Googles cloud-based gaming service, Stadia, is available for pre-order now with an exclusive Founders Edition. Because the platform is based in the cloud, gamers do not need to purchase a console to use Stadia, just a controller which connects to the game via Wi-Fi. Stadia users will be able to play games in 4K on their smart TVs or on laptops, desktops, and Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a phones without having to download games. They can play what they want, when they want, by purchasing their favorite games including Destiny 2: The Collection, Football Manager 2020, Assassins Creed Odyssey, Baldurs Gate III, Mortal Kombat 11 and Final Fantasy XV.
Gamers who pre-order get a special deal for signing up early. Here are a few of the promised perks for the $129 price tag.
- Founders Edition
- Access to Stadia at launch (November 2019)
- Three free months of Stadia Pro for the user
- Three free months of Stadia Pro to give away with a Buddy Pass
- Exclusive Night Blue Stadia controller
- Google Chromecast Ultra for streaming to the users TV
- A Founders Stadia Name and online call sign selected by the user
- A Founders Edition badge
Founders Edition and the above perks will ship in November 2019. The Night Blue controller is only available with the Founders Edition. Sold separately, a Stadia controller will cost $69.
According to Gamespot, Stadia will launch in November in 14 countries, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. The gaming system will include more than 30 titles at launch, including those listed above. Others include Rage 2, DOOM Eternal, DOOM 2016, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 and Samurai Showdown. See a more complete list on Gamespot.
After the three-month promo offer, the Stadia Pro Founders Edition is available for $9.99 a month. It includes resolution up to 4K, frame rate of 60 FPS, 5.1 surround sound, the ability to buy games whenever users want, access to free games released regularly, and exclusive discounts on select game purchases. If a user cancels their Stadia Pro subscription, they can still play the games they have purchased without a subscription.
Next year, a free Stadia Base service will also be available, but it does not have all the bells and whistles. Resolution is available up to 1080p, frame rate of 60 FPS, regular stereo sound and the availability to buy games. Base users will not get access to the free games released regularly or get special discounts reserved exclusively for Pro users.
Inc. reports that the monthly subscription fee will only get Pro users access to a few select games. If they want to purchase new or more popular games, they will have to buy them. For gamers who dont take advantage of the Founders Edition pre-order, they will also have to pay for Chromecast and a controller. Inc. says that for Google and developers, this pay-to-play revenue model is likely a winner. However, gamers may end up paying more for Stadia than they would a gaming service that offers dozens of games for free.
I will admit I am not a gamer but have considered buying a gaming console for those few times I might want to – and to have it available for my millennial daughter and her friends when they visit. The cost of a gaming console like PlayStation 4 or Xbox has kept me from doing so to this point, but this deal is pretty attractive to me, especially with the Founders Edition pre-order. It is a nice, low entry point that gets me a lot of exclusive perks in exchange for paying now. At or after launch, I can buy the games I want – as I would with console-based systems – but I can get in without having to buy and set up a console. It truly is plug and play. Google might be onto something here, and the Founders Edition is a great way to build a buzz.