Rumors began circulating about Google’s game streaming service more than a year ago, and the company began actively testing its technology publicly with Project Stream in late 2018. Project Stream became Stadia earlier this year, and it’s finally set to launch. Google has been talking about games that will come to Stadia at some point, but now we have the full launch lineup. It’ll be just 12 games.
Stadia is similar to GeForce Now and Microsoft’s upcoming xCloud service. Instead of downloading a game or buying a physical copy, Stadia renders the games on a Google server and streams the video down to your devices. Companies have been trying to figure this out for almost a decade, ever since OnLive began offering cloud gaming services in 2010.
Internet access has gotten faster, but many of the fundamental issues with game streaming remain. Google might have a shot at addressing them, though. Google has massive server infrastructure, allowing it to provide low-latency streams to more locations. It also designed a custom Stadia controller that connects directly to the internet instead of bouncing through a local wireless connection like Bluetooth. Stadia plugs into Chromecasts streaming games on TVs, and many households already have one of those plugged in.
Even if Stadia works perfectly, it won’t matter if it lacks content. The initial launch lineup has a little of everything, but the emphasis is on little. Here’s the list of games you’ll be able to buy on November 19th.
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
- Destiny 2: The Collection
- Just Dance 2020
- Mortal Kombat 11
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Rise of the Tomb Raider
- SAMURAI SHODOWN
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
- Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
Google has, of course, announced other games for Stadia. Anything previously announced like Darksiders Genesis and Borderlands 3 will come later. Google promises the latter will launch on Stadia in 2019 along with more titles like Rage 2, Grid, and Metro Exodus.
Stadia launches on November 19th exclusively for players who ordered the Founder’s Edition starter kit. That comes with three months of Stadia Pro ($ 10 per month after), a limited edition controller, a Chromecast Ultra, and a copy of Destiny 2. The base version of Stadia, which lacks 4K support will be available early next year. That one doesn’t include a monthly fee, but you still have to pay for the games.