Ok. So what’s all the hype about?
Everyone’s talking about Google Stadia right now. There are tons of articles, news updates, and videos bombarding you with not enough info…too much info…It’s a mess out there. And it’s so easy to get lost trying to learn everything.
You just want to learn the bottom line:
What’s most important for me to know about Google Stadia?
I get that.
So, in this guide, I’ve answered the most burning questions that tell you exactly what you need to know about Google Stadia.
- How Google Stadia works (and the technology behind it)
- What new and fancy features Google Stadia promises
- When Google Stadia will be launched
- Where it is available
- What games will be available on Stadia
- And the top alternative game streaming services you can use to game right now
1. How does Google Stadia work?
Google Stadia is a new cloud gaming platform, which will let you play games without any computer or hardware. You’ll be able to play games online and with no download needed.
Right now, there are two versions of Stadia set to launch.
The first is Stadia Pro which requires a subscription to their Premiere Edition ($9.99 a month) and was released November 19, 2019.
The second is Stadia Base which is set to come out sometime in 2020. They have yet to disclose the exact date.
But here’s the thing…
Your gaming experience will be heavily dependent on which of these two versions you sign up for. Check out the specs below:
Resolution: Up to 4k
Frame Rate: 60 FPS
Sound: 5.1 Surround Sound
Resolution: Up to 1080p
Frame Rate: 60 FPS
With a Premiere Subscription, you also get some other added perks such as regularly released free games and discounts on certain games. Destiny 2: The Collection will be the first free game released with a purchase of Stadio Pro edition.
The good news is that, whether you get Stadia Pro or Base, Google has some fairly powerful servers for streaming your favorite games.
But are game streaming services really new?
No. In fact, there are several cloud gaming services that perfected game streaming long ago. (I’ve listed the best Google Stadia alternatives at the end of this blog post for you.)
So if you don’t want to purchase the Pro edition, but don’t want to wait for the Base release, you can stream games right away.
2. What Are The New Features That Google Stadia Promises?
Ok, so cloud gaming technology is nothing new. Then, what makes Google Stadia so special?
Are there any features that REALLY set Stadia apart?
Let’s take a look at the most promising features:
Google Stadia gives you the ability to transfer save states to your friends. It allows you to share key moments of your game with other players.
All your friend has to do is click the link, and they can enter your game to help out if you’re having trouble.
The link preserves:
- world state
- your position
- your inventory
Playing with your favorite streamer is right at your fingertips.
With Google Stadia, you can sign up and wait in a queue to play with the streamer of your choice. Viewers take turns playing, and once one person’s time is up, the next person gets to play.
Google Stadia YouTube Integration
Google Assistant allows you to find videos and walkthroughs directly from YouTube.
A single press of the assistant button on your Stadia controller while playing will bring you to the best guide. No more digging around on the internet hoping to find the right answers.
3. When Is Google Stadia Release Date?
Google Stadia comes out on November 19, 2019. Sort of.
In order to play Google Stadia in 2019, you’ll need to purchase “Stadia Pro” which is a part of the Premiere Edition. The Google Stadia price is $130 for the hardware plus 3 months free of a premium subscription ($10 a month after that).
If you’re not interested in getting Stadia Pro, you’ll have to wait until Google releases Stadia Base sometime in 2020. They have yet to release an official date.
4. Where Will It Be Available?
As of right now, there are 14 countries where Google Stadia Pro is available.
5. What Games Will Stadia Have Available?
According to Google’s official Stadia page, there are 42 Google Stadia games available for Premiere Edition:
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
- Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle
- Baldur’s Gate 3
- Borderlands 3
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Darksiders Genesis
- Destiny 2: The Collection
- Destroy All Humans!
- DOOM Eternal
- Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
- Farming Simulator 19
- Final Fantasy XV
- Football Manager 2020
- Get Packed
- Ghost Recon Breakpoint
- Gods & Monsters
- Just Dance 2020
- Marvel’s Avengers
- Metro Exodus
- Mortal Kombat 11
- NBA 2K20
- Orcs Must Die! 3
- Rage 2
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration
- Samurai Shodown
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
- Supercross 3
- The Crew 2
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
- Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
- Trials Rising
- Watch Dogs Legion
- Windjammers 2
- Wolfenstein: Young Blood
6. Top Google Stadia Alternatives That Let You Play Right Now
You don’t have to wait for Google Stadia Base in order to experience cloud gaming. I will compare already existing Stadia alternatives for you.
I chose some of the best cloud gaming services that have been out for some time already. This way, you can compare & contrast if Stadia truly brings anything new to the market.
The list is divided by different features, so you can follow it one-by-one and see the winner in each category.
Google Stadia – 14 countries
Vortex Cloud Gaming – Global. You can play anywhere, as long as you have an Internet connection.
Shadow Tech – Global. However, you might experience latency if you are very far from their data-centers (in South America or Asia, for example).
Parsec – Global.
LiquidSky – Global. (Datacenters only available in San Jose, CA; Dallas, TX; Washington DC; London, England; Frankfurt, Germany; and Hong Kong)*LiquidSky shut down their service on December 17th, 2018
Winners: Vortex, Parsec, & LiquidSky
Google Stadia – 42 games for Premiere launch
Vortex Cloud Gaming – There are over 100 games available (AAA titles included – Fortnite, GTA V, Minecraft)
Shadow Tech – You upload the games of your choice
Parsec – You upload the games of your choice
LiquidSky – You upload the games of your choice
Winners: None, the best choice depends on what you’re looking for.
Google Stadia – $130 upfront plus $9.99 per month for Premiere
Vortex Cloud Gaming – Starts at $9.99 per month
Shadow Tech – Starts at $29.95 per month
Parsec – Price is calculated based on several factors (servers, time, & storage). The calculation method is a bit confusing; you can never be sure exactly what you’re going to pay.
LiquidSky – Starts at $19.99 per month.
Winners: Vortex Cloud Gaming
Google Stadia is definitely something you should check out. They are planning to introduce some new features that haven’t been available in the market.
But is Stadia worth it?
To play before 2020 requires a hefty $130 upfront cost plus $9.99 a month after the first 3 months. And that’s only if you live in one of the 14 countries where it will be available.
If you want to stream games right now (and not fork over $130 to do so), then remember that there are other options available. You don’t have to wait until 2020 for Stadia Base to start gaming on the cloud.
Do you think Google Stadia will be a game-changer? Does it deserve all the hype? Is there a cloud gaming service we forgot to mention?
Give your opinion in the comments below!