Google fleshes out its Stadia cloud gaming platform

Stadia Connect

Initially, though, the only option will be the Stadia Founders Edition, a $129.99 package that includes a controller, a Chromecast Ultra, a three-month subscription to the paid service, and a three-month pass for a friend. As for Stadia Pro, you can get it only as a part of a bundle, which is up for pre-orders on Google Store. What price is dignity?

While Google has not announced an exact date for Stadia's launch, it did answer numerous lingering questions from its unveiling in March, including pricing, how the subscription model would work, and which game makers are on board with it. Along with the Pro subscription, Google will also be selling games on the service as well, and this will be how both the Stadia Basic service works and how Pro subscribers get access to games not included in the Pro subscription.

Google Stadia will cost $130 (around INR 9,000) for the Founder's edition and then $9.99 (about INR 700) would be charged for the months following that.

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Android TV device owners can of course buy a Chromecast and then use it to play Stadia games when the service launches in November, however, that will largely be buying the hardware for the sole objective of Stadia - which somewhat ironically goes against the "you don't need to buy devices" mantra set out by the service.

Here's what you need to know right now. If you are on a smartphone or tablet there will be the Stadia app to stream the very same games.

Announced in March at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco, Stadia upends the concept of game platforms as hardware.

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Google teased Stadia is in many speculations as the company has revealed more details about it. And that's presuming that Internet connection won't be used for other purposes like browsing, streaming music and video, and downloads.

A free model, called Stadia Base, will launch next year. To use the service, you will still require a robust internet connection to stream games onto your device. 4K, 60 FPS, HDR, and 5.1 surround sound only available to Stadia Pro subscribers. Of course, the advantage of Stadia is that you won't have to buy a new PC or console for it. Drop the bandwidth to 20Mbps to stream 1080p at 60fps and you'll chew out 9GB per hour; streaming 720p at 60fps for 10Mbps will have you nibbling 4.5GB per hour.

For some players, these figures will be of little import, either because they have unlimited data usage or they do not plan to use their Stadia at a level that would exceed their data cap. Is there a back-up plan to give users digital versions of these streaming titles? Any user within 40ms round-trip-time of a Stadia Point of Presence will have a great experience.

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In 2020, Google will also roll out the Founder's Edition of its streaming platform. Come this holiday season, gamers will have a better idea of whether the future of games is indeed a place, as Google envisions, or whether players will opt to remain tethered to their hardware a little while longer.

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