Google Stadia just had its grand reveal yesterday and entered the cloud gaming market with some major boasts. Stadia allows you to now play games through any chrome browser, be it on phone, PC or TV. If using a TV you need the chrome cast ultra. Stadia boasts that you’ll never need to own a console, download, update and install games ever again. Google data centres will handle all of that for you.
How plugged into the matrix do I need to be to play?
Stadia’s resolution ranges from 720p all the way to 4K assuming your internet speed can handle it. Stadia works across various connections from 35 Mbps down to a recommended minimum of 10 Mbps. The website even offers a function for you to test you connection, although the results are not very detailed. Mine just told me I would have a good gaming experience at home or a high gaming experience at the office.
The Netflix for video games
There is currently 2 options on Stadia the Base or Pro. Base seems to say it will be available next year and will allow you to play up to 1080p at 60 FPS. Allows you to buy games whenever you want and won’t offer any free games at all. The Pro subscription is €9.99 per month and allows you to play up to 4K at 60 FPS, buy games whenever you want and rewards you with additional free games regularly. Assuming you stay subscribed to them of course. The Pro subscription seems to indication that it will be available in November compared to the Base which will be available at an undisclosed date next year.
There is always a more expensive option
Available currently is the Founders Edition of Stadia. This bundle will give you access to the Stadia at launch for 3 months for you and a friend. Comes with a limited-edition controller and a chrome cast ultra. All this is available for €129 in November. The free Game at launch is Destiny 2 and the season pass. My only is problem with this selling point is that Destiny 2 is going free to play after the next expansion anyway. Thanks for selling me something I already had for free Google.
Stadia is an incredible feat of technological infrastructure, but I can’t seem to put my finger on who the audience is for? While the do boast low latency there is still enough latency in frames to discomfort you while playing games such as Mortal Kombat and online shooters. It seems to me that this would mostly suit single player games better. Stadia isn’t the only player in cloud gaming so they will have to make big steps quick to grab the audience attention. PlayStation Now is a service already live and running. Microsoft rolling out xCloud and even Nintendo is currently testing a streaming service too. All the major players are investing in this so there must be an audience for this. Is cloud gaming the next step in the gaming experience?