Two days ago Google took the big leap and got into gaming. Finally. They had a huge press conference to show off what’s to come with their new game streaming service, Stadia. After watching the press conference in its entirety, there’s a lot that we know. Google intends to make its mark and hopefully make a dent into some of the profits generated by the big three of gaming. There’s a lot of buzz on the internet about Google challenging the Big 3 but I won’t buy into the notion that Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft are on notice just yet. If Google can make the Stadia work the way they showed it off at the press conference then gaming may have just changed. While some may be raving over this announcement and rightfully so, I find that I have some questions.
HOW MUCH IS IT GOING TO COST?
Google Stadia is a streaming service. There is no hardware other than the hardware you own. This is already out there on the market. Nvidia has its GeForce Now service and Blade has its Shadow streaming service. As of right now Nvidia GeForce Now is free as it’s technically still in beta but pricing is expected to possibly be by the hour or a number of hours based on the GPU. Blade charges $49.95 per month or $34.95 per month if you sign up for the service annually. While we can all appreciate the convenience of streaming of your games via an online app or in the case of the Google Stadia via browser, $50 bucks a month or anything close to it for a casual gamer (which a lot of people are) is expensive. Where will Google break the mold here? How much is Google going to charge us?
WHAT KIND OF INTERNET SERVICE WOULD YOU NEED?
You know what else isn’t cheap, at least in the US? Internet service. Not only is it somewhat expensive but it’s even more so because of the way we use the internet now. Streaming services are the primary reason a lot of people have the internet at all. Based on the specs that Google touted, they’re offering Stadia streaming at 1080p/60fps as well support for 4K also at 60fps plus HDR and 8K at 120fps in the future. Resolution is just part of it. Google says that you’ll have use of multi-core GPU at 10.7 teraflops for your gaming. You’ll be able to do this across any device you own (Tablet, laptop, desktop, mobile, chromecast). I imagine that you’ll need internet service that at a minimum is 100Mbps. Some ISPs do offer that as a minimum service nowadays but that’s not everywhere. Some places still have internet service that works at a snail’s pace so your gaming might be laggy and choppy. Google said in the press conference that they have 7,500 server farms worldwide to accommodate game play so it remains to be seen how well Stadia behaves. It’s easy to show it off with one user in a demo but hundreds, thousands and possibly millions? Different story.
HOW DO I BUY GAMES? WHAT GAMES CAN I PLAY?
Google Stadia will be a failure of epic proportion if it doesn’t have games. I’m sure Google thought this through so I quite sure there will be games come launch date but which games we’re able to play matters. We know for sure that at the very least we’ll be able to play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey but what else? What about the titles that we currently enjoy on Xbox, PS4 and Nintendo? I doubt that we’ll be able to play a lot of those games via cross platform even though Google says that cross platform will be available.
What developers have signed on to make first party titles for the Stadia? Google didn’t give us much at the press conference to go on. Things like this tend to be vague at the very beginning so hopefully we’ll get more information soon.
How do we buy games? As it stands now they’re approximately 5 different game stores that I can think of off the top of my head where gamers can buy games. Did Google partner with these online stores to allow for purchases of these games? Since there’s technically no hardware involved with the Stadia outside of their controller it’s safe to assume that the games you buy will be stored via the cloud? Games nowadays are large in size so what cloud allotment are you given to store your games?
GOOGLE STADIA HAS TREMENDOUS UPSIDE IF IT WORKS
The questions I have about the Google Stadia is not based on negativity but legitimate questions that I think most gamers would ask especially being Google is now another company that is asking us for our money. I’m hoping for the best from Google as to why I’m posing these questions and it’s also why I didn’t get into the spec rundown and all of the features. If you want to know about that you can check out the video at the top of the article and see for yourself. The good thing is, the more big companies that jump into the mix the better it is for us gamers. I’m looking forward to Google being able to answer these questions so I’ll be keeping up with them and we’ll be keeping you posted.