Eager to get ahead of the E3 news rush, Google announced last night that they’ll be unveiling the price and games line-up for their upcoming Stadia cloud gaming service this Thursday on June 6 in a Nintendo Direct-like broadcast. Dubbed Stadia Connect, the livestream is due to take place at 9am PDT (that’s 5pm in the UK), and promises to finally give us some details on how much this thing’s going to cost (and hopefully answer whether it will be a subscription service or one-off costs per game), what games we’ll be playing on it, and when we’ll be able to get our hands on it. Here’s a teaser trailer to whet your appetite.
In case you’ve already forgotten about Google Stadia, let me refresh your memory. Announced back at GDC, Stadia is Google’s take on cloud gaming – with a twist. While it will almost certainly have its own launcher, Stadia promises you’ll also be able to jump into your favourite games with the click of a link, whether it’s from YouTube, social media or a URL your mate sent you in an email, making it easier than ever before to access your Stadia gaming library.
Stadia will also run across multiple devices, allowing you to instantly switch between different screens as and when it’s convenient. During their GDC presentation, for example, Google demonstrated Stadia running on a laptop, low-powered desktop, a phone, tablet and TV all in turn, with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey transferring seamlessly across every device.
Google also talked a lot about how it’s going to be able to offer 4K resolutions at 60fps, which sounds impressive on paper, but they also didn’t say anything about what kind of internet speeds you’ll need in order to get it. Hopefully, all will be revealed on Thursday.
They also didn’t really talk much about what type of games we’ll be able to play on Stadia. We know that Ancient Greek stab ’em up Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is going to be supported by the service, as will id’s upcoming Doom Eternal, but beyond that we just don’t know. We currently have no idea what Google’s own first-party Stadia studio are cooking up in terms of Stadia exclusives, nor do we know what other developers have come on board since Google started pitching the service at GDC. There’s been some chatter that Divinity: Original Sin devs Larian will be launching their heavily teased Baldur’s Gate 3 on Google Stadia, but so far it’s all been pretty quiet.
The other big remaining question is how much Stadia is going to cost. I suspect it will probably be some sort of subscription service, and I’m hoping it will be closer in price to something like Microsoft’s £8 / $10 per month Xbox Game Pass (which is also heading to PC soon) than, say, Shadow’s Blade cloud subscription, which is currently £26.95 / $34.95 per month (although the latter, I should point out, is for an entire cloud PC rather than just cloud gaming). We just don’t know.
Hopefully, though, all will be revealed on Thursday. Watch this space.