Slowly but surely, Google is piecing together details about its upcoming Stadia game streaming service. The company revealed most of the important information during E3 2019, but more information has arrived, courtesy of a Google Support page.
As pointed out by 9to5Google, a Stadia FAQ page on the Google Support site has been updated with more answers. First, there has been some confusion about the Stadia Pro subscription, the premium tier that offers a limited number of included games (like PlayStation Plus). If you ever stop paying for Stadia Pro, Google says your progress in games that come with the subscription will be saved for when you re-subscribe:
If you stop your Stadia Pro subscription, when you rejoin Stadia Pro you may retain the progress you made in previously-unlocked Stadia Pro subscription games and in add-ons you previously unlocked or purchased. Additionally, you may make individual game purchases and resume progress if you previously decided to stop your Stadia Pro subscription.
The document also reveals that if you're away from your home Wi-Fi network, you'll still be able to use the Stadia controller via USB on computers or Android devices:
The Stadia Controller uses BLE for setup and then connects via Wi-Fi for gameplay. You can also connect your Stadia Controller to your phone, tablet, or computer with a USB cable plugged into the Stadia Controller's USB-C port.
Google confirmed the controller functions like a regular HID device when connected over USB, so you'll be able to use it for some third-party games on other platforms:
We've designed the Stadia Controller to work best on Stadia. When plugged in via USB cable, the Stadia Controller acts as a standard USB HID controller and may work on other platforms depending on the game and setup.
Also, you'll be able to pair up to four controllers to a single account, for when you want to play local multiplayer titles:
Your Stadia account will support up to four Stadia controllers during local multiplayer game play. [...] Stadia will support full multiplayer titles, as well as couch based co-op and single player titles.
Virtual reality gameplay has been a topic of discussion since Stadia was just a rumor. VR games are usually more demanding than the average video game, especially since they have to maintain at least 90FPS to avoid giving the player motion sickness. While Google didn't outright deny that Stadia will ever support VR, the company made it clear it won't happen soon:
At this time, we have no news to share regarding VR support on Stadia.
Finally, Google clarified that you will keep any games you purchase on Stadia, even if the publisher later pulls them from sale. This mirrors the policy that most other digital game storefronts (like Steam and GOG) have:
Once you purchase the game, you own the right to play it. In the future, it is possible that some games may no longer be available for new purchases, but existing players will still be able to play the game. Outside of unforeseen circumstances, Stadia will aim to keep any previously purchased title available for gameplay.
I'm glad to see the Stadia Controller will function as a regular gamepad when connected over USB, so you won't have to buy another controller if you want to play both Stadia and local games on your PC. It's also great to hear that your games won't vanish if the publisher pulls them from sale, which has been on many players' minds with the recent closure of Telltale Games and other similar events.
- Google Support