This is a great insight into why Google completely failed to compete with established game industry titans. They don’t get the industry, don’t get the customers, don’t get their partners. Doing a rug pull on another company’s monthly active users pretty much guarantees that no game publisher will ever take them seriously ever again. That bridge is torched.
I’m used to Google pulling the rug under their users. They are a B2C company for most of the product they stop. It only somewhat damages their image. Probably not much revenue lost there.
But mismanaging their large business partners seems new. That’s the kind of reputation which can really negatively affect their other B2B products. For it to leak like that in the press, they must really have botched it. Makes you wonder what’s happening at Google.
They’ve rug pulled on users who got wise. Now on B2B.
Sundar is a sus CEO. Ballmer of the decade, knows how “Google works”, but was riding high on money printer going brr. He does not seem to have a clear vision forward with the cheap cash tap turned off.
At least here on the outside of Googleplexes, the feeling of a directionless Google/Alphabet is becoming very palpable.
I can't tell anymore what they're trying to do, earlier Google was exciting with new products and features for us techies. GMail launch was awe-inducing at the time, now we know such excitement came with the cost of a steady march of dead products and leaving a dissatisfied mass of users/consumers in its wake. The last big move playing out I remember from Google was YouTube's purchase.
I don't know what Google wants to do or be, it's has slowly became a big ball of mud around the cash cow from DoubleClick's acquisition...
For me, Stadia was by far the best gaming experience I've had in recent history. I'm a very casual gamer so I don't really want to invest a lot in hardware or buying games. Stadia made it very cheap for me to easily jump into a game session whenever I wanted with minimal upfront investment. I'm most disappointed to see Ubisoft+ on Stadia gone since several franchises I like were Ubisoft and now I have no easy way to play.
I'll probably check out GeForce NOW at some point, but I currently don't have a way to use my only controller (Stadia) with my TV.
If you don't care about graphic performances or photo-realistic quality then I can't recommend the Switch enough.
Some find find the initial 300-400 EUR investment a bit steep but after you go through that they have sales all the time and you can easily amass a collection of 50+ games for a maximum of 200 EUR. I did that over the course of 2 years -- less than 10 EUR a month. Now I can't decide which game to play because I have so many, lol.
Uh pretty sure Nintendo didn't make several thousand of the 4418 Switch games...
The Switch is good for anyone that wants a portable console that can also easily be played on a TV with friends and family. Sure if you're a PC Master Race Snob who absolutely can't stand if a game is remotely under 1080p 60FPS maybe it's not the console for you but IME at least everything is playable except for a handful of awful ports.
Have you used a Nintendo Switch? I kinda doubt it. The Nintendo Switch is way more powerful than the 360 and it shows. Go play something that was on both consoles like Skyrim, Crysis, Doom 3 etc side by side. The Switch versions run better with more effects and run at a higher resolution. Most Nintendo games run well, Mario Kart 8 is 1080p 60FPS (how many 360 games are that like 6?), Mario Odyssey is 900p 60FPS, Bowser's Fury is 60FPS docked, Metroid Dread is 900p 60FPS docked.
None of my Switch controllers have broken either and they've seen more than 30 hours use.
I have both a Switch and Steam Deck. The Steam Deck is good and more powerful but it's also considerably bigger, louder, heavier with worse battery life and I've run into far more issues in the 2 months with it on verified games alone than all my time with the Switch. Using it docked is clunky, ditto doing local play. It's still a PC at heart which is fine but the Switch has an ease of use factor the Steam Deck simply does not have.
I really don't care that much about graphics. Sure, I don't want something that looks awful, but I care more about just taking a break and having a good time. The Switch is definitely something I've considered, but the cost relative to how much I would expect to use it makes it a more difficult choice for me than it was to pick up a Stadia controller.
I was in this boat but for a while before finally biting the bullet and getting one. Zelda is easily the best game I’ve ever played, I ended up spending over 80 hours on that when I’m lucky to ever spend over 10 hours on a game. I got the Switch a few months before my second was born and it’s such a great system if you can only squeeze in small bursts of gaming, power button instantly puts it to sleep, then it instantly wakes right where you left it.
Worth picking them up second hand now too, Facebook marketplace seems to have some pretty good deals going at times.
You don't need amazing internet. I played Stadia (and other game streaming services) in 8+ different places across Europe.
OTOH, what really kills the experience IME is the jitter. Even if you have decent latency with Wifi, a brief spike in latency can ruin the race that you've been competing in for the last 5 minutes, for example. Wired internet obviates this, and powerline adapters are cheap and fix this for good.
2. Live in a major city that has a direct line to their datacenter.
You can literally get 1-2ms latency from your home to AWS/GCP/Azure with such a setup, as it's all fiber from your home->ISP->IX->datacenter and there's no additional inter-city routing. This is compared to DSL/Cable which pretty much has a ~10ms delay to the exchange in perfect conditons, and the even larger delays involved in routing a packet over multiple hops across the country.
For the first condition, that depends if you're able to get residental fiber service there. Most cities have fiber service in the downtown core but that's not always true in the suburbs.
For the second condition I think that those cloud gaming services publish their available server locations or provide some sort of speed/ping test service to test your connection. Being so dependent on latency it would make sense for them to have this available to their potential customers. You can also check for IX peering info and the like but there's no guarantee that having a presence there means your game server is located there (e.g. Google may have a datacenter in the city and peer with your ISP but the Stadia servers may be somewhere else).
Note: if you want to give your Stadia controller a second life after the service shuts down, you can do that using USB. Reportedly rumble works on Steam and Xbox. Bluetooth does not work, even though there seems to be a lot of demand for that.
If the latency is terrible, you might want to try disabling old devices or seeing if you have interference from another network - it’s normally a couple of milliseconds, maybe 4-7 if you’re using a mesh.
I tried Stadia several times, and it just never worked well.
In my case I'm pretty sure it was wireless congestion despite only having a low tier cable service. I live in a town home right beside some condos and the throughput sinks like a stone as soon as I move away from my router. If I stood right beside the router it actually worked fine despite the relatively slow nominal performance of my internet connection.
I imagine this wouldn't have been an intractable problem. I could have spent the time and money to optimize the networking in my house. But the fact is, everything else I want to do works well enough for my purposes - except Stadia. I can't imagine a non technical user would bother to diagnose this class of issue before just giving up and buying a console.
Eventually my Steam Deck pre-order shipped and I never looked back.
My neighbors constantly complain about the connection quality in our neighborhood. We almost all use the same provider since there aren't many options in our area. During most gaming sessions, I didn't have any real problems. Of course, part of that has to do with the fact that I'm not a very skilled gamer, so I'm not as likely to notice lag.
Good selection supported of games tied to your Steam/Epic/Origin purchases. They suport Ubisoft+ and EA Play (for at least some of the games). Played through a bunch of Ubisoft titles I'd missed this way.
I use a Playstation 4 controller with my Macbook Pro and it all works nicely. Not sure how that would work with TV.
I bought the founder's edition Stadia hardware and I'm thrilled with what I got out of it, personally. I got a free game system for years since they are giving everyone refunds. Played several AAA games I had no access to otherwise. Still going to have the, now free, Chromecast Ultra 4k with ethernet cable power adapter afterward too. It works fine even if I don't pair Stadia controllers with it.
This Ubisoft initiative to transfer licenses to PC is actually worthless to me since my PC doesn't have a GPU capable of playing games anyway and I have no intention to buy one.
Considering more people are reading these headlines than experiencing a round of google freebies for their shutdown, this is only going to work to limit consumer buy-in on whatever google decides it needs to do next.
Google is panically trying to find another unicorn, as it knows its current cash cow, ads, is holding almost all its eggs and could be facing its demise as online regulation only continues to strengthen.
Not to mention google’s perverse promotional incentives that ignore supporting products long term, focusing on launching new things instead.
Google, as it is right now, is a dying company. They need basically a complete overhaul, starting with firing the entire C-level, especially the true CEO, Ruth Porat.
As an aside about GPUs, things have changed a lot over the years. In the early 2000s games were being released that were impossible to run on high settings with current hardware, and your hardware was outdated after 3 months and obsolete after a year.
Today An RX580 (released in 2017) can be had for $100-$200 and is enough to comfortably run any modern game at quite nice settings. It's been a while since I looked as well, it's entirely possible the Ethereum swap is pushing card prices down even lower.
You only need the silly priced cards if you want to do something like play games on maxed out settings in 4k at a locked 120fps.
But consider the cost of power. For many people, especially Europeans, the power bill from running a gaming PC might be substantially higher than that of running a laptop + Stadia or GeForce Now monthly subscription.
Which indicates that something is wrong with the residential electricity markets. Google should not be paying substantially less for marginal electricity than Google’s customers.
(This is a major problem with California’s energy planning. On the one hand, CA (IMO fairly sensibly) wants users to switch from gas to electricity. On the other hand, CA’s electricity prices are so egregiously inflated that people have an economic incentive to switch from electricity to gas.)
I'm not sure about in Europe, but in the U.S. at least a substantial portion of power generation is already from renewables. That doesn't really make it free, or necessarily even cheaper depending on the circumstances.
Not at all. We want companies to leverage economies of scale. Efficiency should bring competitive advantage. Google often invests in datacenters in places based around where it's cheaper to power and run them, often owning the energy production.
Stadia Pro was 10 EUR. So you're not wrong, though it's easily within the margin of error for this ballpark estimate (e.g. I wish I still had 14 hours a week for gaming; the power draw could be off by a factor of two in either direction, ...). And in winter, using power for computing is just a roundabout way of heating your living area, so in a way, it's free. I wonder if increased electricity costs were a factor in shutting down Stadia.
Your hope is validated! I'm one of the greenest, least energy-consuming people on Earth. I live next to a hydro plant with capacity to spare, don't eat meat, don't own a car, have no drivers license, never fly, and my last holiday I cycled 600km .
I got a free game system for years since they are giving everyone refunds.
This will be a common attitude in the future as far as Google's consumer products go. People will buy them expecting them to shut down in a few years, but now they'll also expect a refund.
If you're a Googler who dreams of heading up a project to make something consumer-facing it'll be a lot harder to get buy-in from the board now that it'll cost so much more to shut it down (in dollars if a refund is given or in good will if it isn't) anything that's not a massive success.
I'll echo your sentiment. I got to game free for nearly three years and I get to keep any hardware I purchased to do so. I personally grew tired of Stadia due to the lack of public support and negative sentiment any time it was brought up so I'm happy to be getting my money back (especially seeing as some games are providing second licenses on top of refunds) which can go towards a GPU while being given time to finish any games in the coming months.
Yeah, this. My previous company got paid a lot of money to bring our titles to Stadia. And it wasn't worth it, as Google kept changing APIs and interfaces. And then nobody played the game. It didn't happen again, and basically everyone in this industry has been using Stadia as a punchline for years.
No wifi damns the premise completely, wifi is so ubiquitous that it has become synonymous with internet access itself. Cafes and hotels advertise having "wifi", not "internet access". College libraries label ethernet cables as "wifi cables" so that young students understand their purpose. The average laptop on the market doesn't have an ethernet port, nor do any of the low power tablets/phones on which Stadia might otherwise make sense.
Virtually all devices that don't possess an Ethernet port merely need an adapter.
At some point in time we can't fix the entire universe because people don't the know the fuck what they are talking about.
Here's what people want. They want to plug their gig service into their 11 year old cable modem that supports 250Mbps and plug in their 12 year old "g" router which if their service is "good" or "strong" enough it will somehow make radio waves burst through walls like the kool aid man screaming "oh ya" as it drives gigabit speed to all devices on multiple floors of the house simultaneously somehow defying both common sense and the laws of physics.
Meanwhile people will drop $3000 a year on cable TV but not the cost of installing decent hardware. It is perfectly normal for at least some devices sometimes MANY devices with a connection in the neighborhood of 10Mbps with random interruptions.
Good wifi would mean a router per floor with a wired backhaul with additional wireless extenders as needed if you expect to have actual fast internet away from the main router.
Wifi works fine for it, honestly. As noted elsewhere, the biggest problem is latency-based. Using WiFi will probably add ~30-50ms of latency to your setup, which is bad, but also consider that both the PS5 and Xbox Series X have over 100ms of input lag alone. Once you do the math, Stadia over Wifi isn't any less responsive than playing on console. As long as your Wifi connection is half-decent and you aren't playing some Chinese MMO, your experience should be fine.
>64 packets transmitted, 64 received, 0% packet loss, time 156ms rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 2.293/6.699/63.116/7.364 ms
A 63ms delay on some packets can totally ruin the user experience even if the average is relatively low... and this is the best a near-optimal (in the real world) setup can do.
If you left your test running longer than 64 packets, I'm sure you would see at least a 100ms max. GP wasn't far-off with their assertion that running on WiFi can easily add 30-50ms of latency. Their wording was a bit loose though.
That 63ms packet was one packet. It's way out of the standard deviation. You don't point to the max and state that's the typical experience of the network.
If we only looked at max values then Amazon isn't 2 day shipping it's like 1 month because some delivery sometime took that long, even though like 95% of deliveries are within two days (just an example, don't know what their actual rates are)
And on top of that, that's with an extremely cheap chip with a compromised antenna inside a network closet with a TCXO literally right on top of the antenna running on 2.4FHz. My 5GHz example with a nice AX chip and decent laptop lid edge antenna never experienced any pings higher than 1ms.
> You don't point to the max and state that's the typical experience of the network.
The test uses 64 packages which is a tiny sample size for streaming use. If we blindly scale that up you would hit the max several dozen times per minute.
> If we only looked at max values then Amazon isn't 2 day shipping it's like 1
A better example: Imagine your tongue just stops moving once every minute and then tries to catch up with what you where doing, imagine this will happen for the next two months. It is just a minor annoyance, right?
An important aspect that I think is overlooked: even if the latency is so subtle that it's overlooked, subconsciously you may have a feeling that something is off, your perception of the product will be worse, you will perhaps become frustrated without even knowing why.
A person I know was diagnosed with tinnitus. And it (the diagnosis) made him happy. For over a year he was frustrated, nervous, but he didn't know why. Turns out he was hearing noise all that time, but just didn't realize it. Sounds (pun not intended) ridiculous, but that's how the mind works.
The previous ping had the Zero W way overloaded, I realized that after. Single core running with a load average of 2.8, still managed to be decently interactive and have the previous pings. This ping was happening while having 1 minute load average of 1.2. So only kind of overloaded ;)
This kind of latency is achievable on a $10 board with only 2.4GHz Wireless N. Suggesting WiFi adds 50ms latency on average is extreme hyperbole.
Again, max ping of 43ms. The worst kind of latency is the unpredictable kind that can't be compensated for. The reaction speed of a casual gamer will be somewhere near 180-250ms. If we take the upper bound, occasionally the casual gamer's input will take 17.2% longer to register.
You're dancing around the issue at play though. An application that hitches or glitches for a second every few minutes will quickly become irritating. It doesn't matter if it works 99% of the time. It has to work 100% of the time or its strictly inferior to console or PC.
> 64 packets transmitted, 64 received, 0% packet loss, time 156ms rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 2.293/6.699/63.116/7.364 ms
So if a video frame consists of 64 packets, the whole frame will be delayed by 63.1ms.
Yes there are ways around this (FEC), but getting 1ms 99%ile latency over wifi IRL is nontrivial.
Btw fat-client PCs have much smaller latency spikes, but even those spikes are noticable and make games feel jittery. That's why we compare GPUs based on "1% lows" instead of average FPS. Also see frame pacing.
Naw, streaming video is trivial if you have a 1 second latency budget so you can use LL-DASH and CMAF. We hit that target with <100 hours of dev work on a co-watching/cloud-streaming project with only 2 PoPs in the US. WebRTC FEC is a relatively modern and wasn't on the table in 2020.
Btw you almost certainly tested on an unloaded connection so you're not seeing any HOL blocking like a real video stream would. Try playing a 20mbps YouTube video in the background while you ping. Oh and turn on a microwave oven when you're 3 walls (a room and a hallway) away from the AP for extra hilarity on the order of 80ms
A ping result from my WiFi 6 laptop while watching YouTube on the laptop playing through Bluetooth headphones, messing around in an RDP session, a few SSH consoles actively refreshing, chatting on Teams, music streaming over WiFi on the audio receiver, while cooking lunch in my microwave:
Ping statistics for router.home.lan:
Packets: Sent = 793, Received = 793, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 1ms, Maximum = 5ms, Average = 1ms
I meant game control video. You don't get a second of buffer for the player.
And you don't need to use webrtc, or you can add your own FEC on top for your client software.
And yes a 4k YouTube video makes it worse but "don't do that" is a valid response and realtime video won't be so bursty. I can get a very nice ping while more stable bandwidth hogs are running. Microwave is also "don't do that".
There's no 100 ms. Current generation made a huge leap forward. Controller and whole input stack add 2-8 ms. TVs with 120Hz, VRR and low latency mode add 6-10ms in 4k HDR (no idea about DolbyVision HDR).
People's wifi ISN'T half decent though. They use 10 year old hardware stored in a closet to service their two story house then connect all the devices furthest from the router to the 5 ghz network and get 10Mbps intermittent service partying like its 2002 instead of 2022.
By far the bigger issue with wifi is periodic bursts of noise and wifi scanning introducing stutter. Wifi latency is low enough to be a complete non-issue, the only place you'd care is with VR (and even then it's probably fine, but you're much much more sensitive to that stutter, so it's worth doing something special).
30-50ms is ISDN territory. You either have absolutely lousy Wi-Fi (like a soft AP running on ancient hardware) or you’re confusing latency with jitter driven by signal interference and retries (which is also lousy Wi-Fi).
Hot damn son your WiFi must be poorly configured. I got sites w WiFi aps about the 4th hop after a ptp WiFi link. Adds about 2ms latency the furthest you can get from the main router. Bout half a ms per hop.
Normal users are not that helpless so as to give up when faced with this problem.
I maintain contact with several non-tech people. When they realized that e.g. Valorant will work better with a cable they very quickly deciphered the USB-to-Ethernet adapters market and asked a father or a friend to run their cable properly. Took each of them 2-3 days and they're much happier casual gamers now.
Where there is a need, a way is found. When the need arises, people learn. Seen it happen several times.
In the walls? I’ve seen plenty of places with just lots of wires all about, usually tactfully hidden against walls. Rich people wire things in the wall, everyone else just has cables strung about the place.
I've experienced that at times, but it was because my router was defective on certain settings. You're not getting blown out by a microwave on 5GHz so there's no reason to have a problem like that except things being broken.
It made sense for me -- I own no gaming devices, and my only computers are macbook pros with shoddy graphic cards. There are occasionally games I'd love to play, but I don't want to pay $500+ (ps-latest, xbox X) or $2.5k (computer with $1k graphics card).
Unfortunately, this outcome was easily predicable to anyone who follows google.
The difference is that you aren’t paying a monthly fee, have much greater selection, can download the file to play later (without the Netflix problem of content disappearing due to whatever contract terms are secretly in place), and using Movies Anywhere your purchases are synced to other stores. There’s still a lot of room for improvement there but it seems like you need to pick one model or another, not both.
This is not a very good fit for games, however: everyone sells and watches the same movie and almost nobody watches the same ones for anywhere near as long as gamers play them.
Yes, iTunes introduced buying films and TV in 2003 when the state of the art was an iPod. Very few people still do it and Apple is all in on streaming and has many affordances to seamlessly support first and third party streaming services through various APIs like supporting TV Anywhere globally, supporting third party apps in the Tv app, etc.
Stadia is not too early? Cloud gaming is getting mature now.
I’ve heard people say there is lag but apparently the platforms have optimized them heavily in recent years and I’ve personally never experienced any problems after hundreds of hours on both Xbox cloud and Paperspace, with maxed out graphics.
100-250mbps connection is probably more than enough. And those connections are becoming the standard in the western world.
One of the things hiding behind the gigabit recommendation is that there are lots of terrible ISP decisions that might have been made upstream of you, but that symmetric gigabit providers haven’t made by and large. It’s not actually that you need gigabit, but rather that you need an ISP good enough to offer it.
Back in the day, FiOS offering gigabit at your address was a handy shorthand for being on a more modern ONT, not using DSL to deliver it to your apartment over crappy copper, etc.
Yup, I played the entire "Last of Us" campaign on Sony's PS Now service in 2015 on cheap Comcast internet on my 2014 MacBook Pro. Display was great and the streaming quality was great! Don't remember if it was 4k; very very unlikely. Perhaps it was 1080p or 720p. Anyways great experience!
Never tried Stadia; _even though_ I got their controller & chrome cast 4k for free in some promo offer! It was just too much work to end up paying full price for games I already owned! Such a bad bad product. The most greatest of technology/engineering! And yet, such a waste!
Google really has fallen in my eyes. As a software engineer, I would be so scared to go there to work on something new.
Yup, I did use it like that. You found a flaw: I shouldn’t have said “never”. I actually did try it for maybe like 5mins and got felt meh about it.
It’s a nice enough controller tbh. It’s just so inconvenient compared to my wireless dualsense controller. Or any other controller: Xbox, dualshock4, steam, backbone controller connected to an iPhone etc.
The stadia controller is really nice in the sense that it has Google assistant built in yadda yadda. Imagine if they made that configurable to control Cortana on windows. Or some form or voice control on windows. It would make using my living room PC that much easier.
I played Stadia over 20mbps Wifi. It was flawless. I finished Tomb raider 1&2 and Metro exodus. Completely forgot I was streaming a game to my laptop after the first 5 minutes.
Google killed fiber rollout because they were forced out by other ISPs...
Issue with Stadia was Linux. Linux choked the entire platform. You had to get developers to port their game. If they used Windows they would have a solid platform with thousands of games. Instead they are at the mercy of "bribing" devs to port their game to Stadia.
Proton is just pre-built Wine with Valve patches. Wine existed for years and DXVK wasn't Valves' own project. They just sponsored some open source project and driver improvements and integrated it into Steam.
I seriously doubt that if you count every single developer that Valve hired to work on it as well as sponsored 3rd-party developers there likely gonna be 25-30 people or less.
I pretty sure that more people worked on Stadia within Google than all people working in Valve on all of their projects.
I believe Google is completely blind that these kinds of moves cause people to not want to invest themselves in their new products. Why would I want to pioneer using new something if there is good likelihood it will get unceremoniously killed with very little reason / advance notice.
I would think gaming would go up during a recession. Gaming can be very cheap entertainment once the hardware is purchased. Like for the price of 4 movies in the theater at $15 a pop that might be 6 or 7 hours long in total, I can play a game for 40x that long over months for the same price and not leave my house.
It's funny to me because if we're resorting to semantics and nitpicking to prove whether or not there is a massive and broadly defined societal issue going on, then it probably isn't really happening... at least not enough to write home about.
It's not semantics or nitpicking.. it's a fact. It's literally the Oxford dictionary definition of recession.
It may not be a severe recession. It may not affect our quality of life all that much. Media may be blowing it out of proportion. It's not my goal to argue either way (I'm honestly not qualified to do so and it seems most experts don't know yet).
But saying "it isn't really happening" is just false. We don't get to just redefine words based on our feelings.
Recessions can move very slowly. Many of the more obvious effects of the 2008 crisis didn't happen until 2009 as the contagion spread outward. It is possible that the recession has already started even if the worst economic effects are yet to come. At the very least we are in the downward part of the cycle, and we have yet to see the next bottom.
I am happy that Stadia is gone, maybe now all the stadia exclusives can come to Geforce Now. Presumably not much development work is needed to port your game to GN, it just needs to run on Steam.
Stadia business model was flawed from the start, people want to own the games they buy, they might buy a new expensive computer in the future and don’t want to pay for the game twice. With Geforce Now you play the games that are already in your steam library.
Yes, everything that I don't personally like shouldn't exist because there's no way it could work for someone if it doesn't work for me, right?
I am not a fan of cloud gaming, but Stadia as a service wasn't bad. As for owning games, you don't own your Steam games either, unfortunately.
As glad as I am for Valve supporting Linux, the real practical difference between Steam and Stadia is that Valve has proven it will keep it around. But in terms of ownership there's hardly a difference.
Stadia did two things for me that were invaluable:
* It was my primary console for about 18 months until I finally got a new xbox. worked almost flawlessly until the last few months, when Google's divestment in the platform began to show up in its performance.
* It eliminated cheaters, which were a huge problem in the PC version of the game I play the most (Destiny 2).
I'm bummed they're shutting down Stadia though its not world-ending for me. But I'm really not sure GFN or similar is going to work well for me on that second point, and I don't even own a PC to play those games natively. I do have an xbox now to play on, but I still do log into Stadia when i'm traveling or in another room and don't feel like coaxing my wife off the tv in the living room.
I said it before, A lot of people on here will happily argue that they want to own their games (Which I want too!), while also rejoicing that cloud gaming is increasing narrowing to fewer and fewer companies. Licensing is getting increasingly harder, and I'm worried at some point we'll be left with a monopoly and it'll be too late. There's a lot of money in being the last man standing, and if one company holds all the licensing and economies of scale, then that leaves the consumer experience to the goodwill of whoever dug themselves into the deepest hole.
> the real practical difference between Steam and Stadia is that Valve has proven it will keep it around
How about being able to run the game on hardware that I own? On stadia I have to rent hardware from a single vendor, while on steam I can run it on my own hardware or rent hardware from cloud vendors to run my game.
Except it was terrible. Not only was it by a company whose profit center is pure evil, but if it would of taken off it wasn't inconceivable games could of been developed exclusively for the tech. It would make DRM, anti-cheat and a whole host of other things a lot easier.
There are many of us who do not want to see that future ever, where the only way to play game is to stream it.
Writing good titles is pretty difficult. There's lots of SEO advice on title crafting, but not a lot of advice on writing titles with standalone narrative value, since that doesn't generate ad revenue.
I think there's probably a sentiment of "Oh Google is really messing Ubisoft and Bungie around". But I think the truth is probably slightly different. Google was offering something different, and I don't think any game studio was jumping at the chance to get on Stadia - especially given Google's reputation. So any work going on to support and develop for Stadia was almost certainly backed by Google money, not Ubisoft money. So yes, it's sad that engineering effort was wasted (but let's be real, 90% of engineering effort is wasted), in reality, it probably isn't a big hit for the game studios. This isn't a case of Google luring naive game companies into developing for Stadia and then pulling the plug, this is a matter of big spending Google trying to spend its way into a new industry and failing, probably it was quite lucrative all round. Yes, they'll have to do a bit of work to save face with their customers, but all-in-all this was probably free money for them.
Microsoft did the same with Xbox, but they stuck with it through all the years the division was a huge money sink. Google could have taken a lesson from that: even Microsoft's existing presence in gaming with Windows, DirectX, and a long list of well-respected development studios wasn't enough for a quick entry.
Yeah, shortly after Xbox 360 launch Microsoft had to repair/replace something like 20% of them because the red ring of death, and their internal estimate at that time was around $1.1 billion. I don't Xbox and am not a Microsoft apologist but they have managed to ride this Xbox thing out. Unlike Games for Windows Live :)
Yeah, I hate M$ with passion too, but if I remember correctly, the Xbox lead had a hard time even selling the idea of a console to the VPs back at the time, who were all business and zero gaming. And yet they managed to pull it off with sheer blood and balls. Google, with its vast surveillance/ad network raining billions on them, can't even put two legos together.
From the outside looking in with this move Google have alienated Ubisoft, Bungie & Rockstar from any and all future product launches. Google seems to have become a mediocre company over the past ~5 years.
You can use Google takeout to export your game saves. I've used it to export my cyberpunk 2077 save but I haven't yet tried importing it into the Steam version.
I would have thought that because destiny 2 is an online game, the save files would be kept on bungie's servers. Perhaps the issue with the game is more that players need to link their identity to their account on a second platform.
Several months ago, many outlets were reporting Google was shifting focus with Stadia, turning it into a white label product where other companies could create their own cloud gaming services. I think this might be a more viable business model for them. Imagine a market where game companies like Rockstar, Capcom, Ubisoft etc have their own streaming game service products just like Netflix, Disney, Paramount, etc. You pay a monthly fee to access that studio's library. We may have seen the end of Stadia the retail product, but Stadia the platform will likely live on in another form.
"It had also not been shared with longtime Stadia partners, big devs like Ubisoft and Bungie...But Google didn’t even tell their own Stadia team until the day it was announced, so really, no one knew at all."
Hard to tell if this is incredible mismanagement or sheer arrogance.
Google search results have consistently been getting worse over the last several years. Unfortunately, bing and others aren’t really improving either, but if things continue this way, eventually they will likely overtake Google by nature of being the least bad option.
Given that Google thought that their gaming division should be headed by a guy who has been booted from multiple gaming companies for completely fucking them up (most recently the XBox One and PS3 launches), both.
As a product I agree Stadia was dead on arrival, there was no chance people were going to buy games again on a brand new platform at full price with the potential for a poor experience every time your wifi flaked a bit.
The tech behind it though I find fascinating. I would love to have the ability to stream my games to a chromecast that I can attach to my TV downstairs, or take with me travelling. Most of the games I play aren't fast paced so the odd latency blip for the convenience wouldn't bother me personally.
I think the way google should have played it is gotten into bed with Valve. I feel like there is a market fit for steam link without the local streaming faff. Use google's infrastructure to stream your back catalogue of steam games for $XX/month, maybe throw in the odd free game like the game pass and I can see it gaining some traction. Certainly it would have more chance of success than going in to a mature market solo.
> It’s always going to a substandard experience for latency sensitive games. Can’t change physics.
Couldn't agree more, but personally I'm old and my days of playing quake or CS1.6 are over so I don't care about latency. I totally understand streaming games is never going to cover all gamers though.
> I don’t see the problem with owning a physical machine for your back catalogue. There’s no real problems there that aren’t created by greedy companies.
My physical machine isn't in the same room as my TV and is far from portable.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't wouldn't be a lifechanging experience for me and I don't see this as a huge gap in the market. However if the tech behind Stadia was going to fit anywhere, leveraging an existing ecosystem felt like the best way.
Latency isn't just about having a competitive advantage. Playing with high input latency is mentally fatiguing. Apple understands this; that's why they put so much effort into low latency touch controls. Touch control existed before the iphone but it almost always felt like crap until Apple figured out that reducing latency was key. Latency is the difference between merely usable and comfortable.
But it was not a substandard experience. It was pretty flawless. Yes there is latency but it was imperceptible. You got used to it after 5 minutes and then you got sucked into the game, totally forgetting you are STREAMING a game to your machine. The tech is amazing, right on time in fact. The physics works out perfectly. Issue is that they chose Linux rather than Windows. Porting games is a pain.
As a digital nomad, Stadia was far more portable than a traditional game console or PC, and I bought and played through a few full-length games. (I did understand that it was likely to get canned, though.)
So- there's at least one real human out there! I suspect there are dozens of us!
I've tried it but it was a dramatically inferior experience to GFN or stadia. Latency was unbelievably bad. I could put it up side-by-side with Stadia and the xbox, and the latter two had just a hair difference between them responding to controller presses. XCS, on the other hand, had seconds between a button press and watching my on-screen avatar jump.
Maybe its gotten better since then, the last time I gave it a try was back in the spring. But I was far from impressed.
When I tried Geforce Now about a year ago, I preferred Stadia (useable on Chromecast, more seamless setup, good latency). I'll certainly concede that Geforce Now is better positioned going forward though!