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Google Stadia Games Won't be Discounted

(Image credit: Google)

Anyone expecting games to be cheaper via Google Stadia, the upcoming streaming platform, was sorely mistaken. Eurogamer reported yesterday that games sold via the platform will be priced the same as their counterparts on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the like.

Stadia chief Phil Harrison even told Eurogamer that "I don't know why it would be cheaper." He also said that Stadia makes games available on pretty much every device someone own (once it expands beyond the Chromecast Ultra, to which it's limited at launch) so paying full price for a title should actually offer more value than it would if it had been purchased on a different platform.

But pricing games (and other media) has been complicated ever since digital platforms rose to prominence. Should people have to pay the same price for a digital copy of a game that they would for a copy that was burned onto a disc, encased in a plastic shell, and shipped to retailers so it could sit on a shelf? It seems weird for a digital version of something to cost the same as a physical one.

Yet both copies have their own costs built in. Physical versions require a lot more work to produce, sure, but digital versions are often distributed via marketplaces whose operators take a sizable portion of the purchase for themselves. (Many have settled on 30% but some platforms, like the Epic Games Store, take a smaller cut.) Publishers are often getting just $42 when someone buys a $60 game.

This is the first we've seen of individual game prices on Stadia, on top of the $9.99 per month subscription fee with up to 4K streaming, HDR, 60 fps game play and surround sound, depending on your internet connection. The Stadia Founder's Edition, for $129, will come with a Chromecast Ultra, three months of Stadia Pro and a limited edition night blue controller.

  • digitalgriffin
    Well then that will just be the death of the platform.
    TCO will be higher by time you pay $10/month for streaming.
    You can no longer access game when you cancel subscription.
    AAA Gaming on small devices just isn't viable with the same kind of quality. (WiFi Bandwidth limits & lag)
    AAA Gaming on portable devices may not be viable due to missing gamepad/keyboard/mouse.At least with XBox Live I had an option to play games locally offline. I swear executives just aren't thinking these days.
    Reply
  • AlistairAB
    digitalgriffin said:
    Well then that will just be the death of the platform.
    TCO will be higher by time you pay $10/month for streaming.
    You can no longer access game when you cancel subscription.
    AAA Gaming on small devices just isn't viable with the same kind of quality. (WiFi Bandwidth limits & lag)
    AAA Gaming on portable devices may not be viable due to missing gamepad/keyboard/mouse.At least with XBox Live I had an option to play games locally offline. I swear executives just aren't thinking these days.

    Wait, does this work differently than nVidia's service? If I buy a game on Steam, can't I use it on my home computer and Stadia with no extra cost? nVidia's system allows you to install your home Steam copies.
    Reply
  • hannibal
    Actually you can play the game even if you cancel subscription. You just don´t get 4K stream.
    This is very sensible if you don´t have Gaming Computer. You essentially ”rent” rendering power that you don`t own. Very good to gamers that play on their TV, phone, or other weaker mobile device. This is not to PC master race gamers, we have good rendering power without Stadia ;)
    Reply
  • digitalgriffin
    hannibal said:
    Actually you can play the game even if you cancel subscription. You just don´t get 4K stream.
    This is very sensible if you don´t have Gaming Computer. You essentially ”rent” rendering power that you don`t own. Very good to gamers that play on their TV, phone, or other weaker mobile device. This is not to PC master race gamers, we have good rendering power without Stadia ;)

    I was under the impression Google will hold your library. How can you download a game locally for PC play if they have the code on the cloud alone? Or am I mistaken?
    Reply
  • atomicWAR
    AlistairAB said:
    Wait, does this work differently than nVidia's service? If I buy a game on Steam, can't I use it on my home computer and Stadia with no extra cost? nVidia's system allows you to install your home Steam copies.

    Everything I have read points to no. You have to buy a stadia game to play on stadia. Your Steam games do not get transferred over/streamed to you. So Nvidia's set up is better in that you get a steam copy for offline play and a streamable copy on their servers for device streaming.
    Reply
  • atomicWAR
    digitalgriffin said:
    I was under the impression Google will hold your library. How can you download a game locally for PC play if they have the code on the cloud alone? Or am I mistaken?

    No you can't download a game no but the free version of Stadia allows for 1080P 60 FPS 5.1 gaming. You just lose the ability to stream 4K60 FPS 5.1 if you go with the free version.
    Reply
  • hannibal
    Yep... that above is the deal. Still only good to those that don´t allready have good Gaming rig. If you don´t have good Gaming Computer or console, this can be a cheap way of playing games if your net is good enough.
    Basically how Google is making money Are game selling income (30%?) like in Steam and the income that comes from those who want to stream 4K content.
    Not sure how this is economically sensible. Those rendering GPUs and cpus that Are used to render those games cost a lot of money. Maybe google use that computing power to other usage when They Are not used in Gaming. That would make Sense! Otherwice it is a big risk!
    Reply