Google Stadia, the upcoming video game streaming service meant to allow players to take their favorite title anywhere, finally has a release date. Starting Nov. 19, buyers can jump headfirst into the wonderful world of video game streaming.
With Stadia’s intriguing tech, you can game on the go or at home using nothing more than your smartphone or tablet. The announcement came Oct. 15 by way of the 2019 Made by Google event, where the company took time to show off its latest wares.
Originally announced in March 2019 and fleshed out during Google’s inaugural “Stadia Connect” stream in June, Stadia is a revolutionary platform created to allow users to enjoy a wide variety of games on streaming devices. This means players can set off on graphics-intensive odysseys like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Doom Eternal when both titles make their Stadia debuts without frustrating installs or troubleshooting processes. It’s a cool option for anyone short on time (and patience).
Stadia’s unique setup means that virtually anything, from TVs to mobile phones, can be used for gaming. No pricey gaming rigs or consoles are needed, as most of the taxing computing power is handled by Google. Stadia users need only their designated streaming device to jump right in, which makes this platform highly lucrative and cost-effective. Taking triple-A games on the go could change how we experience our favorite titles.
Google Stadia will include two tiers: Stadia Base and Stadia Pro. The free Base service allows you to play games at 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second. Stadia Pro, however, offers discounts on games, free monthly games, 4K support, HDR support, gameplay at 60 frames per second and 5.1 surround sound. It’s just $9.99 a month, with three free months for anyone who buys in early with a Stadia Founder’s Edition kit.
Sounds exciting, right? If you’re planning on making the move to Stadia or just supplement your gaming setup with a new way to play, here’s everything you need to start your cloud computing-based gaming journey.
Stadia-approved platforms and accessories
Google Stadia Founder’s Edition ($130; google.com)
For those interested in emulating the home gaming experience, a Chromecast device is required, as well as a controller, if you want to make it truly feel like console gaming. The $130 Stadia Founder’s Edition is still available, which pairs a Chromecast Ultra streaming stick with a dark blue version of the standalone Stadia controller.
Both devices are about $70 a piece, so you’re saving cash by buying into Stadia early. The Founder’s Edition also allows users to claim their special Stadia usernames early, so if you’re itching to grab a certain online handle before anyone else, this is the way to go. It also comes packing three months of the Stadia Pro service tier for you and a friend.
Stadia Controller ($69; google.com)
If you’re not interested in purchasing the Founder’s Edition, you can opt to pick up the Stadia Controller. Unlike the Founder’s Edition, it comes in a bright white color with black buttons and coppery orange accents. Pair it with a Chromecast device and you’re good to go with any TV, or just use it with your favorite mobile device or laptop.
Chromecast Ultra ($69; amazon.com)
The most powerful version of Google’s Chromecast streaming device lineup, the Ultra offers 4K video that can be streamed via your iPhone, iPad, Android device or laptop to stream video from your mobile devices and other handheld tech. It’s needed if you’re going to use Stadia on your TV, so snap one up if you don’t plan on picking up the Founder’s Edition bundle.
Pixel 4 ($799; amazon.com)
Google announced its most powerful smartphone during Tuesday’s Made by Google event. This mighty device comes in two iterations: the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, with a $100 difference between the versions. With 5.7-inch and 6.3-inch screens, three colors to choose from, a souped-up Google Assistant and dual-camera setup, these new Pixel phones are a great way to future-proof your Stadia setup. They’re also a great excuse to invest in a new piece of tech, natch.
Google Pixelbook ($999; amazon.com)
Need a laptop for on-the-go gaming that’s a step up from your phone? Google’s flexible Pixelbook should do nicely. It can fold into a tablet, sit up like a regular notebook and last all day, thanks to a massive battery. It’s also Google’s thinnest laptop ever, at just 10.3 millimeters, with a sturdy aluminum body and a fast-charging system that gets you two hours of use with just a 15-minute juicing session.
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Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.