Google Stadia and Apple Arcade: comparison and features

In the battle to conquer the world of video games, two super powers like Google and Apple have taken the field. These two companies, which have been dominating the technology sector for years with their applications and devices, have respectively created Google Stadia and Apple Arcade. Two online gaming services that could change the rules of the video game world forever.

Until now, the video game universe has been dominated by Sony and Microsoft with their consoles: PlayStation and Xbox. But Google and Apple want to change the rules of the game. The two hi-tech companies, in fact, bet more on the gaming platform than on the hardware used to play. The platforms are precisely Google Stadia and Apple Arcade, which were both presented to the public in March 2019.

Since we are talking about video games, in this article we want to present you a real challenge that will see Google Stadia vs Apple Arcade facing each other. We'll find out what these platforms are, we'll see their features, we'll try to find out when they're scheduled to be released in Italy, we'll unveil the titles of the games they'll make available to gamers and finally we'll find out what the prices of these novelties will be. Who will win between Google Stadia and Apple Arcade?

Google Stadia: features, games, price and release in Italy

The first contender to come down in our arena is Google Stadia, the streaming gaming service made by the most famous search engine, namely Google. It was officially presented on March 19 of this year. It is considered by many to be perhaps the most revolutionary of the innovations released by the Mountain View company in recent years. Il suo nome deriva dal latino Stadium, proprio per richiamare lo stadio, il luogo dove si può giocare ma anche guardare una partita tra diversi giocatori. Questa piattaforma, infatti, è stata studiata sia per chi vuole giocare sia per chi vuole vedere gli altri che giocano.

L’idea di Big G. è quella di offrire un servizio accessibile da qualsiasi device: PC, smartphone, tablet e da televisori con Chromecast. Inoltre, l’Instant Play permetterà a chi guarda il trailer di un videogioco su YouTube, semplicemente premendo il pulsante Play, di trovarsi all’interno del gioco. Tutti i suoi videogame saranno disponibili in streaming, un po’ come avviene su Netflix. Per il mondo dei videogame si tratta di una novità assoluta. Per avere un’esperienza di gioco di alto livello non sarà più necessario possedere una console.

Come funziona Google Stadia

Secondo quello che si sa al momento, la piattaforma di gaming di Google dovrebbe offrire ai gamer due modalità per usufruire dei suoi contenuti. Ecco come funziona Google Stadia:

  1. è possibile accedere ad una libreria di giochi attraverso un abbonamento mensile;
  2. è possibile acquistare dei singoli titoli da legare al proprio account Google.

Per entrambe le modalità dovrebbe essere sufficiente accedere a Chrome dal computer, all’applicazione dedicata per dispositivi mobili o all’hub su Chromecast, entrare nella propria libreria di videogiochi e mettersi a giocare. Per avere accesso a Google Stadia e ai videogame disponibili non servirà nessun hardware particolare. L’unico requisito necessario è quello di avere una connessione ad alta velocità.

Google Stadia funzionerà su tutti i televisori a cui è possibile collegare un Chromecast, su Chromebook, su PC dotati di sistema operativo Windows o macOS, su smartphone e tablet. In addition, you will be able to use peripherals such as keyboards, mice and any USB HID controller, such as the DualShock 4 or the Xbox One gamepad.

Those who want to have a better gaming experience will have a controller that grants some exclusive functions. It has been called Stadia Controller and it looks like a joypad with a very clean shape and a symmetrical placement of the analog sticks. It has a directional cross, dorsal triggers and four buttons A, B, X and Y, a button to stream on YouTube and one to activate the voice assistant.

The release of Google Stadia in Italy

When will Google Stadia be released in Italy? During the presentation of the platform, it was confirmed that the service will arrive in various countries in Europe during 2019. It is likely that after the summer, gamers at home will be able to enjoy this novelty produced by the Mountain View company. An important signal could be the presence on the official store of Google Stadia of a page already translated into Italian. They want us to understand something.

As for Italy, it seems that Google will install a server farm here in Italy to offer a high level of service to those who will use its platform in the Bel Paese.

Games of Google Stadia

At the moment it's difficult to know what games will be available for Google Stadia. But among the titles there should surely be those triple-A like DOOM Eternal produced by Id Software of which Google has shown a preview and Assassin's Creed Odyssey by Ubisoft, a videogame released in 2018. Other titles available could be Shadow of the Tomb Raider and NBA 2K19. From the statements of Google's top management, it seems that the company intends to produce exclusives directly in house, in addition to video games that will be developed thanks to agreements with important software houses such as Rockstar Games.

The price of Google Stadia

The price of Google Stadia has not yet been communicated, however, we have information on what should be the payment and access modes to the service. To access the games in the catalog of Google Stadia you can pay for a single game to add it to your library or you can pay a monthly subscription to access the entire catalog, and the cost should not be less than € 14.99. There are those who say that the price could reach 20€. There are also hypotheses about a sort of hybrid solution characterized by a basic subscription for access to a list of free games and a part of premium titles to be paid separately.

Apple Arcade: features, games, price and release in Italy

The second challenger ready to compete for the title of the best gaming platform in our personal race is Apple Arcade, the new gaming service of the company founded by Steve Jobs that was presented last March 25. With this novelty Apple expands the range of services available to its customers after Apple News and Apple Music. The project developed in Cupertino differs from those of competitors because it is not a streaming service, but a subscription that allows access to a constantly evolving library of titles dedicated to iPhone, iPad, MacBook, iMac and Apple TV. All titles can be downloaded and played locally without the need for a web connection.

How does Apple Arcade work

How does Apple Arcade work? It should be simple for gamers to use this service. From the App Store there will be a dedicated space called just Arcade from which you'll be able to subscribe and you'll be able to browse all the titles in the catalog to download. Almost certainly the Mac App Store will have a similar system. For the joy of fans every month will be available new titles. Apple, in fact, is working on this project with many partners that will allow it to create games that can satisfy the tastes of gamers of all ages.

As mentioned earlier, the games included in the subscription service will be playable on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. Apple has stated that you will be able to resume the game on one platform at the exact point where you stopped it on another device. Also, with the Apple console you will have the possibility to share the service with your family. You'll only need one subscription to let all the members of a family play with Apple Arcade titles.

With Apple Arcade games you'll be able to play offline. Yes, you got it right, you'll be able to play without needing to be connected to the Internet. Of course, this won't be possible in the case of multiplayer games, which need a connection to the network.

The release of Apple Arcade

The official debut of Apple Arcade is scheduled for the fall of this year. It will probably have to wait for the news of iOS 13, which is set as every year between mid and late September. Apple's platform will be launched in more than 150 countries and it is very likely that Italy will be among them.

Apple Arcade Games

As we mentioned earlier, gamers will have a lot of fun with Apple Arcade games. The company of the bitten apple, in fact, has started collaborations with software houses and authors around the world for the creation of over 100 new exclusive titles dedicated to iOS, macOS and tvOS. All of these video games will be available to users through a monthly subscription to the Apple Arcade service. All subscribers will be able to download each of these titles and play them on all Apple platforms. Want some sneak peeks? Ci saranno creazioni originali di Hironobu Sakaguchi, Ken Wong, Will Wright e decine di altri celebri autori.

Nonostante molti titoli siano top secret, sembra che Apple sia riuscita a portarsi a casa videogame importanti come l’attesissimo Oceanhorn 2, Beyond a Steel Sky e anche Fantasian, nato proprio dalla mente di Hironobu Sakaguchi. Anche una pietra miliare nel mondo dei platform 2D come Shantea 5 è destinata ad arrivare su Apple Arcade.

Ecco alcuni dei giochi che si potranno trovare sulla piattaforma di Apple:

  • The Artful Escape;
  • Atone: Heart Of The Elder Tree;
  • Cardpocalypse;
  • Doomsday Vault;
  • Hot Lava;
  • Kings Of The Castle;
  • LEGO Arthouse / LEGO Brawls;
  • Lifelike;
  • Monomals;
  • Mr. Turtle;
  • No Way Home;
  • Sneaky Sasquatch;
  • Spidersaurs;
  • Team Sonic Racing;
  • UFO On Tape: First Contact;
  • Where Cards Fall;
  • Winding Worlds;
  • Yaga.

The service will offer games from Annapurna Interactive, Bossa Studios, Cartoon Network, Finji, Giant Squid, Klei Entertainment, Konami, LEGO, Mistwalker Corporation, SEGA, Snowman, Ustwo and dozens of other developers. You'll be able to play all these games without needing an Internet connection. Also, Apple Arcade games will not have any kind of advertisements or additional in-app purchases within them. This will provide gamers with a completely different experience than the one they are used to with the titles available for mobile devices.

The cost of Apple Arcade

We still don't know the prices that the service launched by Apple should have. The company already offers some subscription services, such as Apple News and Apple Music, which we mentioned earlier. Both of these services in the US cost $9.99 each. It is possible to assume that the cost of Apple Arcade will be around €9.99 per month in our country. However, during the launch of its new creature, Apple could also surprise its fans with lower prices. 

Apple Arcade vs Google Stadia: the verdict

And the winner is... In the Apple Arcade vs Google Stadia comparison it is difficult to say who is the winner. With the information you have, it is complicated to make a judgment about which product is better. It is true that these are two services dedicated to the world of gaming, but it is also true that they are two very different products.

The service offered by Google Stadia is based on streaming and will have games that are completely different from those offered by the Apple company. With this system you will be able to play on any device, while to access the Apple platform you will need to have a device belonging to the ecosystem of the Cupertino company.

Apple Arcade, in fact, will make available to its audience more than 100 exclusives made with professionals and publishers quite famous to play locally only on Apple devices. It will be enough to have a subscription to enjoy new content every month.

Who will win between Google Stadia and Apple Arcade? The service that allows you to play on any device or the one that offers you the possibility to enjoy local games? Gamers will have to decide.