Google’s Stadia Is Not Ready For Prime Time

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Now that Stadia’s been out for a few days, it’s safe to say Google’s game-streaming platform launch isn’t going smoothly. Some people who pre-ordered Stadia still didn’t get codes to set up their accounts as of two days after launch, and features like Stream Connect and Crowd Play are missing. Stadia so far feels like a beta program…that you pay to participate in.

While all signs point to a streaming future for everything, maybe that day isn’t as close as it seemed. I talked with Kotaku’s Joshua Rivera about our experiences with Stadia so far, from the ability to instantly jump right into new games to the fact that Google is currently charging as much as Xbox Game Pass for a worse deal. Will Stadia stand up to the next generation of consoles? Like I said in my impressions, when it works, it feels magical, but as it stands, it’s not clear why anyone would actually want the service right now.

Here’s an excerpt:

Paul: There’s so much this [Stadia] launch leaves at the door. It would’ve been so much of an easier sell if it came out and was like every smart TV that has access to channels like YouTube—you can download Stadia—or any existing Chromecasts. The need to plug your controller into your phone and then plug into the PC to play on your browser.

Joshua: Right. Because technically you have to stop it on one screen and start it up on the next. It’s not that seamless. It’s pretty quick. It’ll take you less than 30 seconds, but it’s not that magical thing.

Paul: No, not yet. I am curious about the future of Stadia. Google obviously has the money to throw at Stadia and work on this moving forward, but I’m curious if they’ve taken stock of things like Xbox Games Pass, which in my opinion is a much better deal for 10 bucks a month. Stadia is offering Samurai Shodown [and Destiny 2] for free for November which is kinda cool. That game’s pretty sweet and it worked really well. But I’m wondering if they pivot and offer a subscription service. What can they do from here on out? With Xcloud right around the corner, and the next Xbox and PlayStation coming out next year, Stadia feels like it’s trying to get ahead of everything. I’m not sure why they decided to do this yet. I can’t figure it out! As it stands right now, it’s not something I can recommend.

Joshua: You see a lot of people online like speculating that they didn’t do their research or why do they not have exclusives? Do they not know what gamers want? Google’s a tech company. I think one of the complaints about Stadia right now is that you’re basically paying to get into a beta. That is a scam if you ask me, but also it’s a scam that keeps the amount of people in Stadia mangeable probably. When we were playing, it worked pretty well. If everyone who wanted a Stadia got one, will it still work well? I don’t know.

Comments

  • Looks like it is a recurring thing with Google these days. Offer half baked products and sell them at full price. Most of their latest stuff are eternal betas. Eg Pixel 4 – Soli is a shadow of the product they were selling. Plus the pixel 4 have a glaring security issue where people can unlock without opening their eyes. Instead of addressing the problem at production, they are selling the products and saying they will fix it later. The Pixel 4 are still selling full price.
    Also Google has a habit of killing off their products no matter how good the user base is.

    • It’s a recurring thing with most software products, regardless of developer. Software is becoming more complex, more expensive to create, and developers want a return on their investment before it is completely done. This behaviour is enabled because of the ease of providing updates via the Internet.

      You only have to look at almost every single new game release to understand this.

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