Nowadays, it’s hard to find content that can’t be streamed. Sure, you can still buy movies, TV shows, music, and all that other good stuff, but why would you when you can simply stream all of them?
The only form of content that hasn’t benefitted much from streaming services is video games. Sure, you could stream certain video games from services such as PlayStation Now, but that requires great Internet alongside a subscription. Plus, the selection of games is quite limited.
Google aims to change this attitude with Google Stadia, Google’s solution to the barren wasteland that is video game streaming. It released on November 19th, and so far has received a…mixed response. Not even mixed, really, just criticism and disappointment. So, what went wrong? Did Google mess up? Is video game streaming out of reach for our current Internet standards? Let’s take a look.
The Problems With Google Stadia
When Google announced Stadia, it was clear problems would arise. After all, the last time a company attempted dedicated video game streaming, we received OnLive, and as we all know, that ship sank fast.
However, no one could’ve expected the severity at which these issues presented themselves. Let’s start with the main issue with Stadia: the latency.
Of course, the latency one experiences during their time with Stadia depends on the quality of their Internet connection, but even reviewers with Gigabit Internet pointed out the half-second to full-second delays they would experience when playing games such as Destiny 2.
Every time they pressed a button, it would take around a half-second for the input to be recognized; that doesn’t sound like a long time, but trust me—it is. To make matters worse, the only time reviewers didn’t experience major latency was when using a Chromecast + Stadia controller. Both of these came with the Founder’s Edition of Google Stadia, which brings me to my next point…
The Absurd Price of Google Stadia
For $130, you can buy the Stadia: Founder’s Edition, which comes with a Stadia controller, a Chromecast, Destiny 2, and 3 months of Stadia Pro, Google’s subscription service for Stadia.
Yes, you must buy the proper equipment for Stadia and on top of that, buy the subscription service. However, there are games you still must buy, even though many of the games are free with the $10 Stadia Pro subscription.
Google will release a “basic” subscription in 2020 called Stadia Base, which allows users to stream games at 1080p instead of 4K, and Base users must purchase games individually.
This subscription model is what would happen if Netflix decided you needed a special TV to watch their original content, and I’m not a fan. Why spend so much money on a service that has no promise of working well? Plus, Google has a reputation for shutting down most of its ventures…
Is Stadia Worth the Wait
I don’t want to tell you what is and what isn’t worth it, as that debate is as subjective as can be, but I don’t believe Stadia is worth it. Microsoft has been teasing Project xCloud for a while, and that looks like Stadia without the extra steps and purchases.
With video game streaming still being iffy on requirements, I don’t think to buy your way into Stadia is worth it right now, and I urge you to wait and see what Microsoft has come up with.
I’m confident video game streaming will become a big thing, but not right now. With the high Internet requirements and weird subscription models, Google Stadia isn’t helping bring video game streaming to the mainstream, but maybe Microsoft can help.
If you are confident in Stadia, keep in mind you’ll want some extra security, which is why I recommend you to buy a VPN. What is a VPN? A VPN is software that encrypts and hides your information from public eyes, protecting you from hackers and other prying eyes. Plus, it can help to reduce your ping by battling bandwidth throttling.
Anyways, hopefully, we’ll see an increase in video game streaming, and hopefully, it gets better.