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.