Google Stadia goes live in November

Details about Google Stadia have been revealed before the 9am press event (watch it here!), here's what we know so far

Now we have them. But with Stadia Basic not launching until next year, the details on how free streaming will work are slim - mainly whether it will be truly free, or if Google will be doing something (e.g. ads) to recoup the cost of the server time.

Google Stadia Founder's Edition is available to pre-order now ahead of the launch in November 2019. After that anyone will be able to access Stadia.

For comparison, dedicated game consoles start at $249 for the Xbox One ($399 for the Xbox One X), with the Nintendo Switch and standard PlayStation 4 at $299 (or $399 for the PlayStation 4 Pro). Content unique to Stadia has also been confirmed. Whereas 1080P requires 20 MBPS and 35 MBPS for 4K quality streaming respectively.

Alternatively, the user can access the fee-free Stadia Base; unfortunately, this option will not be available until next year.

You still have to pay for games that you can only play online Using Stadia, every game is an online-only game even if it's singleplayer. Players will be able to game at 4K with 60fps and 5.1 surround support, and they will be able to purchase games whenever they want. Furthermore, there will be two models available: Google Stadia Base and Google Stadia Pro. It comes with a Chromecast Ultra, a Stadia controller, a copy of Destiny 2 (along with the new Shadowkeep expansion), and a three-month subscription along with a three-month buddy pass. By doing this, it also means less consumer control. This costs $129 in the USA, and £119 in the United Kingdom, and pre-orders are open right now. Chromecast will let people play on their televisions. More than 20 publishers are already on board with Stadia.

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Stadia, like YouTube, is essentially a video stream.

To be fair, Google did put out some numbers, mostly to whet your appetite and set the upper and lower limits of how much bandwidth you'll need.

As for what kind of internet you're going to need for either of those price plans, Google said that Pro users will ideally need an internet speed of at least 35Mbps, which isn't almost as bad as I thought it was going to be. When you see a video stall and say "buffering", it's because there aren't enough future frames available.

Stadia is the latest attempt to make video game streaming take off, after attempts from smaller companies including OnLive and Shadow, as well as limited forays into the sector from Sony and Nintendo.

As for games, Google says software will arrive in waves and has announced a tentative launch window library that will expand as November draws closer. Here in Australia we could only dream of having that kind of internet. If we want to play at 720p, we will have to have a 10 Mbps connection. "So you know I'm pretty sure we're going to get there". Digital Foundry tested Stadia and found it has about twice the latency - 166 milliseconds versus 79 milliseconds - that players experience when playing games on a PC. Is there a back-up plan to give users digital versions of these streaming titles?

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