17 votes

Google Stadia announces plans to add over 120 games this year, including over 10 exclusives

19 comments

  1. [11]
    joplin
    Link
    I have to ask - do people really want to stream games in this way? I'd much rather download the game to my system in case my internet goes down or is being crappy. I also don't want the resolution...

    I have to ask - do people really want to stream games in this way? I'd much rather download the game to my system in case my internet goes down or is being crappy. I also don't want the resolution suddenly dropping mid gameplay like a bad connection to Netflix. This just seems like a huge waste of bandwidth, too. And the latency certainly seems like a potential source of problems. Is this something that will realistically work for normal people with typical internet connections?

    With something like Steam (which, don't get me wrong, has a number of huge problems itself), you can still download the games to any system you want, and your data is synced to the cloud. So it seems like it has all the advantages of something like Stadia, but with none of the disadvantages. Well, it's not a subscription, but there's no reason they couldn't do that. Apple Arcade has the subscription model, but none of the problems that Stadia will likely have. I just don't see the appeal of Stadia.

    11 votes
    1. balooga
      Link Parent
      I was lucky to get into the closed beta back when it was called "Project Stream." It wasn't perfect but it was surprisingly playable. The only game on offer at that time was Assassin's Creed:...

      I was lucky to get into the closed beta back when it was called "Project Stream." It wasn't perfect but it was surprisingly playable. The only game on offer at that time was Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, which isn't a particularly twitchy title, but the latency was acceptable for me.

      I'm a console gamer, which means buying at least one new device every generation to stay current. My only PC is a 5-year-old 13" MacBook Pro. (I do have Boot Camp and Parallels set up so I can do some limited Windows gaming on it, but the onboard graphics are weak.) I was able to play Assassin's Creed: Odyssey on that machine. I don't think that can be overstated. It wasn't glitchy or slow or weird in any way. Occasionally it would stutter a bit, then self-correct. Presumably it will only get better, not worse.

      You can play on a Chromebook. On a Chromecast. On a phone. On a tablet. In theory you'd never need to buy another device. Google can upgrade the hardware on their side and your thin clients should continue to work indefinitely. I think that's a huge selling point. I could stop buying consoles every couple years (though I'd still be paying a subscription to Google, which might add up to more in the long term; I haven't done the math).

      I see a lot of pooh-poohing about the streaming concept online from people who haven't tried it. Honestly from what I've seen that part works pretty well. I haven't used the Stadia product or played games that demand faster response times, so I can't comment on that. But I don't think the raw technology is where people should be finding fault here. The bigger issues for me are, should I be diverting my current gaming budget away from established players and into Google's coffers, in light of the bigger picture of their business model and the objectionable things they do? And am I comfortable switching from an ownership model of gaming where I can possess and play my catalog decades into the future, to a Netflix-style setup where licenses are constantly changing hands and games can be pulled out from under me with little warning?

      I think for the moment, my answer to both of those questions is no.

      9 votes
    2. [4]
      Adys
      Link Parent
      Yes, on the assumption that it works. I'm 29, have been playing computer games since I was 6. My software career started in video games. I played Blizzard games for a solid 15 years. I absolutely...

      do people really want to stream games in this way?

      Yes, on the assumption that it works.

      I'm 29, have been playing computer games since I was 6. My software career started in video games. I played Blizzard games for a solid 15 years.

      I absolutely want to stream games just like I stream music and movies. But it first has to work. Games have to be designed to support it -- I'll be surprised if we can get modern/old-school style FPS games working smoothly on this. Rather, less latency sensitivity, and a stride towards games that aren't latency-sensitive at all.

      "Who of the two of us can click the fastest on the smallest pixel" will always be a gaming genre, but if a platform like Stadia becomes popular, it could completely change what games people even like to play.

      Remember, it doesn't have to work for everyone for it to be massively popular. But say for example Minecraft, Fortnite, both are massively popular and aren't super latency sensitive. Fortnite is even played on mobile, and it's not a particularly lightweight game. It being streamable is a big deal.

      As for me… well, I fucking hate having to constantly install / reinstall games. My massive Steam library I never touch because 99% of it is not installed? Even when I do get tempted by a game I go "meh, gotta install it…" and end up playing whatever I already have available.

      When my buddy's online and wants to play something together right now, and I see I have to download 6GB to join him? Well, we simply give up.

      My internet is fast. My PC is a beast with lots of storage, ram and cpu. I'm an experienced gamer who owns a massive library. And a Stadia-like that works is hugely interesting to me. Can you imagine the advantages for people who aren't as priviledged as me?

      5 votes
      1. babypuncher
        Link Parent
        I think the problem is that even when Stadia does work, it provides an objectively worse experience than playing on local hardware. I think the vitriol comes from people who are afraid that...

        I think the problem is that even when Stadia does work, it provides an objectively worse experience than playing on local hardware. I think the vitriol comes from people who are afraid that publishers will see this tech as the ultimate form of DRM, locking players who are willing to purchase and maintain dedicated gaming hardware into this objectively worse experience.

        I'm in that camp in hoping that Stadia fails. I think Microsoft is on the right track with Xcloud, positioning it as a value-add to your regular gaming ecosystem rather than a complete replacement. I imagine Valve's rumored streaming service will be run in a similar vein.

        5 votes
      2. [2]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        I don't think it is very common for a person that cannot purchase a console or a graphics card to have the blazing fast internet connection Stadia requires. Especially because a lot of those...

        Can you imagine the advantages for people who aren't as priviledged as me?

        I don't think it is very common for a person that cannot purchase a console or a graphics card to have the blazing fast internet connection Stadia requires. Especially because a lot of those people are in third-world countries like my own.

        4 votes
        1. Diff
          Link Parent
          Even in some first world countries (well probably only one, the USA) we struggle to get 1MB/s unless we're in a huge city or on a college campus.

          Even in some first world countries (well probably only one, the USA) we struggle to get 1MB/s unless we're in a huge city or on a college campus.

          1 vote
    3. [2]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      The main appeal is for people who want to game on the go or do not have a powerful desktop computer.

      The main appeal is for people who want to game on the go or do not have a powerful desktop computer.

      3 votes
      1. Diff
        Link Parent
        Seems like you lose a lot of the advantage of running a game meant for a big beefy PC though. You don't get crisp, gorgeous, tiny details. Even at an incredibly high bitrate those are eaten by...

        Seems like you lose a lot of the advantage of running a game meant for a big beefy PC though. You don't get crisp, gorgeous, tiny details. Even at an incredibly high bitrate those are eaten by encoding artifacts.

        Although having said that, it is an improvement for most. Not every game pours on the tiny detail work. As an example, My Time At Portia is relatively simplistic, I imagine it'd look good even being streamed. But it does require a reasonably strong GPU. Your average laptop's integrated graphics won't cut it, no matter how low you turn the dials. But even the most anemic device can decode video all day long without breaking a sweat.

        3 votes
    4. babypuncher
      Link Parent
      Stadia has this backwards. They want streaming to be the only way you play your games. Xcloud is a much more amenable service, the idea being that you play the games you already bought on Xbox/PC...

      Stadia has this backwards. They want streaming to be the only way you play your games. Xcloud is a much more amenable service, the idea being that you play the games you already bought on Xbox/PC when your hardware is unavailable (i.e. traveling).

      3 votes
    5. [2]
      Kuromantis
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Probably. I would love to be able to play any game regardless of what system I'm using because more likely than not my parents probably wouldn't bother buying gaming hardware if they don't play...

      do people really want to stream games in this way?

      Probably. I would love to be able to play any game regardless of what system I'm using because more likely than not my parents probably wouldn't bother buying gaming hardware if they don't play games.

      I'd much rather download the game to my system in case my internet goes down or is being crappy. I also don't want the resolution suddenly dropping mid gameplay like a bad connection to Netflix. This just seems like a huge waste of bandwidth, too. And the latency certainly seems like a potential source of problems. Is this something that will realistically work for normal people with typical internet connections?

      I think they're playing the long game. More specifically, they're waiting for 5G to take off. It will probably take 10-15, maybe even 25 years due to the narrow scattering and health controversies, but it will happen eventually and Google and others will do everything they can to make it cheap when that time comes. It's not about if it's good or profitable now, if it was, they wouldn't be doing this. Instead it's about who can do it first to push it through their services and hype their investors the fastest. (or it could be an incredibly dystopian power grab).

      2 votes
      1. Diff
        Link Parent
        What I don't get is why 5G? At least in the USA we still don't even have real, legitimate 4G and at least a handful of articles on real 4G vs the LTE stuff seems to point me in the direction of...

        What I don't get is why 5G? At least in the USA we still don't even have real, legitimate 4G and at least a handful of articles on real 4G vs the LTE stuff seems to point me in the direction of thinking that real 4G would be more than capable, without the downsides of 5G.

        1 vote
  2. [4]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    I usually don't make bold predictions, but I cannot help myself in this case. Most people that do not own a console or a computer with a discrete graphics card[1] are probably entirely satisfied...

    I usually don't make bold predictions, but I cannot help myself in this case. Most people that do not own a console or a computer with a discrete graphics card[1] are probably entirely satisfied with mobile games. Stadia won't provide enough benefits to attract a substantial portion of either casual or dedicated gamers.

    Besides, in much of the globe, internet connection is slow, unreliable or both.

    This project will either fail spectacularly or be reworked into something significantly different in order to achieve marginal success.

    But due to Google's history, it will probably be killed within the next 5 years.

    [1] And nowadays a bunch of games are more than playable with on onboard graphics

    7 votes
    1. Diff
      Link Parent
      Wouldn't be surprised if Google's history was a contributing factor in Stadia's failure to launch. Who wants to put any amount of money into a library that has good odds of vanishing without a...

      Wouldn't be surprised if Google's history was a contributing factor in Stadia's failure to launch. Who wants to put any amount of money into a library that has good odds of vanishing without a trace someday? AFAIK Google hasn't addressed that issue at all.

      4 votes
    2. joplin
      Link Parent
      Thank you! This is what I was trying to get at with my question. As usual, I phrased it too negatively. 🙂 This is my feeling as well.

      Thank you! This is what I was trying to get at with my question. As usual, I phrased it too negatively. 🙂 This is my feeling as well.

      2 votes
    3. SunSpotter
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Yeah, overall I have to agree. The current state of gaming didn't get to where it is overnight. Consoles and PCs have been around since the 80s (really the 70s, but they weren't near as popular...

      Yeah, overall I have to agree. The current state of gaming didn't get to where it is overnight. Consoles and PCs have been around since the 80s (really the 70s, but they weren't near as popular back then). Mobile gaming is a much newer phenomenon, but still over a decade old at this point.

      For Stadia to be popular and gain a significant user base, it has to become THE way that a large portion of people play games. Mobile gamers, console gamers and PC gamers aren't going to just abandon their platform because something new and shiny exists though.

      It would have to be a combination of raising a new generation exposed to Stadia, and convincing enough people to jump ship between hardware upgrades. Obviously though, that would take years.

      I'm not presumptuous enough to pretend I know everything. Maybe Google thinks they have some grand strategy to make things transition more quickly, I mean we are close to another console generation. But as has been pointed out already, it's far more in character to just abandon the whole idea in a couple years because it wasn't a resounding success.

      2 votes
  3. CharlieConway
    Link
    And in four years Google will have grown bored with the project and announce support will be ending within another year. Resulting in a life span of roughly half a console generation.

    And in four years Google will have grown bored with the project and announce support will be ending within another year. Resulting in a life span of roughly half a console generation.

    3 votes
  4. [3]
    nothis
    Link
    Too little too late. Any "Stadia exclusive" game is a Stadia product first and an inspired game second, why would any respectable game developer lock themselves into Stadia?

    Too little too late. Any "Stadia exclusive" game is a Stadia product first and an inspired game second, why would any respectable game developer lock themselves into Stadia?

    1 vote
    1. zptc
      Link Parent
      The same reason they accept Epic exclusivity contracts: Money. Epic was paying devs enough to completely fund the development of a game, enough to the point that multiple devs that had promised...

      The same reason they accept Epic exclusivity contracts: Money. Epic was paying devs enough to completely fund the development of a game, enough to the point that multiple devs that had promised Steam keys went back on their word iirc. I doubt Google is paying any less.

      3 votes
    2. Jedi
      Link Parent
      The base version hasn't even released yet, it's definitely not “too late”.

      The base version hasn't even released yet, it's definitely not “too late”.

      2 votes