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Stadia Connect at E3

Stadia Connect at E3

This time at E3 Google revealed some more details about the game streaming service including pricing, requirements and the games launching with it later in the year.

A refresher for the uninitiated, Google Stadia was revealed for the first time three months ago as a new generation gaming platform where the games instead of running on your personal devices are run on Google’s servers and streamed directly to whatever device you want. It has been years in the making and aims to make gaming more accessible for everyone. Stadia makes the whole downloading and installing process unnecessary as the games are already ready to play from the get-go on Google’s servers. Your favorite games can be played on any screen be it tablets, TVs, PCs or phones.

Requirements

Well, about the phones, Google has only announced the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3a as supporting Stadia for now with more phones getting support later this year. TVs will also have to be equipped with a Chromecast to run Stadia. The widest compatibility would be for PCs with only Chrome required to run Stadia. Given Chrome has been known to be a resource heavy application, the claim of compatibility with any Chrome running PC should be taken with a pinch of salt.

A minimum of 10 Mbps is required for a stutter free gaming experience at 720p and 60 fps with stereo sound. A speed of 35 Mbps is recommended to get the most out of the streaming service with the quality capping out at 4K HDR at 60fps with 5.1 surround sound. Speeds between this range come with varying resolutions and qualities.

Stadia Controller

Google also launched the Stadia controller alongside the service, positioning it as the optimal device to be used in conjunction with the service. This controller is purported to be specially designed for streaming with it having dedicated buttons for capturing screenshots of gameplay and activating the Google Assistant. Though Google would really really like you to get their controller, Stadia is compatible with almost every controller out there and even a mouse and keyboard setup. The Stadia controller will connect directly to the Stadia server reducing latency and ensuring that what you do is what you see without the stream skipping a beat. Other controllers would first connect with the device which would then transmit information to the Google server increasing the latency thought it remains to be seen if it would be detrimental to the gaming experience.

Stadia Base/Pro

Stadia will come in two tiers, Stadia Base and Stadia Pro. Stadia Base will be free in the essence that you’ll need to pay for the game you intend to play and not the streaming service as a separate product. While this does sound enticing, the price differential between games bought on Stadia and other game marketplaces like Steam would prove crucial to the cost effectiveness of this service. The next, higher tier called Stadia Pro, would allow users to stream games at top-of-the-line quality which is 4K HDR at 60fps with 5.1 Surround Sound for a monthly fee of 10 dollars (roughly 700 rupees). Stadia Pro would also enable access to a growing library of games and discounts on games sold via the Stadia marketplace.

Stadia Founder’s Pack

A special pre-order bundle is available for sale called the Stadia Founder’s Pack costing 129 dollars. It includes a Chromecast Ultra which supports 4K HDR at 60fps, a limited edition Night Blue Stadia Controller and a 3 month subscription of Stadia Pro. It will have another 3 month Stadia Pro subscription called a ‘Buddy Pass’  which you can gift to a friend. The Destiny 2 Base Game with all of the previous add ons and the newest expansion – Shadow Keep – along with the respective Season Pass will also be included in the bundle.

Stadia in India

Reports indicated that Google is planning a 2021 release for India though there are still quite a few hurdles to its success here. According to Netflix, an hour of 720p streaming uses around 3GB of data. In a country where FUPs (Fair Usage Policy) are prevalent and fast internet connections still cost quite a bit(barring Tier 1 cities), the success of Stadia depends much on how cost effective plans from ISPs get in the next two years. If unlimited data high speed internet still remains out of reach for most Indians when Stadia launches, it could very well flop. The other cause for concern is that people in India don’t like to pay for, well, anything. Getting people to take a chance on a new service would be difficult. Stadia won’t be available on any other Android phones other than Google’s latest offerings which are out of reach for most consumers and so Google won’t be able to take advantage of the increasing mobile penetration in the country. Thus at present, Stadia’s prospective customers are gamers only in Tier 1 cities though the status quo could change given the entry of Jio in the FTTH market.


Stadia comes with a number of titles at launch:

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Borderlands 3
  • Darksiders Genesis
  • Destiny 2
  • Doom 2016
  • Doom Eternal
  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
  • Farming Simulator 19
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Football Manager
  • Get Packed
  • GRID
  • Gylt
  • Just Dance
  • Metro Exodus
  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • NBA 2K
  • Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
  • Rage 2
  • Samurai Shodown
  • The Elder Scrolls Online
  • Thumper
  • Tomb Raider Definitive Edition
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
  • Trials Rising
  • The Crew 2
  • Wolfenstein: Youngblood

 

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