Friday, 7 June 2019

Google announces Stadia pre-orders ahead of E3



E3, the electronic entertainment expo, officially begins this weekend. However, companies are increasingly making major announcements ahead of the annual event and this year is no exception.

In a week where Apple announced official support for Xbox and PlayStation controllers, on compatible devices from the fall, during the Cupertino-based company's World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC). Google has released new details for Stadia, the Alphabet subsidiary's streaming gaming service, and begun taking pre-orders for a November launch in the US, Canada, Europe and the UK.



Early adopters have an opportunity to own a Stadia Founder's Edition Bundle in time for the all-important holiday season. The relatively low entry price of £119.00GBP includes a controller, a Chromecast Ultra, three months of Stadia Pro (plus a buddy pass) and Destiny 2. My pre-order is in. Thus, adding a fifth gaming platform once Apple Arcade launches. Thankfully, with far less clutter than in the seventies, eighties, nineties and noughties. A free subscription tier, Stadia Base, will be available in 2020.

To use Stadia, you'll need at least a 10Mbps internet connection, which will let you play games at 720p with stereo sound. To play games at 4K HDR 60fps with 5.1 surround sound, a 35Mbps internet connection will be required. This has caused controversy for folks with data caps. It's worth noting this isn't Netflix for games (like PS Now or Xbox Game Pass) and you can't download for local play.

Stadia is not the first cloud-based video game streaming service. OnLive launched in 2010 to much fanfare and closed in 2015. Google's platform has support from third-party developers such as EA, Ubisoft and Sega but there's no news (yet) on exclusives from those publishers. Launch games include Doom Eternal, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Baldur’s Gate 3.

Google is a disruptive force, with a history of shuttering services, and video game incumbents Microsoft and Sony are making pre-emptive moves to counter the threat to their duopoly. The competing companies have already announced a strategic partnership for xCloud services based on Microsoft Azure, greater third-party crossplay compatibility - good news for all gamers - Remote Play and a controller tie-in with Apple ahead of Apple Arcade. Who knows what Microsoft will announce during its E3 press briefing to counter Google this Sunday.

What a time to be a gamer, eh? Getting Google Stadia or couldn't care less? Let me know in the comments below.

10 comments:

  1. I will be relying on you for a complete run down when you get it. I am on the fence, if not a little off it to be honest. I really need convincing with this one. As you mentioned OnLive, it's been done to a certain extent before and drastically failed. I know Google are behind this but so were they with Google+. Remember that?

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    1. How about Google Wave?

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    2. Back off. Google Wave was great. They just didn't give it enough time.

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    3. Think I used Google Wave, once, and that was to chat to you. Remember when invites were being sold on eBay?

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  2. Founders Edition ordered. Now the wait. I've not gamed for a very long time indeed. But this has captured my interest and imagination. Not bad at 65 when I should be thinking of gardening and greenhouses 😂😂

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    1. Excellent! Look forward to comparing notes.

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  3. I’ve pre-ordered. I can see the pros and cons of the system, but having access to AAA gaming everywhere I go is toon much to resist.

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    1. There will be a paradigm shift in gaming in the next decade and Google is well-placed to lead the charge.

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  4. I am so not in the console zone at the moment. As a casual gamer, I need a multifunctional device if I'm going to get caught in it. M'boy and I play all sorts of really good games for free on our iPads - but we can use them for other stuff too. I am a huge Googlefanboi but I just can't get excited about this just yet - notwithstanding that if I was going to get any kind of dedicated gaming device, it'd be a Googly one.

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    1. I'm going to keep my Stadia Founder's Edition Bundle pre-order for now and monitor messaging from Google.

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