Louis Hughes’ E3 2019 Google Stadia Launch Information Thoughts
Time is upon us with a new contender in the gaming market. My previous thoughts on the Stadia was a ‘wait and see’ approach as more information is released. Well, they decided to reveal more tidbits about the “service” before the mayhem of E3. After the presentation, I am still sitting on the sidelines. The price is decent, giving you a controller, Chromecast Ultra, and three months of the Pro service. They have also announced a Base service that will be coming next year that is free, but you are limited to 1080p 60fps with Stereo audio. There were some things that surprised me. For example, if you want to game on your 4K TV you’ll need the Chromecast Ultra plugged in. If for some reason you want to game on your phone, well, it’s only compatible on Google Pixel 3 phones.
I feel this raises more questions that haven’t been answered, such as the price of the games. By using the Pro service, will it be similar to PlayStation Now where I have the option to stream every game in the library? If I purchase a game on the Stadia, do I own it? I doubt it since the games are cloud servers. The biggest obstacle is the recommended internet speeds. Thankfully, it seems 10mbs is the minimal for 720p 60fps with Stereo audio. 40mbs for 4K HDR with 5.1 audio, but new information has been released that if you plan to stream in 4K you better have a good ISP, because you may go over 1TB of data if you are not careful. That alone is why cloud gaming has a way to go, at least in the U.S. My ISP is on a 1TB limit thankfully, and I barely use 300GB a month, but this can be a roadblock for some.
Even with my doubts there are some things I like about this. No storage issues and waiting for day one patches and downloads. Most PC gamers have gotten used to buying games digitally (though their purchases are for keeps and not tied to a server) and getting good deals (Steam). The biggest perk is not having to buy a console. But with these advantages, I still see more questions/concerns about going all streaming. I will be interested to see how this does in the market come November.
UPDATE * While waiting for more information to be released, it looks like the Pro Service will grant you access to a library of games, but you will be unable to play new games. Games will be paid at full price which makes no sense to me. *