Google Stadia, the forthcoming game streaming service, promises to change the gaming landscape, by offering fast access to a growing cloud library of tiles. Microsoft’s Project xCloud will too offer cloud-based cross-platform play, only with an Xbox One at the centre of its gaming universe.
With both platforms offering a similar play-anywhere experience, and even some of the same titles, how exactly do Google Stadia and Project xCloud services differ?
Google Stadia vs Project xCloud prices – how much are they?
Google Stadia Pro subscriptions will cost £8.99 a month when the service first goes online, giving you access to games in 4K Ultra HD, as well as a library of older tiles.
In 2020, Google Stadia Base – a lower, free tier which gives you access to games in Full HD only – will launch. In addition to locking the resolution to 1920 x 1080, Google Stadia Base will see you having to pay for ‘older’ titles individually.
Prices for Project xCloud have still yet to be detailed, but Microsoft says that Xbox One owners will be able to use their consoles are free virtual servers. While remote access to titles you already own will be a standard Xbox One feature, it is unclear if non-console owners will be able to set up an xCloud account.
Presumably, Xbox Game Pass (£7.99 a month) and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (£10.99 a month) subscribers will be able to tap into virtual libraries of titles on the go with xCloud as well – this has not been explicitly confirmed.
Google Stadia vs Project xCloud release dates – when are they coming out?
Google Stadia is due to launch in a number of countries including the UK, the United States, and Canada in November 2019.
Project xCloud goes into preview in October 2019 and it will available in places covered by Microsoft’s Azure CDN footprint, which currently includes the UK, France, Germany, South Africa, India, Singapore, China, Korea, Japan, Australia, the U.S., Canada, and Brazil.
Google Stadia vs Project xCloud games – what can I play?
Google Stadia essentially streams PC games to devices, while Project xCloud is a remote Xbox One service.
You should therefore expect to be able to play PC and Xbox games from the upcoming gen, as well as classic titles from more recent generations on both platforms.
As Project xCloud will let you stream your Xbox One library remotely, there are no launch titles per se, though eventually the prospect of being able to play Cyberpunk 2077 and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will appeal.
Kareem Choudhry, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of cloud gaming, said ahead of E3: “Today you can play three generations of amazing games on Xbox One. That means that Project xCloud has the technical capability to stream more than 3,500 games, without any changes or modifications required by a developer.”
Inevitably, there is going to be some overlap. For example, Google proudly demoed The Division 2 running rather nicely on Stadia during at the launch event. Guess what? You can play The Division 2 on Xbox One – and therefore xCloud – as well.
Google Stadia vs Project xCloud specs, features and requirements – what do I need?
System requirements for Google Stadia have yet to be revealed, but in terms of phones, Stadia will be limited to Google Pixel devices – at least until 2020.
In terms of bandwidth, you’ll need at least 20Mbps in order to play games in 1080p Full HD resolution, while around 30Mbps is the recommended minimum amount of bandwidth for 4K Ultra HD streams.
The absolute minimum amount of bandwidth Google recommends for Stadia is 10Mbps.
Device and bandwidth requirements for Project xCloud have yet to be revealed.
Trusted Reviews will be at E3 2019 covering all big announcements from major publishers like Xbox, Google, Square Enix, Bethesda and more. Be sure to keep it locked to our gaming section for all the latest news.