What you need to know
- Google Stadia is an upcoming game streaming service.
- You pay $10 a month for "Stadia Pro" to stream at 4K resolution and 60 frames per second.
- Google says if a game is removed from the store, existing owners will be able to play it.
- However, the company didn't discuss issues involving Digital Millennium Copyright Act orders.
Google Stadia is an upcoming game streaming service. You can stream games from the company's servers to your television or mobile device. Recently, Stadia chief Phil Harrison spoke with IGN about gamers' concern that titles they've bought might be removed from the streaming service in the future due to its nature. For example, Telltale Games went out of business a few months ago, and since then their projects have been removed from many digital storefronts. Responding to the issue, Harrison said the following.
Now there may be, as we've seen in the past, times where the developer or publisher no longer has rights to sell to new players. And that means that the game will not be available to new players, but it will continue to be available to existing players.
This policy is the same as what Microsoft and Sony implement for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Even if a game can no longer be purchased, existing owners can still play it. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
Many times, games have Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) orders issued against them. A great example of this would be a title called Demons Age for consoles and PC. Even though consumers bought it in 2017, it was completely removed from Steam and other platforms due to a DMCA claim. Another company said that Demons Age stole assets from its game. Even if you bought Demons Age, you couldn't download it again. At the end of the day, Google can keep titles with expired music licenses in your library, but it can't stop a DMCA order. Only owning the game physically or having it preserved as a download, can counteract that.
Google is currently selling a Stadia Founder's Edition for $130 on its website. It gives you a controller, Chromecast Ultra, and three months of "Stadia Pro" which lets you play games at 4K resolution and 60 frames per second. The free version, "Stadia Base," is expected to launch sometime in 2020, possibly around the same time as next-generation consoles hit retailers. Stadia Pro comes with free content and discounts on select titles. It's a lot like Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus. You can buy additional games through Stadia, and with Stadia Pro, you have access to content on the platform, including Destiny 2, which is the first free title.
Game streaming for the masses
The Founder's Edition of Google Stadia offers three months of Stadia Pro and includes a Google Chromecast Ultra and Stadia controller. Whether it can live up to its potential is yet to be seen, but features like State Play and Crowd Share are intriguing.
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SteelSeries Stratus Duo ($60 at Amazon)
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