I know I am writing a lot about Google Stadia lately and I swear I am not intentionally trying to dump on the upcoming game streaming service. However, comments from Phil Harrison, the head honcho of Stadia, indicate that you will be paying the same price for games as you would on the latest PlayStation or Xbox consoles.
“I don’t know why it would be cheaper,” said Harrison after Eurogamer approached him about the cost of games on Google Stadia.
The pricing of Stadia may seem a bit confusing to those who are unfamiliar with the service. Stadia Pro launches later this year and will cost $9.99 USD per month. For that you get streaming quality up to 4K resolution, access to a small library of video games and some exclusive sales. Next year Stadia Base will launch which will be free and limit game streaming to 1080p resolution. In both cases you will still have to purchase the majority of your video games from Google’s online store.
This means that if you want to play Borderlands 3 on Stadia when the game is first released, you will pay about $59.99 USD. If you are okay with 1080p resolution then you will not have to pay anymore beyond the price of the game. If you want to play it in 4K resolution then you pay the monthly $9.99 fee on top of what you paid for the game itself. Google Stadia is strictly a streaming service so there will be no option to download titles for offline play.
To be fair, there will likely be periodic game sales from the Stadia store just like we see from all of the major game distribution platforms.
Google justifies the price of their service by pointing out the convenience of being able to play your games on any screen. “”The value you get from the game on Stadia means you can play it on any screen in your life – TV, PC, laptop, tablet, phone,” said Harrison. He also pointed out that game developers and publishers will also have a lot of leeway with setting prices. “The publisher or the developer is in as much control of the prices as we are, so it’s a bit difficult for me to say what the prices will be right now.”