Google Stadia roll-out begins November 19th

By Joe Robinson 15 Oct 2019 3

Update: Google have just confirmed that Google Stadia will begin its deployment on November 19th. As we mentioned below, as far as phones go only the Google Pixel 3 and 3a series (including XL and other variants) will be supported at launch. Tablets running Chrome OS and "other" mobile devices will be brought online at a later date, as will the 'Free' basic Stadia edition. The launch in November is mainly for the Founders edition, and possibly non-Founder Stadia Pro subscribers as well.

 

If you want you to use Stadia on your TV, you need a Chromecast Ultra. I really wish I knew that before I bought a standard Chromecast the other week. Curses… but I do have a Google Pixel 3 XL, which I got specifically so I could test Stadia out on my phone whenever I’m able to get access.

There’s nothing much more to say now - all we can do is watch and wait. I imagine we’ll be hearing and seeing a lot more in five weeks time. With Apple Arcade just up and running, it’ll be interesting to see if the mobile audience has the appetite for yet another subscription, even if it means access to console/PC quality games. I suspect we won’t see a true mobile up-take until the Free version emerages and/or the iOS tablet and phone deployment.

Original Story: A couple of months ago you may remember I talked about Google’s new gaming initiative, Stadia. Using the power of Google’s infrastructure, the search giant wants to offer a new streaming service that will allow players to access games on any device, provided your internet is good enough.

Last night Google ran their first ‘Stadia Connect’ Stream which revealed details on pricing, release date and some technical specs. You can watch it here:

What was interesting about the Stadia proposition is that it included tablet and mobile devices. With internet infrastructure and device specifications getting better year-by-year, certain demographics of mobile gamers stand to benefit quite a lot from Stadia’s mobile application. If the only extra bit of kit you need is a wireless controller, there’d be few reasons why you wouldn’t fire up, say, Assassins’ Creed: Origins or XCOM 2 on your handheld device as opposed to mobile-specific games like Demon’s Rise 2 or the recently released Mystic Vale. Assuming barriers for entry and performance etc. are the same.

Judging from the recent Stadia info-dump however, the initial mobile usage will be disappointingly limited: While anyone using a tablet device will be able to access Stadia via the Chrome browser, smartphone options aren’t as flexible.

pixel 3a

At launch, only people with a Google Pixel 3 or the recently announced Pixel 3a will be able to access the service via a bespoke Stadia app. This implies that they will be disabling accessing the service via the web on phones, which is a bit odd, but in the same stream Harrison also confirmed that more smartphones will be brought on board in the future.

Still it’s not the end of the world, and there were plenty of other interesting tid-bits to come out of the show. For example, the recommended minimum download speed is 10MBS, which will still allow you to stream in 720p HD. On top of that, there will be a wide range of controllers that Stadia will support, not just their own bespoke controller. For iOS users, this pairs well with the fact that Apple recently announced that iOS 13 (and Apple TVs) will be getting official support for PS4 and Xbox One controllers.

stadia speed test

In terms of games, there’s 31 titles confirmed for Stadia’s initial launcher in November. We’ve posted the highlight video below, but you should check out our friends over at PCGamesN for the full breakdown. Highlights include Baldur’s Gate 3 (which was announced during the stream), Football Manager 2020 and Destiny 2:

Some important clarifications: While Stadia will be launching in November, the only way you can get involved is by purchasing the $129 Founder’s Pack. This comes with some goodies and three months’ worth of ‘Stadia Pro’, which will be the service’s premium subscription option at $10/£10 a month. The main draws of this subscription is that you can stream games up to 4K/60FPS (internet dependant) and will have access to an as-yet-unconfirmed set of Stadia's game catalogue for free.

For anyone who doesn’t want to subscribe, ‘Stadia Base’ will be rolled out sometime in 2020. With this, you’re limited to streaming at 1080p, and you have to buy any games you want to play individually.

Stadia is raising a lot more questions than it’s answering at the moment, but the mobile potential is still clear. It’s just a shame more phones won’t be supported at launch. Might finally be time to invest in that tablet I’ve been toying with getting.

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