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Google Stadia reveals games, iOS app: Release date, price and everything else we know

Google's eagerly anticipated cloud-gaming service is less than a week away. Here's what to expect.

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The standard white Stadia Controller.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Google has trickled out details about Stadiathe cloud-gaming platform it formally announced in March, over the course of this year, but we got its launch date of Nov. 19 at the company's annual Made by Google event. Twelve games will make the lineup for launch day, including major titles such as Assassin's Creed OdysseyMortal Kombat 11 and Red Dead Redemption 2, which has had a slew of issues since its Nov. 5 release. 

Stadia games run on powerful cloud servers, which makes it possible to stream sophisticated games to more lightweight hardware. It has been erroneously compared to services like Netflix and Apple Arcade because those are services people know and understand. In reality, it's much more like Nvidia GeForce Now and its competitors, in that it serves you games you own to play on multiple devices. Google provides the platform and tools for developers to optimize games for streaming, and the subscription aspect of it is for extra features, such as 4K and freebies.

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The lowdown

  • Both the Android app and the iOS app have landed at their respective app stores as of Nov. 13. But the service will only work on selected Google Pixel Android phones at launch, and you won't be able to do anything on iOS except "manage Stadia on other devices."
  • Google released the official Stadia launch lineup on Monday. Mortal Kombat 11, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Destiny 2 and Red Dead Redemption 2 will be some of the bigger titles available on Nov. 19. 
  • On Oct. 25, the Google Play Store began listing when Stadia preorders will ship for users. Those who ordered immediately after the June 6 Connect event are expecting delivery dates of Nov. 21-22 with standard US shipping. The fastest shipping speeds are showing Nov. 20-21. An order for the Founder's Edition placed on Oct. 7 is showing delivery dates for Dec. 3-4. Prior to the clarification, the Google Play Store simply listed "ships in November." 
  • The Stadia Founder's Edition, a limited preorder offer for $129 (£119 in the UK), has sold out globally. It included access to the service on Nov. 19, a limited-edition blue controller, a Chromecast Ultra streaming device, three months of Stadia Pro, Bungie's full Destiny 2 experience, first dibs on a username and a buddy pass that gives a friend three months to try Stadia Pro.
  • After selling out, Google replaced the Founder's Edition with Stadia Premiere Edition in both the US and Europe. For the same $129 preorder price, the Premiere Edition gives you early access and also comes with the Chromecast Ultra and three months of the Pro subscription, but includes the standard white Stadia Controller. It doesn't include a Buddy Pass and you don't get to reserve a unique Stadia Name.
  • At launch, you'll only be able to connect the wireless controller via a Chromecast Ultra; your Pixelbook Go or Pixel gaming -- supported for the Pixel 2 through Pixel 4 lines -- will have to connect the controller via wired USB. Even then, it will only work over Wi-Fi; streaming over cellular networks on your Pixel will have to wait.
  • There will be a free Stadia Base Tier for any game you purchase via Stadia at up to 1080p/60fps in stereo (at 10Mbps). Individual game prices are still TBD.
  • There will be a $9.99 monthly Stadia Pro tier, which delivers 4K/60p HDR quality (at 35Mbps) with 5.1 surround sound, free games added to your library and discounts.
  • You can test your connection to see if it's up to Stadia's requirements. You need a minimum throughput of 10Mbps -- but that's for 720p. The test doesn't report anything other than speed, so factors like latency or network jitter may complicate your experience.
  • It will come to 14 countries first, including the US, UK, Canada, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.
  • At launch it will work on laptops, desktops and Chromecast Ultra TV streaming sticks, tablets, plus Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 phones. More phones, including the iPhone, and tablets are slated for later.
  • The Stadia controller, an optional $69 (£59) accessory that will connect wirelessly to the internet in order to play games, will come in three colors: black, clearly white and wasabi (green). 

Launch games include

Other games coming in 2019 

Game publisher partners include

Originally published earlier this year.
Updates, Oct. 30: Adds Pixel 2 compatibility; Nov. 11: adds game lineup; Nov. 13: includes iOS launch.