The main draw of the Google Stadia game streaming platform is that it can deliver triple-A gaming experiences, no matter where you are, over the internet with very little lag.
‘Gaming on every screen you have’ would be the paraphrased slogan, but at launch, that promise will be a lot more limited than many will have expected.
An extensive update to the Google Stadia FAQ page has revealed that only a very select number of phones will support the streaming service when it launches in November 2019.
If you’re the owner of a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3a (that’s all variants, including Pixel 3a XL and Pixel 3XL) phones, or a tablet running Chrome OS, you’re fine. But anything else, including iPhone, and you’ll be out of luck at launch.
However, purchasing or managing content can be done with any device running iOS 11 or Android M or higher on both platforms.
How do you like them Apples?
If you’re an Apple die-hard, it’ll be disappointing news. A large part of the appeal of Stadia is the ability to play your games on the go, picking up in an instant where you left off with on your TV. But at present there’s no indication as to when iOS users will get access to game streaming features on their devices.
The FAQ did also share some more positive news however. Stadia will support four-player couch-co-op sessions for starters, with four Stadia controllers working in tandem. Though it uses Bluetooth Low Energy for set-up and Wi-Fi for gameplay, those controllers can also hook up over USB-C if required, too.
Also, should a title you have purchased ever be removed from the Stadia catalogue, Google has pledged to make it available forever to those that bought it through the service. Should you want to gift a code to a game, Stadia will also send redemption codes to an email address of your choosing, to be redeemed on whichever Google Stadia account that you please.
As we’re drawing closer to launch then, Google Stadia’s possibilities and limitations are coming into clearer focus. Apple users may be left out in the cold initially, which will give the Cupertino company’s Apple Arcade subscription service an opportunity to make some headway, too.