Having launched in late November, Google’s Stadia game streaming service has not quite had the start that the tech giant hoped for. Underperforming and with serious infrastructure concerns, the latest in Google’s line of products has an upward battle ahead if it wants to reclaim some of its lost goodwill.
If you’re out of the loop, Stadia is a game streaming service. In essence, it runs like Netflix or YouTube would, in that the data is hosted offsite, and the users receive a video representation. However, this comes with one key difference in that the games which Stadia offers require a much lower latency to be viable, and therein lies a major problem.
Before getting into the doom and gloom, we have to note that, at least under ideal circumstances, Stadia can be fantastic. With a solid connection, Stadia lets players enjoy some major AAA games anywhere they want. This means the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2 on the go, which is not something which has ever before been possible.
No more lugging around consoles or PCs, and no more having to visit gaming internet cafes to get a fix when out of town.
As many predicted, the odds of a person being able to attain the perfect real-world setup is low, to say the least. Even on the best quality home connections, there have been moments of unusual lag which, at least in multiplayer gaming, can completely ruin the experience. Add in the variables of mobile connectivity to this equation, and the experience becomes all the more unpredictable.
There is also the issue of cost. While Google does not charge for the base experience, they do offer a premium service. Unlike most other subscription services, this premium service does not come with access to a library of games. This means additional full game purchases are required on top of a subscription fee, which many users are loathe to accept.
On top of this, there have also been reports that the Google Chromecast Ultra, required to run the highest quality of games, can force shutdowns as it experiences overheating problems. Some users have claimed that hours of play are recorded to reach this point, whereas others have seen the issue after a mere ten minutes.
For comparison and context, we could turn to the world of online casinos. These services have offered game-hosting services for years, now even including live-casino streaming games. Games on these systems are cheap, run on low data connections, and have no such overheating risk on any device, short of some unrelated major issue on the part of the user hardware.
Games on these often even come with outside advantages, such as the bonus offers for Mega Moolah at BonusFinder. In other words, these systems, which have existed for years, give players a smooth and reliable experience, with a wide variety of bonuses, and for only as much as the user wishes to invest.
What’s Next for Stadia?
At this point, there are some key features for Stadia which are yet to be released. These include the achievements feature, the game sharing Family Link, and online multiplayer through Stream Connect, Crowd Play, and the Buddy Pass. Such limitations, combined with a limited library of games and a rocky release period do raise questions as to Stadia’s future.
While many underperforming newer technologies have been abandoned in such situations, we can’t imagine that Google is lacking the financial backing to keep moving forward. Even if they decided to cut their losses, Google would then have to deal with significant blows to the reputation of their gaming section.
The next few months are going to be key for Google Stadia, but make no mistake: this technology will become a mainstay. Whether or not it will be Google who pushes it into the mainstream, however, remains to be seen.