Is Google Stadia the future of gaming
Hold on to your butt’s everybody the future of gaming has arrived. It’s called Google stadia. Google stadia officially revealed a brand new streaming video game platform. The idea behind it is pretty simple you let anybody play any game instantly from any device. Removing the need for expensive hardware like gaming computers and consoles.
Stadia gotta let you play games on the devices you already own. You got a TV, a phone, a tablet or yes even a computer. Anything that can run Google Chrome can play games via stadia.
Imagine going to YouTube or twitch and watching a trailer or of review for a brand new game. And then getting to play that game instantly. That’s the promise behind Stadia. There are actually a few really cool benefits to the idea of cloud gaming.
Benefits of Google Stadia
There’s a low barrier to entry. Cloud gaming with Google stadia, means that you’ll never have to buy another console or gaming computer ever again. There’s no need for the latest graphics card or to pick up the most recent generation console to play the latest games. All you’ll need is an internet connection and a screen.
You won’t have to deal with some of the hassles of gaming hardware. You’ll never have to download install or patch ever again. Any game that you want to play, you could just play instantly.
The third and major benefit of something like Google stadia is that game developers are going to be able to utilize Google’s massive infrastructure of hardware and servers. In other words, no longer will games are be limited by the capabilities of that console or computer that you have in your home. Instead, it’s like every single person has a cutting-edge top-of-the-line $10,000 gaming computer with them at all times.
They’ll make games far better looking and larger and size and scale than ever before. And according to Google all of that running at 4k resolution and 60 frames per second. In addition to that the cloud system the stadia runs on, means that server and client are on the same network which will remove much of the limitations on player counts that we see in multiplayer games. This means we could go from battle royale games with100 players to many hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of players all on the same server.
So yes imagine games are larger in scale bigger worlds with better graphics, that you’ve ever seen that could possibly run on a three or four hundred dollar console or even a couple of grand that you spend on a gaming PC. Google supercomputers running video games and you could play out on your phone. Not that I want to, I’m still gonna want to play it on a big screen. But never the less you could play it on your phone.
So what’s not to love? the idea is fantastic. Are there any downsides well that’s a good question.
Problems with Google Stadia
With the streaming platform like stadia, the bottleneck for a great experience is no longer gonna be your hardware but your internet connection. Internet infrastructure in the US and in many parts of the world are just not great.
Now Google is suggesting 25 megabits per second to play games on Google stadia at 4k 60. And 25 megabits per second just so happens to be double the average internet speed in the US. That means, most people are gonna get a less than optimal experience. And what that ends up translating to is problems with latency. Latency is the time it takes between you putting in inputs sending it to the cloud and then getting a response back.
Now some of the early testing done by digital foundry put the latency of stadia actually not far behind that of the Xbox One X. This sounds absolutely great and this can work fantastic for a lot of games RPGs, action, and strategy games could all work fine with this higher latency.
But for competitive games especially stuff like multiplayer shooters any delay in inputs is bad. So that latency is gonna translate to a poor experience. Now Google does hope to address some of these problems like latency with the fact that they’ve got data centers everywhere. Basically the closer you are to one of the Google data centers the fewer issues you’ll face with latency.
But the fact that a lot of people just have poor internet connections. And those poor connections can translate into other issues like poor image quality. The worse your internet connection is, the more likely you’re gonna deal with compression of the video. Causing artifacts and pixelation and none of this is keeping in mind bandwidth caps being a thing. Internet service providers putting limits on the amount of bandwidth that you can use every single month. And you can bet your ass that streaming a video game, play live is gonna eat up quite a bit of bandwidth.
We still have the issue of what about game ownership. As of right now, you have to pay for a monthly subscription. And you can buy games from their stadia store. But What if Google shuts stadia down? Do we just lose access to all the games that we bought? I know it sounds crazy, but here is a huge list of Google platforms that shut down in the past.
Now, this is already an issue with things like Steam in this digital rights. We have given up a lot of our rights to physical hardware. And even sometimes when you get physical games you don’t own it. Because most of it is still on the servers. But this problem would be magnified if everything is just streamed to us and we have no local game files.
If Google did ever shut down the service, there’s a good chance we wouldn’t have access to any of those games. This might not be that big of a deal if we never bought those games and paid a monthly subscription only. But there’s another problem with the idea of a subscription-based video game service. That could really ramp up the number of in-game microtransactions we see.
Imagine if publishers and developers are no longer getting $60 per game. Instead, they’re just getting a cut from Google from when people stream their games. There would be quite a bit of incentive to just fill your games with microtransactions as another means of making income. I mean they’re already doing it while we’re still paying $60 for each game.
Other thing people concern about Google
On top of this stuff, there’s also one more layer of concern and that’s just Google being more involved in our lives. There are already people who have concerns about privacy. Google gonna be selling a controller that does have a built-in microphone. And some people are concerned about the idea that Google has another point of reference to selling information about us to advertisers.
I mean as it is Google’s already like a mega-corporation that owns like half the stuff that I utilize. Anyways, Google Stadia has been officially launched in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe. As mentioned before Google is promising it will be capable of 4k resolution 60 frames per second at launch. They are selling a controller specific for Google stadia with Wi-Fi capabilities. The controller can be connected directly to the cloud. It also has a capture streaming button and Google assists if you get stuck on any of your games.
The concept of a video game streaming platform like Google stadia is really amazing in a lot of ways. Having our games run on these Google supercomputers and being able to make experiences much larger, grander, better looking, capable of supporting more players than anything that we could ever have on this relatively inexpensive hardware like the consoles and even gaming PCs.
Google Stadia could be something pretty amazing experience. We can just play instantly. Never having to purchase Hardware, not needing to download a patch or install a game. The idea is pretty cool. Although this concept or idea has been tried in the past. Video game streaming platforms have already rolled out they’ve been playable for many years. It’s just never been a good enough experience. Whether it’s problems with the latency or the video quality or just people not being able to play the games. Maybe because their internet isn’t good enough in the first place.
But again if anyone could do this it would be Google. They practically have limitless resources and data centers everywhere. Besides the question of whether or not it’s possible, we’ve got the question of do we want this? Is handing the keys over to Google, a future of just streaming video games never owning the hardware, never having direct access to the games that you purchase. Is this the type of future of gaming that we’re looking for.
And whether or not some of you or myself is looking for it doesn’t matter. It’s the vast majority of people playing games just going to adopt anyways. Because it’s more convenient, less expensive upfront and provides a good enough experience. Even if it’s not quite as good and low-latency and as sharpest of an image. For a lot of people out there it might not matter. And if enough people pick it up and enjoy the experience, that’s just where the markets gonna go. It was that mean for the future of video games. It’s a pretty interesting exciting and also simultaneously terrifying time. I won’t lie that I can picture the allure of something like this. It’s an exciting potential for me and it’s something I would definitely want to check out.