Google’s Stadia game service gets a Founder’s Edition, pricing, more

Google Stadia
Image: Google

E3 pre-show announcements kick off with game streaming alternative

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7 June 2019 | 0

E3 starts earlier and earlier every year. After creeping to Sunday and then Saturday in recent years and nearly a week before the show proper it’s Google kicking festivities off by taking the wraps off its Stadia streaming service.

Stadia Pro is the system everyone expected, a sort-of Netflix-for-games at €9.99 a month, with the top-tier technical package with 4K, 60 frames per second streaming, and more to any compatible device be it a laptop, desktop, Pixel 3 phone, or Chromecast.

Google will curate a selection of games for Stadia Pro, similar to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. And there were some great games in the presentation, including Destiny 2’s new Shadowkeep expansion – now with cross-platform save capabilities – and the long-awaited announcement of a Baldur’s Gate III. Ubisoft showed up in a big way with The Division II and Ghost Recon, and a few smaller indies fleshed out the presentation.

Stadia Pro is what Google focused on in its presentation. It’s key to a number of features Google talked about in March, like clicking a button under a YouTube trailer or a walkthrough video and launching right into a game. That whole idea is less fun and exciting if you need to stop and enter your payment info.

Stadia Base seems to be exactly that though. Alongside the Stadia Pro subscription, players will be able to buy individual games as well.

It’s hard to know whether Stadia Pro will be a good value or whether that awkwardly named Stadia Base (aka The Way Every Store Works) will dominate.

If you want to be one of the first into Stadia, you can buy the Stadia Founder’s Edition for €129. It comes with a controller, a Chromecast Ultra, three months of Stadia Pro (plus a buddy pass), and Destiny 2. If you want to pick up an extra controller for multiplayer games, for your laptop, or just to keep a spare in your backpack, they come in three colours – Just Black, Clearly White or Wasabi – for €69.99

Tests will begin in November, meaning the rest of us won’t see Stadia until sometime in 2020. That gives Microsoft a better chance to counter with its own Project xCloud details at its press conference this Sunday.

IDG News Service

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