Judging from their GDC press conference today, it looks like Stadia could be a legitimate gaming platform if somewhat ahead of its time. Whether the platform can provide serious competition to Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft will largely depend on Google’s commitment to the industry. Google does have one advantage over Sony and Microsoft though – you will be able to play games on Stadia this year while the next generation of consoles is at least a year or two away.
To be fair, a 2019 launch is still very vague as we are barely three months into this year. My guess is that Stadia will officially launch between September and December of this year. My speculation is based on the fact that Google themselves will wait to announce games for the service until this summer – possibly at E3. As impressive as today’s conference may have been, we mostly saw one game – Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey – which was available to a select few during last year’s Project Stream test. I would also guess that there will be a public beta before the platform is officially launched so yeah – a Q4 release date looks likely to me.
It is also worth noting that Stadia will have a staggered launch. The United States, Canada and the UK will be the first markets to receive the service and Google will steadily expand its platform into other countries. We will be sure to update you with a release date and controller availability as soon as these details are announced.