Google Stadia - Early reviews - [gaming]
05:26 PM EST - Nov,18 2019 - post a comment
Google Stadia, Google's new cloud-gaming platform, has had a ton of hype and made promises. Well it's finally here, in some form at least. With only a handful of games and a handful of compatible devices, a lot of its promised features aren't available at launch. Is the service the first step towards the future of gaming, or will Stadia fall flat on its face? Here's what the early reviews say:
The Stadia controller connects to the Chromecast Ultra via WiFi, enabling untethered gameplay in the living room. To play on a phone, tablet, laptop or PC, the official gamepad has to be physically plugged in (for now). The first Stadia game I booted up was Destiny 2 on the Chromecast Ultra. The title screen loaded quickly and I created a new character; the process felt so smooth and familiar that I forgot I was playing a AAA, online game on a streaming puck the size of a Thin Mint. But then, I started shooting. The lag was immediate.
With Stadia, games sometimes look like you're watching an ultra-high resolution gameplay video rather than actually playing the game yourself. They look drab. If you want to understand, go watch this video, make it fullscreen, set the quality to the highest your display can support. This is what it looks like to play games on Stadia. It's better quality than you'd get trying to play a game on mid-tier hardware, but not quite as crisp and crystal-clear as it would be if you played it on a really nice display. Stadia excels in that middle ground just shy of ultra-high-def.
While you've probably heard predictions that Google's Stadia will be the "Netflix of games," it turns out the analogy only goes so far. While Google intends to eventually have a back catalog of free games included for your $10 monthly fee, Stadia is not primarily a subscription service. The subscription only includes a single game as of today - Destiny 2. Primarily, Google tells us you should expect to buy, not rent cloud games for the same retail prices you'd find on other platforms like PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, and Steam.
It costs $120 to get the early edition Founder's pack, which includes a Stadia controller, a Chromecast Ultra, a short USB-C-to-C cable, a Destiny 2 game download, and three months of a $10-per-month Stadia Pro subscription service needed to take advantage of all of Stadia's online features. Also, you need to buy the actual games at their regular prices... even though you can't download them. A more affordable Stadia play service is launching in 2020, though details are unclear. It all seems like a lot to pay for a "consoleless console." In the UK, you can get the Premiere Edition with the same features. Prices of Stadia games are basically full retail game prices. This could get crazy expensive fast!