[Updated on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at 12:05 PM]Less than two months after its launch on November 19, Google’s cloud gaming platform, Stadia, is struggling to convince. The Forbes site thus reveals that the number of players of Destiny 2, the first game offered to subscribers, has been halved. There were 19,400 playing at the end of November. There are only 8,020 at the beginning of the year. A drop of nearly 60%, which the American site attributes to the platform’s lack of competitiveness, in terms of gaming performance, compared with conventional consoles. There are more than 400,000 players on Playstation and nearly 300,000 on Xbox.
The bottom line:Google has decided to be commercially aggressive in order to establish itself as an outsider in this sector. The group is offering a Founder’s Edition package that includes the Stadia blue limited edition controller, a Chromecast Ultra, the Destiny 2 game and a three-month subscription to Stadia Pro (with a three-month Buddy Pass to give to a friend). All for the sum of 129 euros. The pack, available for pre-order on the Stadia.com website, is offered in limited quantities. The launch takes place on 19 November in 14 countries, including France. Two subscription formulas are also available:
- A free Stadia Base subscription with 1080p resolution and the need to pay per game to play it.
- A paying subscription Stadia Pro proposed at 9.99 euros per month which will allow you to have a 4K and 60 FPS image. Some games are included in the pack but you will have to pay to enjoy the latest ones.
The Stadia Base offer, which will not be deployed until 2020, seems to be truly laying the foundations for the cloud gaming revolution. Once deployed, a user will be able to play any Stadia-compatible game from his TV or Chrome, without having to take out a subscription. Simply by paying the price of the digital version.
As Google is not necessarily known for its gaming positioning, the company has to be commercially aggressive to make its mark in the sector. This is the case with its package called Founder Edition, which includes the Stadia controller in limited blue edition, a Chromecast Ultra, the game Destiny 2 and a three-month subscription to Stadia Pro (with the possibility to reserve your Stadia nickname and invite a friend). All for the sum of 129 euros. The pack, which is available for pre-order on the Stadia.com website, is offered in limited quantities. Google then offers two formulas. The first, called Stadia Pro, gives access to certain games for 9.99 euros per month However, you will have to pay to take advantage of the latest ones. The second formula, Stadia Base, is free. The subscriber is however limited to 1080p while Stadia Pro members can play up to 4K and 60 frames per second. He must also pay for each title in the catalogue he wants to play. This formula will not be available before 2020.
The platform will eventually offer 31 games. The beta version allowed to play a game, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey which will be well available on Google Stadia The choice of Ubisoft as its first partner is not insignificant in this respect. It is the only major studio that has not signed any alliance with a console manufacturer. Doom Eternal as already announced, but also the last three opus of the Tomb Raider saga are available. Stadia Connect provided the opportunity to discover the cinematics of games such as Get Pack, which will be available in 2020, and Tom Clancy’s the Division 2. The first list of games, unveiled by Google in mid-November, had worried fans about its thinness. Barely 12 tracks for a launch, that’s not much! Even if we could find beautiful references such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Red Dead Redemption 2 or Gylt (developed exclusively for Stadia). Google decided to make the right move the day before the launch of its cloud gaming platform. The Mountain View firm has just added, at the last minute, 10 new games, some of which were rather expected for 2020. Here again, nice references like Final Fantasy XV, Football Manager 2020, NBA 2K20 or Wolfenstein : Youngblood. Google has also decided to bring forward the release of Ghost Recon: Breakpoint at the end of 2019. Note that two of them, Samurai Showdown and Destiny 2, will be offered free of charge to Stadia Pro subscribers
Discussions will be more difficult with the other actors. Notably Epic Games at the origin of Fortnite’s worldwide success, which still refuses to allow the Android version of its game to be accessible from the Google Play Store. Or Electronic Arts publishers of franchises such as Battlefield or Fifa, which unveiled its own cloud gaming platform, Atlas, at the end of October. And since you’re never better served than by yourself, the group also announced the launch of Stadia Games and Entertainment, its very first video game studio. The business is headed by Jade Raymond, one of the stars of the industry, who has worked with Ubisoft and EA Sports. Jade Raymond, who took the stage at the keynote presentation in March, explained that her team will also work with developers from around the world to bring innovative third-party games to the platform.
Stadia is launched on November 19, 2019 in 14 countries : United States Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States Other countries are expected to follow in 2020.
On the Web, interested Internet users must have a good internet connection and an updated version of Chrome to be able to take advantage of Google’s platform. The latter requires a streaming capacity of around 10 Mb/s for download and 1 Mb/s for upload. However, a capacity of 35 Mb/s is required to enjoy the most complete 4K experience. The latency should be less than 40 ms. Google promises the same level of latency as the XBox One S. The use of Chromecast will allow the user to play on his TV screen. The release of Stadia is accompanied by the launch of a new feature called State Share that will allow a player to propose to those who follow him live to replicate the experience he is living by sharing identifiers that will allow them to achieve the same course as him. A way, for example, to challenge them to beat his record. The use of a Chromecast is also necessary to be able to play on your TV.
A patent filed by the Mountain View company allowed to discover a controller that looked a bit like the PS4, on which we noticed the presence of a button dedicated to the Google voice assistant. The trade press was right, Google has indeed unveiled its first home-made controller. This Stadia controller has a share button and a special Google Assistant button. This allows the user to use Google’s made in Google AI to take advantage of specific features. But Google has also announced that all USB HID-compatible controllers will eventually be supported by Stadia. This means that Sony DualShock 3 and 4 for Playstation, Xbox Controllers and Switch Controllers are compatible with the service. Please note that to play with a Chromecast, users will have to use the Stadia controller. The latter in fact directly integrates the WiFi connection required with the service to control the video game