What is Google Stadia and why is it revolutionary? Google Stadia is “a cloud gaming service operated by Google”. It allows playing and streaming games by fulfilling only 2 conditions: stable, high-speed internet connection and a single device. One of many to choose from: Google Chrome web browser, Pixel smartphone, Chrome OS and a special device Chromecast or a TV+controller set-up. These are not the most excessive demands. Basically, most people who game on a daily basis or stream it have access to both of them (most common and easily accessible would be Google Chrome web browser downloadable for free). Of course, you have to buy an Edition of Stadia (either Founders or Premiere) and later there is a subscription fee for using Stadia Pro. At launch, Premiere Edition was 119 pounds and subscription was 8.99 pounds per month.
It is revolutionary because we can play our favorite library of games from any place in the world without bringing our expensive gear PC or laptop. We can (theoretically) get rid of those at all if we want to rely simply on using Google games library. We can enjoy our favorite games from anywhere we want if the connection is quick enough and we have a proper subscription. Then we can stream at 60fps in 4k quality. That is the “sweet spot” for gamers. Of course, a person needs a controller either Xbox or PS4 dualshock. There is also a Google Stadia controller designed by Google. It has a few tricks up its sleeve. For instance, it has a built-in mic (with google assistant), responds quicker with the cloud or lets users take videos and pictures which instantly appear in Stadia app on smartphones.
Other companies such as Microsoft are developing something similar but Google launched their product first of the bunch. And it was not flawless. There were many issues that have disappointed the users close after launch.
To name a few the library was very limited at launch – just 22 games. There were a lot of issues with streaming, even high-speed stable connections were not enough and caused lag (or audio-lag) or connectivity problems. The Google Chromecast device seemed to overheat. There were instances that some games were able to break the hardware to the point of the necessity of buying a new one. Adding to that we need to buy the games from the store. So if we had any e.g. steam, uplay or origin based libraries we cannot use them. All the games must be purchased from google’s library.
Ultimately the main benefits of Stadia are the flexibility and the absence of the “box” under our TV. We just need a compatible controller of some sort, high-speed connection and a TV screen to play or stream our favorite games. In that fashion, we can do that all over the World if we fulfill those conditions. It is revolutionary and it might have a bright future. There is a low chance this direction will make gaming gear (PC’S, laptops, consoles) obsolete. But will Google Stadia build its userbase and improve the product by giving more possibilities? Will it add to it so we, as gamers, can throw our PC’s to trash or let them grab dust? Or will the connectivity and hardware issues burry the project deep in history to serve as another meme?? Only time will tell.