Google Stadia announces pricing, Baldur's Gate III available at launch

Ruben Fields
November 19, 2019

It's the biggest game Larian's ever made, and you can go and read all about it in Matthew's big Baldur's Gate III preview.

If you don't want to purchase the Google Stadia controller then you can play with either mouse and keyboard or any supported controller. Unlike traditional games, the streaming service requires a constant internet connection to play. With the initial announcement being mostly a technology intro and teaser of what the service could be capable of, Google promised more to come later this year, and now in a pre-recorded presentation this morning, the company has announced their launch plans for the service and how it will work for customers.

UPDATED: So how much is Stadia going to cost? Well, it's a little complicated.

The regular version of Stadia is called Stadia Base. It offers unlimited access to 750 games for streaming or downloads, which allow for offline play. Stadia will be available in two tiers, Stadia Pro a subscription service enabling gamers to stream games in up to 4K HDR resolution, at 60 frames per second, with 5.1 surround sound for $9.99 per month.

You can also get Stadia without the Pro subscription via the Stadia Base which gives you access to the service on a per-game basis, meaning you can simply pay for the game you want to play individually. But if you really want to max out Stadia's promise of 4K 60 fps 5.1 Surround Sound, you'll want a 35 Mbps connection. The first free title is "Destiny 2", and it comes with the base game, all previous add-ons, the upcoming Shadowkeep expansion and the annual pass.

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Google will also be building its online player community from scratch, and is asking players to bifurcate their game collections from the Xbox, PlayStation, and PC libraries that they've spent years building up. You'll still need a fairly decent internet package for it, mind, but in the United Kingdom at least, it's certainly not one of the more astronomically expensive ones. To get the 1080p experience, you'll need 20Mbps, which again, should be fairly reasonable for the majority of broadband users. If you're thinking Xbox Game Pass you'll be in step with Google's own thinking. In Europe, the price will be €129 and €9.99 per month. You can still use a mouse and keyboard, or any other type of controller you own. On Thursday, Google said it will start advance sales for the limited "Founder's Edition" bundles right away, though it isn't saying how many are available.

Meanwhile, Google won't guarantee that a game will remain available for any particular period of time after a player has purchased it.

The Stadia will run via your Chrome browser on most devices, the Stadia app on smartphones or through the Chromecast plug-in on TV. Google Chromecast Ultra required to play on TV.

Overall, the Stadia Founders Edition bundle seems to be an effort by Google to throttle early use of the service, so that they can avoid a Day 1 crush of user demand.

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