Google has quietly put its wireless Stadia controller on-sale as an accessory in its online store for £59. Until now, the controller was only available as part of the Google Stadia Founders Bundle, which costs £119 and includes a three-month Stadia Pro subscription (£8.99 a month thereafter) and three-months to hand to a friend, as well as an exclusive Night Blue Stadia Controller, a Google Chromecast Ultra (usually £69) to stream games direct to your HD TV.
Following the update to the Google Store, we now have a much clearer idea of how much Google Stadia will cost you to get a comparable experience as its console counterparts. If you're looking to get two controllers to play co-operative campaigns, or local multiplayer matches, you'll need to the £119 Founders Edition and an extra controller for £59, bringing the total to £178.
Of course, you'll have to keep paying £8.99 a month to maintain access to the maximum 4K resolution at 120 frames-per-second, 5.1 surround sound, and free-to-play titles like Destiny 2: The Collection after your bundled three-month subscription expires. If that sounds like it'll add-up too fast, Google Stadia will have a free subscription tier – although it doesn't launch until sometime in 2020, which doesn't include access to any free games, so you'll have to buy every title individually.
How does that compare to traditional consoles? According to analyst Michael Pachter, the next home consoles from rivals Sony and Microsoft, the so-called Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 won't cost any more than $500 (£400) at launch.
This estimated price tag is based on the specs already teased by Sony and Microsoft, including the use of Solid State Drives (SSDs) capable of loading games far, far faster than on PS4, as well as clock speeds that could be in-excess of 3.2Ghz for the 8-core CPU and 1.8Ghz for a GPU capable of 12.9TF (teraflops), and 32GB of RAM.
According to Pachter, Microsoft and Sony will both attempt to keep the price as low as possible in a bid to compete with new rivals like Google Stadia.
"Microsoft will announce $399 and Sony will follow suit," he told GamingBolt.
Provided that Microsoft and Sony stick with the same model as the current generation consoles, both will charge players a monthly subscription fee to access online multiplayer content, which will offer access to free-to-play titles as well. As such, Google Stadia, which will launch in the UK in November, will likely still work out around half the cost of its console counterparts.
However, Google Stadia is much more of a risk than opting for the (admittedly, pricier) options coming from Microsoft and Sony next year. Both the Sony PS5 and Xbox Series X will likely command widespread support from developers, with new titles from hugely-successful franchises like Grand Theft Auto, Call Of Duty, God Of War, Last Of Us, Uncharted, Gears Of War, Forza, and Battlefield all-but guaranteed to be coming to the consoles.
Google Stadia has confirmed support from a number of prominent developers since its initial launch back in March, but it still can't match the more established players. And let's not forget, developers will soon abandon the platform if it looks like people are turning their backs on the new cloud-based system in favour of traditional hardware consoles.
Fortunately, Google Stadia will launch months before the PS5 and Xbox One X follow-up, so customers will have a good sense of how widespread support for the new Google-built cloud alternative will be – as well as how many of their friends are already on the system, playing seamlessly across their phones, tablets and laptop, before they have to make a decision on which next-generation option to plump for.