The Google subscription service will work a bit like Netflix or Disney Plus, where you stream games to your mobile device, computer or TV, where all heavy processing takes place online. If you have purchased the Stadia Founder or the Stadia Premiere bundle, you will have access to the launch day service, along with a free three-month trial period for the Stadia Pro subscription, a limited-edition controller and a Chromecast Ultra streaming device .
As we got closer to November 19 launch day, Google started talking about when you can play exactly, on which devices you can play and which games are available when Stages goes live. This is what we know about playing Google Stages.
What do I need to play on November 19?
If you have reserved the Founder & # 39; s Edition or Premiere Edition, you may be able to play when the game service is opened on November 19th. at 9 p.m. PT: Google said it sends the Founder and Premiere editions based on who comes first, first served, with the first shipments leaving the warehouse on November 18. You don't need this to play, and more about that below.
Back to the physical package that you get at your door, delivery times may vary depending on when you placed your order, in some cases after November 19. When CNET personnel checked the estimated delivery dates for their orders earlier this month, estimated delivery dates ranged from November 21 to December 4.
The good news is that you don't need your bundle to play. On the day that Google sends your order, you will receive an email with an invitation code that you can use to create your account and reserve your name in the Android app or iOS app. You also use the Stadia app to purchase games.
Once set up, you can play Stadium games on your Pixel phone or in your Chrome browser while waiting for your limited-edition controller and Chromecast Ultra streaming device.
Can I still order the Stadia Premiere bundle?
Google still has the Premiere bundle available for in-store ordering. The founder's bundle was sold out earlier this year.
Which devices work with Google Stages?
For mobile devices, you can play on Pixel 2, Pixel 3, Pixel 3a and Pixel 4 phones and tablets from Google with Chrome OS. Google said it wants to expand Stages to iOS and other Android devices next year.
You can also play in the Chrome browser on a computer and you can use a USB cable to connect a non-Stage controller to your mobile device or computer to play.
If you want to play on your TV at launch, you must use the Stadia Controller and Google Chromecast Ultra ($ 69 at Walmart) that comes with your order: which includes Stage-specific Chromecast Ultra firmware for the Stadia controller. Google said shortly after launch that it will push a wireless firmware update to non-Stages Chromecast Ultras so that they can also work with the Stages Controller.
What if I have not purchased the Founder & # 39; s or Premiere edition?
If you didn't pop for the $ 129 Founder & # 39; s or Premiere bundle, you'll have to wait until next year when you can play at the Stages Free basic level, where you purchase individual games while playing.
Which games are available at the launch?
Google initially said that Stadiums would play a dozen games on November 19:
But two days before launch, Google announced another 10:
Prizes range from $ 10 to $ 100 per game, with many in the $ 50 to $ 60. In addition to the 22 games that are coming out now, Google said there are four more games available by the end of the year. Google said you have 14 days after purchase to get a refund for Stages games that you've played for less than two hours.
For more information about Google Stages, see how it relates to Apple & # 39; s Arcade game service and how Stages relates to other cloud gaming services.