Google says Stadia is not Netflix for games, more like Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus

Google Stadia controller individual purchase available now

On Thursday, Google hosted an AMA on the Stadia Reddit where people were given an opportunity to ask the Director of Product Andrey Doronichev questions they have about the platform. The result was a more defined look at the upcoming cloud gaming service as well as a few new nuggets of information.

One of the first questions addressed by Doronichev was one about free-to-play games on Stadia. As it stands, we know that players will be able to access a library of games via the Stadia Pro subscription and by individual purchases. Eventually, gamers will be able to access Uplay Plus, as well. Doronichev said there’s nothing that can be announced regarding free-to-play games but he hopes to announce some in the next few months. He also addresses Stadia being called the “Netflix of gaming.”

“To be clear, Stadia Pro is not ‘Netflix for games’ like some people have mentioned,” he said. “A closer comparison would be like Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus. The Pro subscribers get 4K/HDR streaming, 5.1 sound, exclusive discounts and access to some free games. Roughly one free game per month give or take.”

Doronichev elaborated on the benefits of developing for Google Stadia during the Reddit AMA, as well. In response to a question about what feature will move the needle the most for Stadia, he had this to say:

“I think the biggest is the fact that game developers don’t have to limit their creativity to whatever fits in a little black box under your TV,” he said. “Since games will be running in the Cloud, we expect to see new games at scale never seen before. I can’t wait to see what that community can do with the power of this new architecture. I also think game design will evolve to accommodate for gamers accessing games anytime and on any device.”

Google elected to launch the Stadia platform without hosting a beta testing phase, so curious gamers will be going in fairly blind this fall. There are elements that haven’t been shown publicly and one of Doronichev’s responses reinforced that Google is keeping things under wraps right up until launch. When asked about when the world will be able to see the user inferace, Doronichev responded that we’ll be able to see it in November once Stadia launches.

“For now you have to trust me — it’s looking good,” he said.

Addressing something brought up in our list of five Stadia questions Google should answer, Doronichev addressed Stadia coming to mobile devices other than the Google Pixel 3. 

“We’re aiming to get more devices supported next year. I really want to have Stadia gameplay on every mobile device, across Android and iOS at some point. But it’s a hard technical challenge and will take us time. Just need to start somewhere. So we’re starting with the device we know the best and can provide an optimal experience — our latest Pixel phones.”

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