base - 2020
What is Google Stadia?
Google Stadia is a new gaming platform based around streaming content from a remote server to your screen, be it a television, tablet or phone. It is a service that removes the need for specific hardware that you need to maintain and update.
The service is launching with the Stadia Premiere Edition that includes a Stadia controller, 3 months of Stadia Pro and a Chromecast Ultra.
How do you use it?
There will be two services for the platform: Stadia Pro and *Stadia Base.
You must be a member of either the free (Base) or paid (Pro) service to purchase and play games. The Pro service will give you enhancements such as included games, 4k streaming and 5.1 surround sound will not be required to play purchased games once the Base service launches.
*Coming in 2020.
Will it work with my current connection speed?
Google has a tool here for seeing how your setup will work with the service:
What happens if I lose connection?
The Stadia app will retain your instance for 10 minutes to give you time to reconnect.
Is this a service like Game Pass or PSNow where I get access to games?
Not really. While you will get some titles through the Stadia Pro service, the majority of the lineup at launch is only available through purchasing them separately.
The big one, you will be able to buy and stream games from the Stadia service starting on November 19th in 14 countries:
Belgium, Finland, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the *USA.
*Excluding Hawaii, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands
Chromecast Ultra, Chrome and Pixel support
Stadia will launch on *Chromecast Ultras, the Chrome web browser and a variety of Pixel (Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 3a XL).
*Only Chromecast Ultras that are shipped with the Stadia Controller will have the new firmware to connect to the Stadia service. Support for existing Chromecast Ultras will come “soon” after Stadia launches.
Stadia Pro is a subscription service that will let you play purchased titles at—up to—4k, 60fps and with 5.1 surround sound. Stadia Pro will also include a small pool of titles (starting off with Destiny 2: The Collection and Samurai Shodown) and will cost 9.99 USD a month once the time from Stadia Premier has ended.
Cross-Progression and Cross-Save
These are supported by it’s on a game-by-game basis but there are no restrictions from Google preventing their implementation.
Existing Controller Support
Stadia (browser/mobile) works with a variety of HID compliant controllers such as the DualShock 4 and Xbox One gamepad.
Stadia’s parental controls, which allows users to set permissions for child accounts similar to the parental controls for Google Play apps.
As mentioned above, Stadia Base is a free service that allows users to play purchased games through a 1080p stream and stereo audio. It is coming at some point in 2020.
Additional Mobile Platforms
Stadia will support Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 3a XL at launch but more mobile platforms will be added in the future.
Crowd Play allows viewers to instantly join-in and play with someone hosting a Stadia livestream.
State Share lets you share a playable moment from the game to other users. Think of it as a sharable save state.
Essentially a pseudo-splitscreen where Stadia runs multiple instances of a game on a single screen.
Sometime in 2020 subscribers to the Uplay+ service will be able to play their titles through Stadia. The specific requirements (such as working with Stadia Base or not) are still TBA.
Early in 2020 you will be able to share some part of the Stadia experience with friends and family, but the specifics are yet not nailed down by the Stadia team at the time of writing.
Wireless Play on More Devices
The Stadia controller can directly connect to the Stadia service but only when paired with a Chromecast Ultra. The feature will be available on more platforms after launch.
This will be allowed on a game-by-game basis and specific details are still TBA.
Achievements are going to be active at the launch of Stadia, you just won’t be able to view them or get notifications until an update that will be released shortly after Stadia launches.
Initially you can use Google Assistant to launch games but over time it have greater control of the interface and things such as giving solutions to puzzles.
The Guardian 3/5
Digital FoundryUltimately, the only real benefit of the system is the absence of that box under the TV. If your impeccable sense of interior design values that above game selection, price, offline play or community size, go for it. Otherwise, stick with a home console if AAA games are where your heart lies, or pick up Apple Arcade to see what a revolution looks like when it focuses on the games and not the technology.
Perhaps more pressing is the value proposition. Netflix works because the subscription model is easy to understand - you pay extra for more screens and UHD but that's it. Stadia is the same in terms of demanding a premium for UHD (even if key titles don't seem to be rendering at 4K) except that you're still paying top-end prices for your games on top of that. Combined with the feeling that the platform and the ecosystem is still some way off completion and I do feel that it's perhaps too early for Stadia to be rolling out as a full service, especially when games are limited and the all-important platform exclusives are very thin on the ground.