Google Stadia is now available... sort of, Samurai Shodown available free for Pro subscribers

But is it though?

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • November 19, 2019 at 12:10 p.m. PST

It's a pretty rare occurrence to see a major corporate entity enter the gaming hardware space for the first time in the 21st century, yet here we are with perhaps the biggest attempt to get game streaming from the cloud into the hands of the mainstream audience.

Less than a year since it's initial reveal, Google Stadia servers are now open for business allowing players to access almost two dozen games including popular fighting game titles like Mortal Kombat 11 and Samurai Shodown — now if only it were all that simple and easy...

Google also announced yesterday that Samurai Shodown will be among the "free" offerings included with Stadia Pro at launch. We were excited at the prospect of trying out the service and SamSho day one, but through the company's muddled messaging found out that we can't play anything right now.

To be able to create a Stadia account currently, players will have needed to pre-order / order the Founder's or Premiere Edition bundles including the controller, a Chromecast Ultra and three months of Pro service.

Once that bundle ships, players will receive an invite code needed to access the Stadia mobile app where an account username can be made and games can be purchased. With that set up, those waiting for their hardware can still play games on their Chrome browsers on PC or Google Pixel devices.

Unfortunately for those not wanting to immediately drop $130 on unproven tech, most will need to wait until 2020 to create a Stadia account when the "free" version of the platform becomes available along with many of its most interesting features.

YouTube integration, Google Assistant, sharing, achievements, the ability to stream without Pro, the ability to stream without purchasing a bundle and other features are essentially missing from the launch of Stadia according to reviewers.

This leaves the vast majority of interested players living in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway sitting on the sidelines for likely at least another two months.

Google did try and help sweetening the deal of early adopting though by adding SamSho to their free list and almost double the launch lineup of games available to purchase.

The Chromecast Ultra does include an Ethernet port to avoid potential hiccups with Wi-Fi connections and likely reduce latency with reviewers being mixed upon having experiences being near flawless or essentially unplayable in poorer conditions.

We've also seen the Stadia controller get some positive attention too being described as a mix of some of the better features of PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo's current offerings combined into one.

Generic controllers are also compatible for Stadia, so fighting game players should still be able to hook up their fightstick or peripheral of choice to play titles using a USB connection and likely mix and match for local multiplayer.

Keyboards and mice can also be used while playing Stadia on PC though touch controls appear to not really be a thing for mobile usage, limiting the accessibility to carrying around a spare controller and cable to play on the go.

A handful of games available for Stadia at launch or coming early in 2020.

So, what does the launch of Google Stadia mean for fighting game fans? Well, it's the only way to play Samurai Shodown on PC or on Mobile right now since the Steam version still has no release date.

Other than that or a deep desire to play Destiny 2, Mortal Kombat 11 and SamSho anywhere with a decent internet connection, there's probably not much to appeal to most people who are skeptical of the service. It will still likely be worth looking into more, however, when the free version and additional features come in 2020.

We already have a ton of experiences with rollback netcode for online play, and now there's a whole platform built around using the technology for basically everything which Google somehow hopes will eventually equal out to something called 'negative latency.'

We suggest checking out Adam Savage's Tested YouTube channel to see their review of the Stadia service and hardware along with footage of Mortal Kombat 11 running seemingly smoothly on a phone screen. You'll find a list of the full launch line up for Stadia below.

Google Stadia Launch Titles

• Assassin's Creed Odyssey
• Destiny 2: The Collection
• Just Dance 2020
• Kine
• Mortal Kombat 11
• Red Dead Redemption 2
• Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 year Celebration
• Samurai Shodown
• Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
• Thumper
• Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
• Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle
• Farming Simulator 19
• Final Fantasy 15
• Football Manager 2020
• Metro Exodus
• NBA 2K20
• Rage 2
• Trials Rising
• Wolfenstein: Youngblood

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