Google revealed more details on its streaming video game service, Stadia, on Thursday.
Stadia lets players stream games instead of buying a physical copy or downloading a massive file to a gaming console. It's designed to work on a broad variety of hardware like PCs, phones and TV streaming sticks, so gamers don't need to buy extra devices. Think of it as Netflix for video games. To start, Stadia will work on a Chromecast paired with Google's own wireless video game controller.
Google said the Stadia service will cost $9.99 per month. That's less than Netflix's standard $12.99 monthly subscription and just $1 more than its basic service. For $129.99, you can get a Chromecast, controller and three months of the Stadia service. The controller alone will cost $69. You can order everything now, and the service will launch in November.
Google is providing pricing details three months after unveiling Stadia, a streaming platform that's entering a $140 billion video game industry dominated by the likes of Microsoft and Sony. Google uses its cloud infrastructure to render the gaming images so that users can play high-end games without purchasing expensive consoles or computers. Amazon is also reportedly working on a cloud gaming service.
Stadia Pro, the standard monthly subscription option, includes free games and exclusive discounts. The company said it will introduce an option next year called Stadia Base that will let users buy, keep and play games in their Chrome browser on a computer and on Google's Pixel 3 smartphones. No price has been announced for Stadia Base.
Stadia will feature 30 games from major publishers including Electronic Arts, Warner Bros., 2K and Sega. It will be available in 14 countries. However, that selection is far more limited than the hundreds of titles available on Xbox, PC or PlayStation. Google said more announcements are coming soon.