What you may need to know
1. Stadia is Google’s foray into the $150bn game industry. There’s no console, as games are streamed up to a 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. It’s accessible via laptop, desktop, Chrome OS tablet, Pixel phone or on your TV using a Chromecast Ultra.
2. Stadia is not fully adopting the Netflix model, in that you still have to purchase most games rather than gain access to a library that you can choose from. The current pool of games is small, with headliners including Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption II.
3. A free base service will be coming next year, but for now there is only the option to pay for the Pro monthly subscription that will allow you to stream at higher rates and offer you access to some free games. To access the service you first need to purchase the Stadia Premier Edition for €129 which gets you a controller, a Chromecast Ultra and three months’ access to the Stadia Pro service.
4. Google seem to have gone to market with an MVP that they plan to iterate on. This might work for its software products, but hasn’t worked as they try to disrupt the mature console market. The product feels unfinished and is highly dependent on users’ internet speeds.
5. Stadia will improve as it evolves. More games will added, with online multiplayer, latency will improve, Youtube will be integrated, it will unshackle itself from the Pixel phone, 5G will become a reality.
6. Or… that won’t happen and Stadia will join all of the other products in the cemetery where things that we once loved are buried.
Kieran’s verdict: Still in beta.