"Some news can't wait for E3," was Google's message as it announced a special Stadia Connect livestream. Google Stadia is a cloud gaming service allowing gamers to play high-quality games through something as simple as a web browser, without requiring a console or hefty PC hardware. But Google left out important information during Google Statia's announcement, including pricing, game availability, and launch details. It seems Google is now ready to share, come June 6 at 9:00 am PT.
Pricing, games, launch details and more are confirmed for the Google Stadia Connect livestream, according to Monday's announcement. This will be the first of many such livestreams, according to Google. Each livestream will feature news about upcoming Stadia games and other features. The parallels to Nintendo's Direct livestreams are clear, which is likely a positive, considering how well-received Directs are.
Expectations are going to be very high for Google going into this second announcement event, though those expectations are likely nebulous. No one knows exactly what to expect from a powerhouse like Google. Big questions to be answered include whether Stadia will feature the same subscription-style monetization of PlayStation Now, or if it'll focus on individual game sales. Stadia's latency will also be a focus, as players continue to worry about the realities of streaming fast-paced games on the modern world's at-times-struggling internet infrastructure.
Google, hosting its event prior to E3, could end up setting a tone that will persist through the convention's duration. Microsoft could make its xCloud streaming service a significant part of its Sunday keynote. Ubisoft, Bethesda and other publishers could focus on their streaming partnerships at their own events. Google could set an important bar, or it could be the only one touting technology that others aren't ready to risk much on just yet.
There's no arguing that a new generation of exciting cloud streaming services is very near. Google has already received support from Ubisoft and confirmed that Bethesda's Doom Eternal will be on its service. Those are impressive partnerships for unproven technology. PlayStation Now already exists but is likely to be pushed harder alongside the pending generational jump to the PlayStation 5. Microsoft's put a lot of investment into xCloud. It's a new type of intra-gaming competition. And Google may define initial expectations this week.
Google's Stadia Connect airs June 6 at 9:00 am PT.