Google Stadia games will cost the same as other consoles despite ownership concerns

Stadia Controller
Stadia Controller (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Stadia is an upcoming game streaming platform which requires a $10 subscription at launch.
  • Concerns of ownership of games have been brought up since it was revealed.
  • Stadia head Phil Harrison says he doesn't know why games would be cheaper.
  • He also says that he expects Stadia versions of games to be the best despite input lag and other issues.

Updated June 29, 2019: It seems that publishers have the right to charge whatever they want for games, as Google won't tell companies to discount their "AAA" titles because they're digital and only available through a subscription service. However, it's up to publishers to determine what would be fair. Given the fact that digital games also cost $60 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, you shouldn't expect a discount due to the fact that they're streaming only on Google Stadia.

Google Stadia is an upcoming game subscription service which requires a paid subscription at launch as well as separate game purchases. Considering that there is no physical version you can own, or even a download, gamers naturally assumed that Stadia purchases would cost less. Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be the case.

Eurogamer recently caught up with Stadia head Phil Harrison who said games will cost the same as they do on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. He even questioned why they would be cheaper, ignoring the question of ownership. The following excerpt details the interaction.

'I don't know why it would be cheaper,' Harrison replied when Eurogamer asked. So, how does Stadia justify charging full-price for a video game you can only stream? By making it available to play on any screen, Harrison said. 'The value you get from the game on Stadia means you can play it on any screen in your life,' he said. 'I think that is going to be valuable to players... In theory, the Stadia version of a game is going to be at the highest possible quality of innovation and sophistication on the game engine side.'

It's unclear if Stadia versions of games will be better because of factors like input lag, network lag, video quality, video artifacts, and more. A recent comparison between early versions of Microsoft's xCloud and Stadia revealed that Stadia exhibited significantly more input lag. However, a final comparison when both launch should offer a definitive answer.

Did you expect Stadia games to be priced less? Let us know. It's unclear if the $10 a month "Stadia Pro" subscription will offer any new games at launch aside from Destiny 2: Shadowkeep. Hopefully, the company will talk more about what's included with Stadia Pro because Microsoft's xCloud is set to hit preview in October and is rumored to be part of Xbox Game Pass in some way.



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Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.