Google wanted to get into the gaming market with a bang by entering uncharted territory: a console free gaming system. It was bye, bye, $400 consoles, and hello to cross-platform gaming on any device that can run Google Chrome. This highly anticipated, new streaming gaming service, Google Stadia, had its soft launch mid-November and received not so “bang-worthy” responses.
The Next Evolution of Gaming
Stadia brings gaming to its next stage: cloud-based gaming. Eliminating the console allows players to play together no matter what device they use. Instead of being limited to playing with others who use the same console type, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, players can play the same game anywhere. This creates a universal, undivided gaming world.
Google Data Centers, with unmatched power, 10 teraflops to be exact (we don’t know what it means either, but apparently, it’s a LOT), process all of the controls via WiFi. Essentially, Google is trying to create a Netflix-like system of gaming – think of how Netflix eliminates the need for a DVD player and a DVD to watch a movie since you can just stream many movies on one site with a monthly subscription.
What the Google Stadia Soft Launch Offered
Players were able to pre-order the “Founder’s Pack” for $129, which included:
- A Stadia controller in limited edition blue
- A Chromecast Ultra
- A copy of “Destiny 2”
- A three-month subscription to Stadia Pro
- A second three-month subscription to share with a friend
The Verdict: Not Ready Yet
Initial players who tried Google Stadia appreciated the concept, but had reservations with the execution. In true Google fashion, players feel as if the company released a WIP version in hopes to fix the bugs along the way with user feedback.
The good news about Stadia that it worked. Using a Pixel 3a smartphone, one reviewer said that he was able to play games using his TV, Chromecast, and phone seamlessly. However, at his office with a faster and better Internet connection, but also with more people using it, playing a game without glitches was impossible.
Other reviews stated that although using Stadia on other devices can work, the process was tedious and buggy. The smartphone experience, reviewers found, was not ready for consumer use. This is because this initial version of Google Stadia is primed for the Pixel Line with supported versions for Apple and Android coming later. In addition to the occasional glitches, the Stadia app functions, but not perfectly, which created a frustrating experience for players.
Hold on to Your Consoles a Little Longer
Google will get it together eventually. It might take a few years, however, before the cross-platform streaming service masters all control responses for so many devices with an optimal connection to Google Data Centers.
Overall, Google has something great in the works that will have the potential to boost its service over other companies like Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft and take console-free gaming to the mainstream. But for now, stick with your console until at least February 2020 when the free version of Stadia is released.