Google will launch its expected service "Netflix for games", Stadia, in November, the company announced. It will be available in 14 countries, including the United Kingdom, USA. UU And Ireland, but not Australia or New Zealand.
The video game transmission platform will defy expectations by offering most of its catalog for sale in a one-time-only model, instead of wrapping all of its titles in a monthly fee. It will be launched with a "founder edition" offer of £ 119.
The set of the box, which will be the only way to play the Stadia service at launch, includes a blue limited edition driver, a Chromecast Ultra streaming stick, a full copy of the full Destiny 2 (including the recently announced Shadowkeep expansion, which is due this fall), and three months of the "Stadia Pro" service.
"That's worth less than $ 300 (£ 236)," said Phil Harrison, the head of Google's Stadia team. "We really wanted to celebrate our initial players who come to join us at Stadia with something special, something they can not get anywhere else, and also gives them the rights to be one of the first players on the platform. badge on its platform that says they were founders ".
Stadia Pro, which will launch at 8.99 pounds a month, is the equivalent of Google Playstation Plus and Xbox. However, instead of allowing access to online games, the quality of the transmitted games increases (from 1080p and stereo sound to 4KHDR and surround sound), as well as allowing access to a selection of games, but not to all the library. The buyers of the edition of the founders will also receive a coupon to give a friend three free months of service.
Stadia's base level, known as Base, on the other hand, will be subscription-free, but will not be available until 2020. "We really want to address both ways of playing and both ways of accessing the content," added Harrison. .
At the launch, Stadia will have a range of games from more than 20 publishers, including Bethesda with its sequel Doom Eternal, Square Enix with Final Fantasy XV and Deep Silver with Metro Exodus, as well as EA, Rockstar and Capcom with games. still to be confirmed The sequel to RPG Baldurs' Gate III will also debut on the console, whose existence was revealed for the first time at the launch of Stadia.
Stadia is the latest attempt to make the videogame broadcast take off, after attempts by smaller companies such as OnLive and Shadow, as well as limited incursions in the Sony and Nintendo sector. Google hopes to succeed where those attempts have failed, both by applying its technical expertise to solve problems that have plagued previous attempts, and by using its large size to offer content and features that are not available anywhere else.
The underlying technology sees the games running in Google's data centers and then transmitted directly to users' homes through the same basic infrastructure as YouTube. Harrison says that the highest quality content, which runs at a total resolution of 4K, will require a connection of 35 Mbps or more, but that users with a 10 Mbps broadband connection will be able to access 1080p transmissions.
The YouTube link is also crucial to Stadia's unique features, such as the ability to dive directly into a multiplayer game from a live YouTube video, joining the same session he was watching. Owners can also experience the local multiplayer game for games that have previously required two consoles or two PCs.