Overnight Google revealed more details of their upcoming game streaming service, Stadia. While the list of available regions includes 14 countries, the list disappointingly does not include Australia.
When the technology was announced back in March, it looked like we’d just seen the future of gaming. Internet delivered experience that avoided the need for an expensive console and even had controllers that directly communicated with cloud services.
Google hasn’t explained why the service isn’t being launched in Australia, but a likely explanation is a relatively small market that Australia represents. Australia is a country of 25 million people, but the fraction of those that are gamers is relatively small.
Further reducing the potential market for Stadia is the mix of internet speeds that Australians experience thanks to a decision to cheap out on the NBN and roll with a multi-technology mix.
Google announced their intentions early, they have plans to deliver the game streaming service at 4K 60fps quality with 5.1 surround sound. This placed significant demands on your internet connection, eating up to 35Mbps for the best experience. Like Netflix, the quality can scale based on your internet speed, but once your down to 720, you’re far better off gaming locally on a console again.
The service could use as much as 1TB of data in 65 hours, so if you’re an aggressive gamer on a data cap with your RSP, then you may also have another issue to consider.
Launching on the service is a healthy list of impressive games. Obviously, this will be added to over time, but as far as a launch lineup goes, this is pretty impressive. Here we see a great mix of game types, including some FPS and racing titles that need an immediate response, a true challenge for the streaming service.
The full launch list is:
• Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (Ubisoft)
• Borderlands 3 (2K Games)
• Darksiders: Genesis (THQ)
• Destiny 2 (Bungie)
• The Division 2 (Ubisoft)
• DOOM Eternal (Bethesda)
• Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 (Bandai Namco)
• The Elder Scrolls Online (Bethesda)
• Farming Simulator 19 (Focus Home Interactive)
• Final Fantasy 15 (Square Enix)
• Football Manager 2020 (Sega)
• Get Packed (Codesink)
• Ghost Recon Breakpoint (Ubisoft)
• GRID (Codemasters)
• Gylt (Tequila Works)
• Just Dance 2020 (Ubisoft)
• Metro Exodus (4A Games, Deep Silver)
• Mortal Kombat 11 (WB Games)
• NBA 2K (2K Games)
• Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid (Lionsgate Games)
• Rage 2 (Bethesda)
• Samurai Shodown
• Thumper (Drool)
• The Crew 2 (Ubisoft)
• Trials Rising (Ubisoft)
• Tomb Raider, Rise of the Tomb Raider & Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Square Enix)
• Wolfenstein: Youngblood (Bethesda)
Stadia will launch with 2 different tiers – Stadia Base and Stadia Pro subscriptions. Google Stadia Pro Subscription will cost you US$9.99 per month.
If you want to get in at the start, you’ll buy Google Stadia Founder’s edition, for US$129.99. This includes a Chromecast Ultra, limited edition controller, 3-month Stadia Pro subscription and first dibs on a username.
Google’s Stadia Base plan is not coming until 2020, which may be Australia’s best chance at seeing the service. We hope and wait Google.