Google Stadia, which is Google's new cloud gaming platform - is finally here. But, what is it exactly? How does it work? And is it a good time? Here's all you need to know about it!
What is Google Stadia?
Google stadia is a cloud gaming service. In case you haven't heard about them, cloud gaming services allow you to play console and PC games on your phone, tablet, laptop, or any device that can run Chrome, really.
This works with remote servers which are powerful enough to render the latest games at 4K 60FPS! And what happens here is that your phone connects to this gaming server that takes your input and sends back whatever happens in-game back to the phone.
You're basically streaming your games from an extremely powerful gaming computer. However, due to the very low input lag, it feels as if you're running these games directly from your device.
It's an easy way to turn a cheap laptop or tablet into a gaming machine and a great idea to bring actual PC and console gaming to smartphones.
But, is it worth it? Let's dive in a bit deeper.
Stadia's Release: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Google Stadia is already available for purchase. However, at the moment, you can only get the Premiere Edition which comes with the gamepad, Chromecast Ultra, 3 months of "Free" use, and a hefty price tag of $129!
As if that wasn't enough, as far as phones are concerned, the app/service is only usable on the Google Pixel series. It's not just iPhone users who can't use it yet - but also the rest of us who run Android on a different device.
That being said, there will be a Pro version that costs $9.99 and a free version that restricts you down to 1080P. However, these plans won't be available until 2020! Or at least the free plan won't.
We don't have a lot of info for the Pro version yet. But, we know that it brings 4K 60FPS support and a couple of free games with it (Destiny 2 and Samurai Shodown).
That being said, do keep in mind that Destiny is free to play on Steam anyway while all the other games will have to be bought at either full price or at a discount for Stadia Pro users.
Speaking of games, these are the only ones that you can get at the moment:
- Assassin's Creed Odyssey
- Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle
- Baldur's Gate 3
- Borderlands 3
- Cyberpunk 2077 (When it comes out)
- Darksiders Genesis
- Destiny 2: The Collection
- Destroy All Humans
- Doom Eternal
- Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
- Farming Simulator 19
- Final Fantasy XV
- Football Manager 2020
- Get Packed
- Ghost Recon Breakpoint
- Gods & Monsters
- Just Dance 2020
- Marve's Avengers
- Metro Exodus
- Mortal Kombat 11
- Nba 2K20
- Orcs Must Die! 3
- Rage 2
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration
- SAMURAI SHODOWN
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
- Supercross 3
- The Crew 2
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- Tom Clancy's The Division 2
- Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
- Trials Rising
- Watch Dogs Legion
- Windjammers 2
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood
We expect that many more titles will be added later on. After all, there are a lot of "Essential" titles that are missing. Titles such as Bioshock, The Witcher, TES Skyrim, Life is Strange, and so many more.
Current Issues with Google Stadia
It's kinda hard to recommend Stadia in its current state. There are a number of issues with input lag and stuttering being two of the biggest ones.
Now, we suppose that the above-mentioned issues are going to get fixed in the nearby future. After all, this could be happening due to the fact that Stadia just came out and everyone wants to try it - which probably hits the servers very hard.
Also, Google is the first to bring out this service - if you make an exception for LiquidSky which is no longer available for some reason. There is a chance that Google rushed a bit too much to release this service ahead of the competition and that it still needs a bit of polishing - aka optimization.
One thing that's probably not going to change is the demand for a solid internet connection. The minimum recommended speed is 10 Mbps and that's only for 720P 60FPS.
The higher you go in quality, the more bandwidth that you'll need. If you've got a 1080P monitor/TV/screen, like most people do, then you'll need at least 20 Mbps. But, if you need 4K, HDR, and 60 FPS, then a minimum of 35 is recommended.
Most people should be able to get at least 720P. After all, an ADSL connection of 24 Mbps is the absolute minimum nowadays.
However, many people who live in remote areas struggle to even get 3-5 Mbps. Not to mention that ADSL speeds rely a lot on the distance from the exchange. So, even if you live in a big city with a cheap ADSL connection, there is a chance that you won't be able to hit the minimum required speed of 10 Mbps.
And, again, these requirements are probably not going to change. LiquidSky had the exact same issue.
But, let us not forget to mention that the results greatly vary from device to device and from user to user. TVs and computers seem to have the worst input lag while the situation generally looks much better on smartphones.
Overall, Stadia is a great idea for casual gamers who don't want to invest a lot of money into getting a console or PC. But the execution is really horrible right now.
Hopefully, most of the critical issues that we've mentioned above are going to be fixed in the near future.
What are your thoughts on Google Stadia? Feel free to let us know about them.
Feel like we forgot to mention something important? Got anything wrong? Then let us and everyone else know about it in the comments section down below!