Google Stadia: the compatible phones


  • TECH
  • Monday, 10 Jun 2019

The Google Pixel 3a launched in May 2019 at US$399 (RM1,661). — AFP Relaxnews

Google's cloud gaming service Stadia is launching in November, but the Internet and ad giant's intention is to roll it out slowly, and a Pixel 3 and 3a requirement will play a role in how the service is made available.

Google is making the rollout gradual through a couple of strategies:

Firstly, by restricting access in November to owners of the US$129 (RM537) Founder's Edition.

The package includes a controller (usually US$69/RM287), Google Chromecast Ultra (US$59/RM246) for streaming to a TV, and three months of a US$9.99 (RM41.59) per month Stadia Pro subscription.

The subscription includes access to complimentary games as well as a catalog of titles available for purchase. Graphical resolution goes up to 4k and audio to 5.1 Surround Sound at 35 Mb/s or more of Internet bandwidth.

(A free Stadia Base tier has been announced for 2020, capped at 1080p and stereo sound.)

A second limiting measure relates to mobile streaming.

Those that want to use a mobile device instead of a TV as their Stadia screen will find that compatibility is initially limited to Google's Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a handset ranges.

Those lines will have only been available for a year once Stadia debuts: the Pixel 3 launched late 2018 for US$799 (RM3,327) – US$899 (RM3,743) for the Pixel 3 XL – with the less powerful but slightly lighter and larger 3a launching in May 2019 for US$399 (RM1,661) – US$479 (RM1,994) for the 3a XL.

For comparison, dedicated game consoles start at US$249 (RM1,037) for the Xbox One (US$399 for the Xbox One X), with the Nintendo Switch and standard PlayStation 4 at US$299 (RM1,245) – or US$399 for the PlayStation 4 Pro.

PlayStation and Xbox both offer leading game subscription bundles, with PlayStation Plus at US$9.99 (RM41.59) per month (less when bought in six-month or year packages) and the Xbox Game Pass likewise at US$9.99. Online multiplayer access for the Xbox One costs an extra US$9.99 per month (again, less when bought in bulk).

PlayStation already has online streaming service PlayStation Now in place, for an additional US$9.99 per month, while Xbox is preparing Project xCloud for introduction this year.

Dedicated games consoles don't have the versatility of a phone, so Apple's upcoming Apple Arcade might be a better comparison.

Featuring a curated, rotating roster of games, Arcade titles are downloaded rather than streamed over the net.

However, the service's price is not yet confirmed, though it's likely launching when iOS 13 does, anticipated for September 2019.

Apple has already confirmed that iOS 13 will support iPhone 6S and up, and while Apple has dropped the 6 range from its online catalog, a new iPhone 7 retails for US$449 (RM1,869). – AFP Relaxnews
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