Google announced their big push into the gaming arena and it’s not what people may have thought. I was thinking we would see some sort of hardware but I was wrong. Google Stadia is the next big streaming platform that will allow you to seamlessly play big triple A titles on any device that can run a chrome web browser. The demo was incredible but while everything seemed so cool, I was left with oh so many questions. Here are my top 5!
What are the bandwidth requirements for 1080p and how different are those requirements for 4K?
This is the biggest question I have. In the US, we are not fortunate enough to have blazing fast internet speeds everywhere, in fact some of the more rural areas barely have internet at all. So what are the requirements for streaming games on the Stadia platform? They didn’t go over this in the announcement and I assume it’s because there are so many factors that effect how well those speeds translate into performance. Personally I am looking for very low latency and I find it hard to believe that we can stream 4K games over 50mb Down internet without experiencing devastating input lag. This might not be the platform for “everyone” as Google claims but more of a platform for those lucky enough to live in an area with amazing internet speeds.
How are games purchased or is this a subscription service similar to Game Pass?
I’m very intrigued by this new platform and its ability to provide seamless access to games, but another topic they didn’t discuss is pricing. I see this as a subscription service where there is a library of games with different tiers giving those with a certain tier access to different things. I find it hard to believe people will pay full price for a game they can’t download or own a hard copy of. It’s a streaming service and I wouldn’t pay full price for everything I watch on Netflix just to have them remove it next month.
I see the different tiers giving players access to different games and features. For example one tier can do 1080p 60fps streaming with some games that are a bit older/cheaper and another tier that allows 4K 60fps that gives access to the entire library. I would be disappointed if I had to buy games individually on the Stadia platform.
What studios are on board at launch and what games can we expect to play on this platform?
This is going to be what makes it breaks Google’s new big thing. The games are what keeps consoles and gaming ecosystems alive. Google needs to come out swinging with some heavy hitters and Doom Eternal is a great start. They may even want to have some exclusives up their sleeve. If they are getting nothing but previously released games from several months ago, like the ones they showed in action on stage then they may have some issues getting people excited for the launch. I need to be able to play the newest release on my platform of choice and if Google wants to be that platform of choice then they need to have access to a ton of games.
Does your mobile device have to run chrome OS or Android to use stadia on the go?
Everything we saw at the event showed games running on Chrome OS. They did say PC chrome browsers would work but what does this mean for the iOS users out there. Will we be able to play Google Stadia on our iPhone’s in a Stadia or Chrome app? Is this a push to try and get everyone in the Google ecosystem? If so, that’s disappointing. I think Google is changing the way games are played and I really hope that a large portion of mobile users aren’t ignored because they chose to go with a different OS. The Pixel is a great phone but chrome books and Slate tablets are far from the best option on the market. I’m hoping for Stadia to have amazing versatility and if it does, Google could have something very cool in everyone’s hands in no time at all.
Will this cause Sony and Microsoft to make a focused push toward a cloud gaming platform?
I have to believe Sony and Microsoft have already been working on their own version of Stadia for a long time. Project Xcloud was revealed by Microsoft last year and looks quite promising. Sony has been extremely quiet as of late and I’m sure they aren’t ignoring what’s happening. My biggest question is, if Sony and Microsoft come out with their own streaming platform, will Stadia be able to compete?
Sony and Microsoft have spent years gaining the trust of gamers (not an easy task) and building ecosystems that we all enjoy being in. They know what we like, and they have a ton of test data to drive great results in a a push for game streaming. I think I’m most excited not necessarily for Stadia itself but what it means for the way we play games and how accessible they are.