Google vice president and general manager Phil Harrison shows the new Stadia controller as he speaks during the GDC Game Developers Conference on March 19, 2019 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
Google said on Thursday that its Stadia game-streaming service will launch for the iPhone in the coming weeks. Stadia has been limited to Android phones, computers and TVs, since Apple’s strict App Store rules prevented it from launching for iPhones.
Game streaming isn’t terribly popular now, but lots of big tech companies — including Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and Nvidia — are making bets that it’s the future, or part of the future, of video gaming.
The idea is that you don’t need to buy an expensive gaming PC or game console to play the best games, and instead can stream them from anywhere to your phone, tablet, computer or TV. You pick games like you might pick a movie in Netflix, and then start playing them.
Google will take a similar strategy to services like Amazon Luna and Nvidia GeForce Now, by running the games through the iPhone’s Safari web browser. That means each game doesn’t have to be individually approved and published to the App Store, as otherwise required by Apple’s rules.
Stadia is a bit different than the other services, however. Instead of offering a library of games for a monthly fee, Stadia also lets you pay full price for each game and then play it without paying a subscription fee. Players who subscribe to Stadia Pro for $10 per month get higher quality streams and a rotating selection of free games.