Google Stadia $130

Streaming service enters gaming fray

Google’s gambit on the supposed future of video games arrives in less than a month.

Everyone who preordered the Founder’s Edition of the company’s Stadia streaming service will receive a controller on Nov. 19.

Technically demanding games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Mortal Kombat 11 will be ready to play off your computer’s browser by 11 a.m. that day.

A subscription to the service costs $9.99 a month, but players who preordered the Founder’s or Premiere editions of the console will have three months of Stadia Pro.

Google’s new Stadia service will let you play video games without downloading them. Using the included Chromecast Ultra and Stadia controller, the console is promising games with 4K HDR images projected on a capable TV, John Justice, Stadia’s vice president of product, wrote in a blog post.

“It’s kind of like streaming music or TV shows,” boasts the Stadia “How it works” trailer on YouTube.

The only other tool you would need is the Stadia app, to connect the controller to the TV. Cloud-based computing is meant to lower the barrier of entry for console-quality, high-definition gaming by reducing the spending for consumers. Higher end consoles like Xbox One X ($499) and PlayStation 4 Pro ($399) retail for significantly more than Stadia’s buy-in price.

Both consoles struggle to hit 4K resolution images, but skeptics say broadband capabilities may not be able to support the high-end streaming of which Google boasts, either.

The controller is also able to connect to browsers on your laptop, desktop computer or smartphone to stream the same games.

Gaming site IGN has a full list of confirmed Stadia games, including highly anticipated titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Doom Eternal.

In a video presentation at the Made By Google event in New York City, senior industrial designer Jason Pi said the controller’s ergonomics were inspired by the handles on kitchen knives. “We literally took a knife handle and bent it. And then we thought, we’re on to something.”

Google’s entry crowds an already competitive market around cloud-gaming. Sony has been aggressively marketing it’s PlayStation Now service, which claims more than 700,000 subscribers but is available only on PlayStation 4 consoles and the PC.