Get ready gaming fans for Google Stadia, the company’s up and coming cloud based game streaming platform. It’s a response to other options like Playstation Now, but this one boasts some unique benefits that make it very worthwhile. On the other hand, pricing and setup for Google Stadia can be confusing at first, so this article will help you get started with Stadia 2019!
Some things to be excited for (Pros)
The promise of a pure streaming solution for a gaming platform is alluring. To get started with Google Stadia in 2019 means:
1. No more waiting for patch updates or downloads
You won’t have to download content, hence you will be able to get started with Google Stadia in 2019 anywhere you have an internet connection.
2. Promise of first party gaming content
First, being the goliath tech company that Google is, they have the funds to throw at large scale game development. Secondly, in addition to funding their own titles, Google may subsidize development of other Stadia-compatible games. Finally, Facebook set a precedent by doing this for some Oculus developed content. As a result Google will likely do the same thing, since tech companies love to copy each other.
3. Lower cost to get started with high quality gaming
Expensive gaming equipment is a thing of the past. This could be the beginning of the end for all your elitist PC master race friends due to the ease of entry to 60fps HD gaming. Most noteworthy all you need is a laptop or Chromecast Ultra to get started with Stadia in 2019. You won’t have to worry about filling up your hard drive or not having a fancy enough GPU.
Some things to watch out for (Cons)
There are bound to be some growing pains and uncertainties with the future of this service:
1. The basic plan won’t release until 2020
This is the free version of Stadia which will likely be good enough for most people. The exception is the 1% with 4k TVs or monitors. This means the only way to get Stadia until 2020 is to pay $9.99 per month. More on this below.
2. Latency might be a problem
I hate to fall into the stereotype of elitist gamer who complains about 20ms of latency. But when you have a signal that goes from your controller to your computer to the internet and back there is bound to be some slowdown. Until we get to try it out we don’t know what this will be like.
You shouldn’t be concerned about latency, yet
I think we should be optimistic here. Google has some of the best engineers on the planet working for them, as well as the resources to tackle just about any problem. With their name on Stadia, it is unlikely Google would release a poor performing streaming product. If there are latency issues at the beginning they could be WiFi related, and therefore solvable at your end. Another possibility is server related, and therefore solvable with future optimizations by Google.
For further information, Google has a very informative FAQ.
You can get started immediately with Google’s Premiere Edition in 2019
You can purchase the Premiere edition for $120 at Google’s online store. This kit is not essential to get started with Stadia but includes a Chromecast ultra and a controller to get started on TV.
This controller will be the only way to play Stadia games on the TV with Chromecast at launch. The controller has a symmetric thumb-stick design, similar to the ps4 controller. This controller also directly connects to the internet with a WiFi radio to reduce latency of button presses. The controller also has a 3.5mm and USB C jack for headset support.
Above all keep in mind you can buy either the Chromecast or the Stadia Controller separately, if you want one but not the other. The Chromecast ultra is $69.99, and the controller is $69.99. Ordering them together represents a slight cost savings.
You can game on mobile, though only the Pixel line of phones will work. Any tablet running chrome OS will also work. Fortunately Google promises more device support in the future, however for now this means you won’t be able to get going on an iOS device.
Can I use any controller with Stadia?
It seems like you can use any controller with a USB or bluetooth connection. But unless it’s the Stadia Premiere Edition controller it won’t work with your Chromecast ultra. If you use a third party wired controller, will need an OTG cable for mobile devices. Here is an example of one that will get you started for USB-C Android phones. Comparable
Will any Chromecast or streaming device work to get going with Stadia?
No. Only Google’s latest Chromecast ultra will work with Stadia. Stadia will never work with the older Chromecast gens (1st,2nd and 3rd). The reason for this is Stadia streaming requires support for a video coding format VP9. In short VP9 is a more performant video encoding format developed by google.
A monthly subscription is your only way to begin Stadia in 2019
This will become an optional commitment in 2020, as the base streaming service is actually free. See below for a table highlighting the difference:
|Free subscription||$9.99 premium subscription|
|– Up to 1080p streaming|
– Purchase games at will
– No free games
– No discounts on select games
– Available in 2020
|– Up to 4k streaming|
– Purchase games at will
– Access to regularly released free games
– Discounts on select game purchases
– Available at launch
The main differences are the streaming resolutions (4k vs. 1080p) and whether you get access to regular free game releases or not. According to Google free games will be lost when the premium subscription is cancelled, fortunately purchased games are not. The major downside is the free version will not be available until sometime early 2020, however you could always commit to a month or two of premium and cancel anytime.
Wait, Stadia is free?
Yes, eventually it will be, but you need to purchase all games on the platform separately. Think of it like a Steam replacement where you don’t need a gaming pc to play any of the titles. Of course, your games to and from steam or any other platform won’t be transferable to Stadia.
Games will cost the typical $59.99 a piece. Additionally, the platform will have many popular games including: Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Destiny 2, and many more. Here is a link to Stadia’s official game list.
Do I need to subscribe monthly to get started with Google Stadia?
Most people won’t have a fast-enough connection or enough bandwidth for 4k streaming. Google recommends 35mbps minimum 60fps 4k streaming. Assuming your household internet speeds are at least 35mbps down, you will need to ensure your streaming device: computer, tablet, phone, or Chromecast has at least 35mbps down. Since this is a separate potentially big challenge, we will cover in a future blog.
At 35mbps, your internet will use 4.35MB/s, however this equates to 15.66GB per hour of streaming. In other words that’s a lot of bandwidth. Finally, you will require a TV or computer monitor which supports at least 4k resolution. Factoring all this in, the premium $9.99 monthly plan might be worth it for you, but likely isn’t. If you aren’t sure if you have the equipment or connection for 4k streaming it is probably safer to assume you don’t.
Bookmark us for future articles: comparison of other streaming service options, how to optimize your WiFi network for streaming games, and VR streaming. More about us, furthermore here’s how to get in touch.