Google announced today (Nov. 19) the launch of Stadia, a cloud-based service that allows users to stream their favorite video games.
“Starting today, playing games on your TV in 4K without a console, streaming games to a Chrome browser on a simple laptop, or enjoying the biggest games ever made on your phone is a reality. It seems impossible until you experience it. Stadia Founder’s Edition starts arriving today, making the world’s best games available to players everywhere without a dedicated console or expensive PC,” Phil Harrison, vice president and general manager, Google Stadia, wrote in a blog post.
Stadia is launching with 22 games, as well as stream 4K videos that are available through its premium service, Stadia Pro, which will cost users $9.99 per month. The free high-definition version is expected to come out next year, and Buddy Passes are set to ship early in December, while Stadia Premiere Edition can be ordered now.
The service is currently available in 14 countries, including the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Norway, France and Germany.
Analysts say that the success of services like Stadia will not only come down to its network and how much traffic it can support during busy time periods, but it will also depend on the content that is offered.
“Stadia will live or die by its content,” said George Jijiashvili, senior analyst at Ovum, a brokerage firm, adding that the number of launch titles is underwhelming. But Harrison told Reuters that the company has “over 450 games in development right now that will be coming out in 2020 and beyond.”
And Stadia is not the only service around: It will be competing against Microsoft’s upcoming Project xCloud, as well as Nvidia’s GeForce Now that is on public beta, and Sony’s own game streaming platform PlayStation Now, which costs $9.99 per month and includes over 800 games.