Stadia Release Date: Google Exec Hints at Date for Stadia's Next Appearance
Stadia’s announcement on Tuesday gave gamers around the world a glimpse at what it would be like to play AAA titles without overly expensive hardware or grueling download times. But for every bold claim made by the head of Stadia, Phil Harrison, there were often as many unanswered questions.
To the chagrin of many users, the presentation at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco ended without mentioning a price, release date, or an even semi-completed list of games that will be featured on the service. But in some subsequent media interviews, Harrison came a little bit closer to revealing when Stadia could become available to the public.
After reassuring gamers that Stadia has already shipped “hundreds” of game development kits to build out a roster of third-party and exclusive titles, he dropped a massive hint about its release date. In an interview, Harrison told Polygon that while Stadia might not make it to the annual video game expo, E3, on June 11 — that would still be the month when Stadia makes its next public appearance.
“So you’ll see a pretty amazing lineup come June,” he said. “The summer is when we will be next back out in public [but] we’re not confirming E3.”
E3 has traditionally been the venue where console giants like Sony and Microsoft reveal their next-generation hardware. It could be that Stadia wants to purposefully skip the event to differentiate itself from the rest of the gaming industry. After all, its catch phrase is “The future of gaming is not a box.” Refusing to step on the same stage as Sony and Microsoft could make a statement.
Skipping E3 would mean Google would likely need to host a standalone event. The Mountain View-based company already hosts an annual developers conference in May, and a hardware launch in the fall. An annual gaming keynote dedicated to Stadia could become the third. But of course, just because Stadia leadership will be making a public appearance in June doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll learn anything new.
Is a June release date even possible? Stadia was announced as coming “sometime in 2019,” so a June release date seems like it would be rushed. Only a couple of games have been confirmed for a platform that is supposed to offer a library of hundreds of titles. Plus, the Stadia controller still needs to be authorized by the FCC before Google can sell it. That is a lot to accomplish in only a few months.
It seems more likely, then, that a June update would center on what games will be available at release, and probably another teaser. That would build the hype around Stadia even further for what could be a launch closer to the fall.
Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were released in November 2013, just ahead of the holidays. This is the traditional playbook for big gaming releases, so we could reasonably expect similar timing for Stadia. But it looks like we will have to wait until June for concrete answers.