While Google Stadia may offer a premium subscription for higher definition gaming, don't expect the price of entry for each game to be any cheaper in exchange. Whether you access Stadia through the free or premium subscription, a new video game will cost you the same as other platforms, according to Stadia head Phil Harrison.
In a roundtable interview, Harrison said games will cost the same on Stadia as they do on consoles like Xbox One and PlayStation 4. When asked by Eurogamer why that is, he responded "I don't know why it would be cheaper."
When pressed further about the comparative value to a physical game, Harrison cited availability as a metric of value. "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," said Harrison. "I think that is going to be valuable to players."
When asked about firm prices though, Harrison referred to the game publishers and developers. "The publisher or the developer is in as much control of the prices as we are, so it's a bit difficult for me to say what the prices will be right now," said Harrison. "But, we're obviously going to be very aware of prevailing prices in the marketplace."
Despite Stadia launching with a premium subscription service and only offering streaming access, rather than any physical or offline access to digitally downloaded content, it does raise a question of value disparity. Whether Stadia can truly deliver an experience considered better than downloading a game or buying it outright is a big question mark. Many are already concerned about issues of latency and data caps, both of which make Stadia a much less attractive investment than a traditional games console.