Google’s plan of launching cloud-based game streaming platform Stadia in November but to exclude Asia disappointed Korean gamers June 9, with some raising doubts as to the success of the newest service.
Stadia, touted by Google as the “new generation game platform powered by the best of Google,” will launch in just 14 North American and European countries in November.
Google’s Vice President for Product John Justice said the company is “working hard to expand Stadia to additional countries in 2020 and beyond.”
The first countries to have access to Stadia are to be the US, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. Users in these countries will be able to join Stadia Pro once it launches in November for a monthly subscription fee of $9.99.
While an Asian launch date is unspecified as of yet, Korean users were already dubious to see if the service would succeed, “Because it’s Google, the plan seems somewhat feasible, but can a streaming service really power games across the globe?” questioned one Twitter user.
“If the server cuts then that’s the dead end,” wrote another.
The first to find out if Stadia pulls off what it has set out to achieve will be those who preorder the Stadia Founder’s Edition, now at $129.
For these early adopters opting for bragging rights, Stadia Founder’s Edition will give complete access to everything one needs to get started with Stadia: a Chromecast Ultra dongle, limited-edition Night Blue Stadia Controller, three months of Stadia Pro, exclusive Stadia name and a “Buddy pass” that would let an additional friend join in the fun at the purchase of a $69 Stadia controller that comes in Clearly White, Just Black and Wasabi colors.
Stadia games can be played with any supported game controller or via mouse and keyboard.
Stadia, first introduced in March to much surprise across the worldwide gaming industry, will expand internet behemoth Google’s motto of “making information more accessible for everyone” to making gaming more accessible too, according to Google’s vice president for all things Stadia, Phil Harrison, at the launch announcement on June 6.
“With Google handling the processing load, you can enjoy smooth game play even if you don’t have that kind of connection,” Harrison said.
“The latency and speed demands of online gaming aren’t far off from the demands we’ve been meeting for years,” Harrison said, referring to other services Google supports such as YouTube, Gmail, Android, Google Play, Maps and Google Search.
Google will bring global game players and watchers to congregate in a single community where they can play games on any screen with Google Chrome, be it a TV, desktop, laptop, tablet or Google’s Pixel smartphones, starting from Pixel 3 and the brand new Pixel 3a, Harrison said. The Pixel 3 will have an exclusive Stadia app.
Stadia requires no downloads, no patches and no installs. Instead of a console or PC, gamers will use Google’s data center to stream games.
A Stadia Pro subscription will give the best streaming experience with 4K resolution, high-dynamic-range imaging color, 60 frames per second and 5.1 Surround Sound.
A lower-tier service called Stadia Base, which has no monthly subscription fee, will offer 1080p resolution streams with stereo sound, as well as access to games that need to be additionally purchased through Stadia.
Google recommends an internet speed of at least 10 Megabits per second for a 720p experience on Stadia, and faster connections for 4K streaming.
The initial 30 games available on Stadia at launch include “Baldur’s Gate 3,” “Doom Eternal,” “Mortal Kombat 11” and “Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.”
Google will show Stradia to journalists at the E3 gaming show set to take place in Los Angeles on June 12-14.
By Lim Jeong-yeo / The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)