Google made big waves when they announced their Stadia project: an all-in-one gaming platform that would allow users to make use of Google’s high internet speeds in an attempt to usher in a new age of online streaming.
Rumours were abundant in the months before its release, but the final project left much to be desired for many gamers. Despite this, others have praised Stadia, and have called it the future of gaming, even if it needs some serious refinement and improvement.
How Stadia Works
Google Stadia is the first real, commercial foray into the world of cloud-based gaming, and the Stadia has proven that it’s very possible to make gaming fully online, although it can be a rather expensive feat to accomplish for the average user.
But what is Stadia? Essentially, Google Stadia is a completely Google-designed and distributed service that works almost completely off of the cloud, providing high-quality gaming that users can only make use of if connected to the internet.
As Stadia is not hardware-based, it means that users are able to play any game they want through a compatible device, allowing them to completely bypass expensive hardware and large downloads.
It does require that the user have either a Pixel or a Chromecast Ultra, but it’s also possible to directly stream the service through Google Chrome. It should be noted that a very high-speed Internet connection is not just advised, but somewhat compulsory.
What Stadia Gets Right
Many critics have found that Stadia gets a whole lot right, including extremely good performance with very little latency, depending on the network. This means that users are able to play most of the games on offer at some of the best latency online gaming has to offer, and thanks to integration with various Google services, such as YouTube streaming, both content creators and viewers will have direct access to YouTube at all times.
As of right now, Stadia seems to provide more stable performance compared to its two main competitors: PlayStation Now and GeForce Now, although many hope there will be more games in the future, even if they’re simple real money bingo games. It fully supports streaming in 4K HDR, something that Nvidia doesn’t offer.
And What It Gets Wrong
There are two main issues that may dissuade gamers from investing in the service just yet. Like any streaming service, a quality Internet connection is what makes the biggest difference, but this is even more pronounced with Stadia.
Stability and latency can vary wildly depending on the user’s proximity to a Google server and their connection speed, which can greatly affect how the games play, with latency issues being some of the most criticised since the launch of the Stadia. Its pool of games has also been met with criticism, as the Stadia only launched with a handful of decent games.
The Google Stadia is a great example of what gaming of the future may look like, but it’s also a service that will only be available to a select few; namely those that are able to afford high-speed, high-quality Internet connections.
Until the Stadia can be offered on less stable connections, it remains a limited service with unlimited potential.