Big news arrived in the Gaming world on 19th March. Google had let it be known that they were cooking up a big surprise but I don’t think anyone quite expected the bombshell they dropped. Yes, they were bringing out a console to rival the Playstation, XBox and Wii, but not like we imagined, oh no, this could be a game-changer, in every sense of the word.
It would probably take 20,000 words to list all the different things Google say their platform ‘Stadia’ can do, so here’s a little video instead.
Now it looks absolutely amazing. The accessibility for such a wide audience, no console to fork out on, or to take up space, overheat and get the green ring of death. (Yes, I am THAT old skool). So, these are my positives:
– I am excited about being able to stream games via various devices — play on your laptop, desktop, tablet, and TV
– Its capabilities are far beyond those of their Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo rival consoles, at least on paper.
– Google’s Data Centres will handle all of the processing power so having to pay for expensive gaming PCs and 4K enabled gaming consoles might become a thing of the past
– The Google Stadia controller is like a SNES and Xbox controller had a child. Simple, sleek and modern design.
– Publishers Ubisoft and ID Software have already been working behind the scenes with Google Stadia and seem very impressed with it.
However, I do have some concerns:
– Latency. Streaming via a server is not the same as having the technology wired into your TV. OnLive has already tried and failed with the game streaming model, and Sony already have ‘PS Now’ where PS4 gamers can choose from a huge library of games to stream. The issues for some gamers has been latency issues and laggy games because the services are so heavily dependent on stable internet connections.
– Cost. How much is Google Stadia going to cost? It’s probably going to be a monthly subscription fee. Do we have to pay for the controller on top?
– Everything is likely to be tied to my Google account. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I like having my gaming stuff completely separate. It already annoys me that I have to use a Microsoft account to do anything with my Xbox. You just know that Google will be getting even more information from us when we use Stadia, they’ll know all of our gaming habits, what genre of games we play, how much time we spend playing games, who we play games with…it’s all going be a little intrusive.
– How many Developers will get onboard? Google might be an incredibly successful company but it still doesn’t guarantee that the likes of Rockstar and Konami will want to get onboard and make games for Stadia. I’ll be interested to know who apart from Ubisoft and ID are going to be making games for this platform.
– Gamers in remote parts of the world with poor internet. Not just even remote parts of the world, the internet in rural parts of the UK is notoriously bad—some of the wealthiest areas can’t get a good internet connection as we as a Nation just aren’t up to speed yet (and I doubt Brexit is going to help that move along any quicker). Those people are not going to consider Google Stadia at all, surely? The entire model is internet reliant.
– Achievements/Trophies. I love the sound of achievements popping. It’s such a glorious feeling, that trophy notification. Google Stadia conference didn’t say anything about this kind of thing. Trivial but gamers love them. Even Steam has them now.
But let me know your thoughts! Do you think Google has what it takes to make console gaming a thing of the past and take over another part of the technological world? Or will it be a damp squib like Google Plus? Whatever the case we won’t have too long to find out. Stadia will be released in 2019, no date set as yet. Check their site for regular updates.