Google said today that it’s on track to bring more than 120 games to its cloud gaming service Stadia in 2020 and is planning to offer more than 10 Stadia-exclusive games for the first half of the year. That would be a pretty massive jump from the 26 games and one exclusive that are currently available, and all in a little more than a year after the service’s launch, if those projections hold true. Previously, Google had only explicitly confirmed four games for 2020, so this news was much needed to let early adopters know there are a a lot more games on the way.
Google also announced other updates rolling out to Stadia over the next three months, including 4K gaming on the web, support for more Android phones (it’s currently only available on Google’s Pixels), wireless gameplay on the web through the Stadia controller (you currently have to plug in a cable), and “further [Google] Assistant functionality ”when playing Stadia through a browser.
We’re asking Google for more details – and we’re particularly curious whether any of the new exclusive games are the kind that are only possible with the power of the cloud. The company said in October that it’s building out a few first-party studios to eventually make that a reality.
You probably shouldn’t get too excited about 4K on the web because we’ve already seen that 4K on Stadia doesn’t necessarily mean 4K. The stream is 4K, but some games like Destiny 2 are actually running at a much lower 1080p. And to even get that 4K stream, you have to pay a monthly fee for Stadia Pro, as opposed to the free tier that Google has promised to launch where you’ll only have to pay for games. Still, Google’s “4K” tier is definitely higher quality than Google’s “1080p” tier, and should make games like Destiny 2 look less fuzzy on the web.
Also, while it’s nice that you’ll soon be able to use a Stadia controller wirelessly when you’re playing over the web, there’s still no word on when you’ll be able to use that controller wirelessly with your phone. Perhaps that’s further away. Third-party controllers like Sony’s DualShock 4 and the Bluetooth-enabled versions of Microsoft’s Xbox One gamepad already work wirelessly, though.
There’s still a lot that’s missing from Stadia that was promised, even after these announcements. Google didn’t mention that upcoming Stadia free tier in today’s blog post at all, which we last heard was supposed to open up sometime in 2020. And today’s blog also doesn’t say anything about iOS support, so it’s probably safe to say these cloud games aren’t coming to your iPhone or iPad anytime over the next three months.