Google's cloud gaming service, Stadia, launches in November for $10/month

Everything You Need to Know About Google Stadia Including Baldur's Gate 3

Details about Google Stadia have been revealed before the 9am press event (watch it here!), here's what we know so far

This service will be available in 14 countries from November. That package includes three months of the Google Stadia Pro subscription, usually $9.99 / £8.99 a month, a controller and Google Chromecast Ultra. Jack Buser, Google's director of games and business development for Stadia, says the real paradigm-shifting stuff will come later, as developers start using Google's cloud computing systems for games that aren't possible on an Xbox or gaming PC.

Jarred over at PCG has done the back-of-the-napkin mathematics (or mathematic, if you're in the US) on this one, and shows that you would hit 1TB of data in 65 hours of constant gaming at 35Mbps, not counting doing anything else on your internet connection.

While Google has not announced an exact date for Stadia's launch, it did answer numerous lingering questions from its unveiling in March, including pricing, how the subscription model would work, and which game makers are on board with it.

Google's not saying exactly how many games will be available at launch, but it did announce 30 titles from creators including Ubisoft, Bethesda, Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive Software, and Warner Bros.

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To be fair, Google did put out some numbers, mostly to whet your appetite and set the upper and lower limits of how much bandwidth you'll need. As promised, you'll be able to try it for yourself at home this year-as long as you're willing to pay the price.

Announced in March at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco, Stadia upends the concept of game platforms as hardware.

As we said, in 2019, the only way you can access Stadia is if you or a friend purchase the Founder's Edition. Personally, I'll just be excited to stream games like this on my Chromebook and actually be able to compete.

Reading between the lines it looks likely Android TV owners will not gain access to Stadia at launch. But the service won't be quite like Netflix. Microsoft is also testing its own cloud gaming service called Project xCloud, which is now undergoing public trials to help reduce latency so there's little to no lag time between the controller and on-screen action. Subscribing to Stadia Pro also means you can play at 4K, 60fps, with HDR and 5.1 surround sound if your network can support it. At that speed you'll be effectively downloading 15.75GB of temporary data every hour, though realistically Stadia's smart encoders are unlikely to be chowing down that hard. The minimum connection requirements, for gaming at 720p with 60fps, are 10Mbps.

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The Stadia Founder's Edition is available for pre-order now and is necessary to be among the first to access the service. The work around would be to use Google Chrome and stream via the browser but until we can get hands on, we're unsure how seamless of an experience that will be on mobile.

Of course, this is far fewer devices than most had anticipated and it also underlines how Google continues to ignore its own Android TV platform.

Stadia Pro subscribers will get an unspecified discount on "select game purchases", according to Google.

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