Google Stadia game streaming platform details revealed: Price, equipment, speed

  • Google announced details of its upcoming game streaming platform last night ahead of this year's highly anticipated E3 conference, detailing everything from price and system specs to bandwidth requirements.

    The games industry has grown in recent years to become the largest entertainment industry on the planet, with revenues now surpassing films and music put together as of last 2018. Millions of people today play games on their mobile devices or a handheld game console such as the Nintendo Switch, while millions more have a gaming console such as a PlayStation 4 or XBox One at home to play on a large-screen TV.

    Still more people carry around gaming laptops or have put together powerful gaming spec desktop PCs at home to run the latest games at high frame rates and 1080p HD resolution or even in 4K Ultra-HD. Consoles can cost hundreds of pounds, though, and a high-spec gaming PC can cost thousands of pounds to get those results. That's where Google's new game streaming platform Stadia comes in.

    Stadia runs games on Google's powerful cloud infrastructure instead of your own PC or console, and then streams the video to any device. Because it runs on Google's servers, they are able to provide hardware specs much higher than you probably have at home. It will always be able to run the latest games at a smooth 60 frames per second at 1080p or 4K resolutions, and you won't need to buy a new PC in several years' time to keep up.

    The beauty of Stadia is that it will run on virtually any device, so you can run high-end games on a low-end work laptop or even your phone as long as you have a fast and stable enough internet connection. In an online announcement last night, Google revealed the details of the Stadia platform:

     - The Stadia Base free tier has no games included and that's limited to 1080p resolution. You can buy games just like you would on any console store.
     - The Stadia Pro tier is a £8.99 subscription service that enables 4K resolution for those with a 4K TV. It will also sometimes get free games and discounts, though only one game (Destiny 2) has been confirmed for launch.
     - The minimum bandwidth required is 10Mbps to play at 720p resolution, 20Mbps to play at 1080p, and 35Mbps for the full 4k experience.
     - The founder's edition is available for pre-order now for £119 in the UK and comes with a Chromecast Ultra (to let you plug straight into a TV and get playing), a Stadia controller, 3 months of the Pro tier subscription, and 3 months of Pro to give to a friend.
     - The service will launch (and founder's editions will be delivered) in November 2019.



    Source: Google Stadia

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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