By now, we all know more or less about Stadia. Google made no secret of its big foray into game streaming. The founder’s editions of the console have reached reviewers recently. So how is the feedback so far?
Not very exciting, we’re afraid.
The promise of Stadia
Google hyped up Stadia to the point where it sounded like the future of gaming in general. The cloud-based service promised to change the way we play games. The cloud storage would remove the need to download game content. Click on a hyperlink and just dive into a game of your choosing; without sacrificing any resolution demands.
In the face of all that potential, here’s how the product actually feels like:
It feels like it hasn’t really launched yet.
Disclaimer: Stadia works. We’re not trying to say it’s just some sort of scheme that doesn’t. You can play games via the cloud service, without any physical discs or large downloads. It just doesn’t work as it is supposed to.
A lot of the key features promised are not present. One of the biggest prospects that could change how multiplayer works; the ability to join a game that you’ve been watching at the click of a button? It’s not there.
In addition (more like subtraction), Stadia doesn’t have iOS support, no working friend-list, and no games with Stream Connect. And you can’t really buy a Stadia right now.
The service is supposed to be free(technically). What you can get right now to play a Stadia game is the Stadia Pro; which is only available through the Stadia Premiere Edition Bundle.
There is no other way to access the service other than by Buddy Pass. Which allows a Stadia Pro owner to give you access to try the service. Thing is, this feature isn’t available at launch.
So, in simple terms, you are paying full price to buy a console. This console was going to eliminate the need to own hardware to play games. This console itself is hardware.
How it holds up
This is all to be considered with the information in mind that Stadia the service was always supposed to be free. You would still have to purchase games to play on the service. But you would be able to play them anywhere, on anything. Even a browser.
To be fair, the Stadia does run games smoothly enough.
Right now, you are paying for a console that delivers on none of the big promises it made. You’re better off buying a PC or a different console at the moment.
This isn’t to say Stadia won’t be what it set out to be eventually. The point is it isn’t right now. But Google still “launched” it at full price.
Google Stadia might just end up becoming the future of gaming. But it isn’t at present. So probably you should hold off on this purchase for the time being.