Google Stadia games will cost the same as full-price console titles (even if they're only streamed)

(Image credit: Google)

The fact that Google Stadia, the game streaming service from the search giant, will work over your internet connection and not require a traditional console, has led some to speculate that the price of its games may be notably cheaper than those you'd buy for other platforms. 

After all, to get the high-res, 4K versions of the games, you're going to already need to be paying out for a pricey internet connection, and a premium subscription to the Google Stadia service itself. The fact that the most sought-after releases will cost an additional fee may irk some. (A free version of Stadia will run from 2020, but will limit players to 1080p resolution, and won't offer the 'comes-with-the-subscription' library of games that the 'Pro' edition offers.)

But in response to a question from Eurogamer, querying if Stadia's paid-for games would be any cheaper as a result of the above factors, Stadia chief Phil Harrison replied: "I don't know why it would be cheaper."

Anytime, anywhere

For Harrison, it seems, the benefit of paying full price for a version of a game on Stadia, as opposed to on any other platform, is the accessibility it offers.

"The value you get from the game on Stadia means you can play it on any screen in your life – TV, PC, laptop, tablet, phone," 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 a time of great change for the industry, Harrison indicates, and player spending habits are shifting in a post-Netflix world. But the Stadia team also recognizes that, during this transitional period that's headed towards a digital-only gaming landscape, choice must be offered to both gamers and publishers.

"Not every developer and publisher is ready to move to subscription yet," he added. 

"Frankly, not every gamer is ready to move to subscription yet. So we wanted to give gamers a choice so they could engage in the games they wanted in the way they wanted – and in all cases, without the very high upfront cost of buying a sophisticated device to put under their TV or on their desk."

It's a fascinating interview, and we'd urge you to read the whole thing over at Eurogamer.

Google Stadia will launch in November 2019, with Stadia Pro subscriptions costing $9.99 / £8.99 (about AU$14) a month, and requiring a 35Mbps internet connection to hit those full 4K HDR/60fps highs.

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.