If this is the you’ve heard of Google Stadia, let’s sum it up by calling it ‘Netflix for gaming’. Confused about what that means? Don’t be. We’re here to break it down and help you understand why this is going to be an absolute revolution in gaming…
What is Google Stadia?
Stadia is a brand-new game streaming platform developed by Google. The best part? You don’t need to splash out on an expensive console to start playing.
Google Stadia is cloud-based. This means what you see on your screen is being processed by a gaming computer in the cloud, rather than your own machine.
Since the rendering is done online, you can tune in to the same game on multiple devices. You could start a game on your TV, then pick up where you left off on your Google Pixel 3 smartphone.
To make things even better, it means that you can pick up any Google-connected device and start gaming right away. No installation, no waiting!
How does Google Stadia work?
Well, it’s hard to explain. But it’s not like a traditional video game, where the whole thing is built and then stored on a disk. Instead, every frame is downloaded individually according to when you need it.
But it doesn’t mean Stadia will compromise on frame rate. Expect 4K resolution at 60fps at the time of launch, with 8K 120fps coming soon after.
When will Google Stadia be released?
November 2019. Google hasn’t given an exact date yet, but we do know the service will be rolled out to 14 countries in November 2019. We assume it will be mid or late November, to coincide with Black Friday (29 November 2019).
How much will Google Stadia cost?
To start playing at launch, you will need to buy Google Stadia Founder's Edition. This will give you access to Google Stadia Pro, which works on a monthly subscription basis like Netflix.
The Founder’s Edition costs £119 and will give you three months free access to Stadia Pro, which will cost £8.99 per month. You will also get:
- Access to Stadia’s free games
- A Chromecast Ultra
- A Stadia Controller
- A three-month ‘buddy pass’ for one friend to try Stadia for free.
The good news is that the Founder’s Edition is available to pre-order now, so stick your order in now to be sure you don’t miss out!
What do I need to use Google Stadia?
Other than buying the Founder’s Edition itself, there really isn’t much else you need to be able to start playing. The basic things you need are:
- A Google account
- A Google Chrome browser
- A compatible device
- An internet connection*
Yes, that really is it!
There are, of course, other things worth having that will make your experience better. The main thing worth mentioning is the Stadia Controller, which is included in the Founder’s Edition bundle. This was developed to communicate with Google Stadia servers via your Wi-Fi network, mainly to avoid limiting the number of devices you can use and to reduce lag.
For those of you who have grown attached to your controller over the years, you’ll be pleased to know that a Stadia Controller isn’t a necessity, and you can use an existing controller via a USB wire.
*There’s nothing worse than a lag whilst gaming. Google recommends an internet speed of at least 10 mbps for a 720p resolution experience. As with all technology, the faster the connection, the better the quality.
What devices does Google Stadia support?
With the number of devices that Google Stadia will support, it is likely that you already have at least one of them (unless you have recently gone on a technology purge!)
- Apple MacBook – requires macOS X 10.9 and higher
- Laptop/Desktop – requires Windows 7 and higher
- TV – requires Google Chromecast and Stadia Controller
- Tablet – requires Google Chrome
- Smartphone – only Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3A will be supported at launch
Although this might be disheartening for iPhone and Android users, Google have said that Stadia will be available on more devices in the future. Plus, you can still download the Stadia app and purchase games from any iOS 11+ or Android M+ device.
What games will be available on Google Stadia?
There are already quite a few games listed as being available on Stadia, including multiplayer games, and it is likely that more will be announced soon.
You can already look forward to household names such as Assassin’s Creed, Borderlands, DOOM, Dragon Ball Xenoverse, Final Fantasy, Football Manager, Mortal Kombat, Tomb Raider, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon and Wolfenstein available on launch day.
Here is the official Google Stadia games list – keep an eye on this page for updates as and when they’re announced.
While we wait for Stadia to drop though, check out our current console gaming range
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