Google’s cloud game service Stadia, with which the Internet company competes against consoles and gaming PCs, comes to the start in November also to Germany.
What is Stadia?
The idea behind Stadia is to let games run on Google’s upgraded servers, rather than on a user’s device. The prerequisite for this to work is a fast Internet connection.
Google had announced Stadia in March, but at that time still no information on prices or the game offer made. This caught up with the Internet company on Thursday. Who wants to be there for the start in November, must therefore spend 129 euros for the streaming device Chromecast Ultra and a controller for game control. Included in the offer are also three months of the subscription service Stadia Pro, which otherwise cost € 9.99 each. Subscription customers get sharper 4K images and access to a selection of games.
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Game selection still insufficient
However, the offer disappointed the expectations of some analysts, because the subscription mainly includes older titles. Of the current games so far only “Destiny 2” is included. Others will have to be bought, as on other platforms too. This will make it harder for Stadia to attract customers, criticized analyst Pierce Harding-Rolls of market research firm IHS Markit. So far, Google has not shown that the Internet Group can serve customers better than traditional PC and console platforms.
Even analyst Michael Pachter of the financial firm Wedbush stressed that subscription services are difficult to sell without a wide range of content. “It’s like having a buffet with just a chicken dish, a meat dish and a noodle dish,” he told The Financial Times. “If you want to become a Netflix for games, you have to have 1000 games on offer.” For a few hundred euros you get already a game console.
A free version of Stadia will follow in the coming year. Your users get then as picture quality Full HD instead of the better 4K resolution and stereo only instead of multi-channel sound. For 4K images Google recommends about 35 MBit per second fast line, for Full HD are still about 20 MBit per second necessary. Also important is the response time, because the control commands from the controller must be able to reach the servers almost immediately.
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Game streaming on the go
It is also unclear whether the announced in March, the ability to simultaneously broadcast the gameplay of Stadia games live on Youtube, will be available for launch, wrote the technology blog “The Verge”, citing Google managers. However, it should be possible to start games directly from an advertisement on Youtube – the download is omitted at Stadia.
The service is to start on Google’s own smartphones Pixel 3 and 3a run, more will follow. However, playing with Stadia on the road is likely to be a reality only with the expansion of the super-fast 5G networks, given the high demands on speed and response time of the Internet connection and the massive data volume.