Google’s gaming service Stadia is set to roll out by November. The service would allow users to play videogames over the Internet via Chromecast, Pixel phones or Chrome browser. Downloads wouldn’t be required as the game would be installed on Google servers. Progress would be synced across devices.
Only Chromecast supported TV will have access as of now, until 2020 when the service’s ambit will be expanded.
The Founders’ Edition costing nearly $130 will include controllers, dongles, 3 months Stadia subscription & free pass for friends. Stadia will be launched in around 14 countries and enter expansion next year.
Stadio Pro, costing nearly $10 per month, with 31 games would be launched next year, with a low-res FTP Stadia version. Michael Patcher of Wedbush stated that 31 titles weren’t enough for gamers. More games will be announced at the E3 conference. Similar services like OnLive and GameTap have only failed. The subscription cost is a major issue. While pricing at $20 can get more content, gamers wouldn’t subscribe while pricing at $10 wouldn’t have ample content.
Yet, the freedom not to buy additional consoles could attract customers for Google. Patcher estimates this model to work successfully. Google has launched Stadia Entertainment and Games to create compatible games with a lot of investment. Original content would be available next year.
Jade Raymond, who has previously worked with Ubisoft, Sony, and EA and is a VP at Google, has also been hired to lead the team. Microsoft is looking to compete with its xCloud services along similar lines, with a possible announcement at E3 conference.
Amazon could also release its gaming service this year. It already owns Twitch, a service for Let’s Play gamers. While Stadia currently have first mover advantage, Google has a lot left to puzzle out, including target demographic. Laine Nooney of NYU commented that Google probably wanted to wean people away from traditional gaming platforms and enter new markets at the same time.