Google Stadia’s launch day might have arrived, but the future of cloud gaming hasn’t

    
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Yeah, cool.

For several years now, various companies have tried to attain the holy grail that is smooth cloud-based game streaming. For several years now, it has been one disappointment after another. But if any company was going to grasp that chalice and drink deep of its contents, it would be Google, right?

It doesn’t look that way — at least for right now. Google Stadia’s launch is coming amid a lot of lackluster reviews and dissatisfied customers, some of whom won’t even get the console or activation codes on launch day despite pre-ordering it.

Reviewers noted the irregular and unreliable performance that favored gamers with better internet connections as well as the lower visual fidelity that the platform provides. “There’s no reason anyone should buy into Stadia right now,” The Verge said, which echoes other reviewers who note that many of the console’s features are still in development.

Speed tests have shown that it works, sorta, but not as fast or as spectacular as you might have hoped. Lifehacker ran the Stadia through its paces, concluding, “The fact is Stadia can’t compete with consoles or even a budget gaming PC at this point. While Stadia works, and with solid visuals to boot, the service wants to achieve the same performance and fidelity you could find on a PS4 or Xbox One. And those consoles can do it more consistently and without punching a hole in your data cap.”

In short, the Stadia isn’t a failure, but neither is it a success at the moment. Time will tell if Google can shape up some of its rushed launch decisions and improve the consistency and speed of its cloud gaming across the board.

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Jon Wax

The other consoles are gonna go streaming focused by 2030. Xbox will just be a service on your devices. Pstation will do both traditional and stream. Pretty obvious how things are going to get more reductive going forward.

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flamethekid .

outside of korea or maybe japan and some european countries stadia would never even work.

in the most of the world you have a pathetic data cap of a few hundred megabytes or maybe a few gigabytes.
in the USA we have tons of political lobbying and old farts messing with our internet and trying to keep it expensive with few forms of competition.

Google didn’t have enough money to not get their internet service plans messed up by this I am not even sure why they thought they could make this work in maybe like 50 years this might work but not now

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traja

There is so much wrong with this right now. Even though I am in a region that has no data caps, not even on mobile, it is still not an attractive proposition. The games in general are way more expensive than what you can get them for on PC, and probably even the consoles. So even without the technical issues this would be questionable.

Maybe in a few years with 5G and support for all mobile devices. You would still need a controller but at least then it would be without compare when it comes to mobile graphics. Unfortunately mobile data caps are common almost everywhere so that kind of kills it.

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Sorenthaz

I just don’t see cloud gaming becoming a widely accepted thing until high Internet speeds become the norm, and if we hit some sort of storage space bottleneck where games take up a truckload of space and storage drives aren’t able to keep up. Especially if it’s like the subscriptions for Xbox Live Games/EA Origin Access or whatever where you’re basically paying to rent games on a monthly basis and you lose access to all of it once you unsub.

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Paragon Lost

Most are waiting for Google/Alphabet to end up canceling it like they do most other things they develop within a couple years. The laundry list of missed opportunities from Google is long and sad.

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Skor

From the first day I heard about this, I knew it would be DOA. No surprises here. Move along.

The Weeb formerly known as Sray
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The Weeb formerly known as Sray

Soft launch. For all of those missing features and limited library critiques (still valid though) do have to keep in mind this is actually just the soft launch. When the actual launch happens in February/March, there will be a marketing apocalypse that will have everyone on Earth knowing exactly what Stadia is.

But as I’ve said repeatedly: Google has completely F’d up this launch. Google is trying to go head to head with Microsoft and Sony, when the Stadia should be aiming at the same market as Nintendo: kids and those looking for high quality portable gaming. A Stadia starter kit is cheaper than a Switch Lite, and capable of exactly what a standard Switch can do, only at much higher graphical fidelity. Instead of a bunch of year old adult aimed action games, the launch lineup should be dominated by Lego, Roblox, and Minecraft. They’re fighting the crowd to get to an already crowded place, when there was a much easier, and smarter way to do this.

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Daniel Miller

I 100% disagree with you on cloud gaming . True stadia sucks. But the gaming community has been left in the dark of xbox, xcloud.

They released cloud gaming in s korea last August and its working well. Korea has the infrastructure and no dl caps. Hence was a great spot to test out.

But western gamers are clueless because most content creators dont share info.

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TherecDaMage .

Yeah because the western markets are going to totally see proper infrastructure and no download caps in the near future.

MurderHobo
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MurderHobo

I’m not certain that we won’t. Starlink is going big. If they pull it off Elon may just win the Internet. Massive bandwidth at latencies that beat ground fiber, from anywhere to anywhere, for a fraction of current costs.

Still, as cores get cheaper so does client computing, so while streaming may be good enough, I’m still not counting out a return to a distributed client relationship for virtual worlds.

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kgptzac

“Western gamers” need “content creators” to share the “info” of which S Korea has superior Internet infrastructure where the majority of us can’t realistically get in the near future?

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Greaterdivinity

Or, because it’s years and years off of being a thing out here so why bother?

It can work well in a small country with advanced infrastructure like South Korea? AWESOME! But how is that relevant to me in the US when we’re decades off having an infrastructure that approaches that quality, plus have broader issues given the CONSIDERABLY larger landmass, which would add the need for many more data centers that would have to service far larger regions than South Korea, impacting the quality of the service even with similar internet capabilities.

And content creators rarely seem to share much valuable info, and are far more interested in outrage/clickbait.

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Bruno Brito

It’s amazing how you US people are saying that this will be bad.

Imagine how it’ll be for me. I’m brazilian. If i show you the internet infrastructure here ( taking a picture of a lamppost ), you’ll vomit.

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Bryan Correll

Man, I wish we had a lamppost out here in rural USA…..

I keed, I keed. We have one. But the bulb burned out.

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Anstalt

I had a long discussion with my housemate the other day about who the Stadia was actually aimed at.

It’s not aimed at “core” gamers – we wouldn’t accept the latency issues plus we’ve all already got consoles or gaming PCs that will do a better job than streaming.

It’s not aimed at mobile gamers – this massive market segment may be worth a lot, but you aren’t going to get the speeds needed for Stadia over 3G / 4G and you still need a TV or laptop to play properly….which aren’t mobile.

It’s not aimed at casual gamers – I can see that the money saved by not buying a console/PC would be appealing to casual gamers, but Google’s business model (subscription + buying games) is not casual friendly. MMOs have already shown that casuals hate subscriptions, because their casual timescales don’t fit with a sub model.

So, who is it for? Travelling businessmen? Office workers who want to slack off at work? Maybe it’s only for rich casual gamers?

Alyn
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Alyn

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