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Google Stadia Review Continues – Not Ready for Prime Time

It is difficult to reject the promise of a game broadcasting service like Google Stadia. Theoretically, you can play high-quality games almost anywhere on the internet, without a bit of technology and a second thought. In good faith, this is desirable.

After spending a week with Stadia, I'm a believer in the future, but it's clear that Google is a long way to get us there. The most innovative features of Stadia will not be available until at least 2020, and there are small layers of problems that address here and now the foundations. Even then, Google notified us of a series of things that will change at the Stadia launch on November 19. I will not wait for 2020 to review the Stadia, but I will wait until I have enough time under the same conditions as a paying customer.

With cloud play in mind and finally seeing what Stadia is (mostly), it's getting harder and harder to ignore the other game giants next to Google on the race line: Microsoft and Sony. Sony's PlayStation Now cloud service was recently downloaded for $ 10 per month (including discounts for long-term commitments), allowing you to access hundreds of PlayStation games on several different devices. Microsoft's xCloud game streaming service is available exclusively as a beta, but our initial experience with Android phones was seamless. Microsoft has also expanded its existing game library to four to 50, while simultaneously demonstrating that xCloud will be part of the Xbox Game Pass subscription from next year.

However, neither Microsoft nor Sony will match Stadia's current conflict, comprehensive multi-platform support, quality of life features that seamlessly combine experience between devices, and HDR and Dolby 5.1 on your TV with 4K, 60 FPS Google, cloud consoles or PC & It is one of the few companies that are positioned to make it an equal experience with the companies and seems to be going for it.

Google also claims that Stadia is tek one place for every road we play, and that your couch, table and palms are in the palm of your hand. The price-per-game decision brings high expectations in addition to the service charge for top-level Stadia features. Given enough time, Google could theoretically ramp up with a roar and hinder competition with a revolutionary service. However, Google effectively points to hello and asks if we want to play with a work in progress.

Last week, I played a young adventure filled with Red Dead Redemption 2, Destiny 2, Mortal Kombat 11, Shadow of Tomb Raider, Kine and the distinguished Gylt – Alan Wake in the new Stadia. These tests were conducted on a Pixel 3 XL phone, on multiple PCs and laptops, and especially on 4K TV using Google's official Stadia controller.

You know, Stadia worked well most of the time. In connection, I was looking at console-level graphics on a mobile device, and I also had console-quality controls with a Founder's Edition controller and a special plastic clip. Of course, when I'm tired of looking at the phone, which is a bit of a problem for most games, I can transfer it to a PC by opening the Stadia quick menu and directing the pop-up menus to an open Chrome browser tab. For now you need to connect the Stadia controller to your PC, but you can alternatively use an Xbox One or DualShock 4 controller to play wirelessly. Whatever 4K is really up to, you can direct the Stadia stream to your Chromecast Ultra (included in the Founder & # 39; s Edition package).

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But as the saying goes, it doesn't mean you can do it literally, especially if you have traditional gaming equipment at hand. During roughly one-week tests, Stadia showed many minor pain points. I wasn't supposed to have to sneeze at the lowest latency time, wrestling with video compression work or meticulous software. Unfortunately, I've come across many of these problems more than once. I can generally play for a long time under acceptable conditions, but it is easy to focus on the small troubles that make the Stadia feel less like an alternative to traditional console games or PC games.

However, today's Stadium, when Google officially launches its ambitious gaming platform for first adopters, the choice of Stadia games, the costs, the number of players on servers, the official launch of publisher-side services, the Google Assistant button will not even be the stadium of tomorrow. some of them will support wireless PS4 and Xbox One controllers on mobile devices, share captured content, be able to have voice chat, and hope that mobile games go smoothly and will be functional.

Everything about Stadia is unclear, and I am happy to say that the last controller has won. With a body similar to the Switch Pro controller and a similar layout to the DualShock, the Stadia controller is both familiar and new. Financially, it looks nice and keeps you pleasant and practically like an attraction. There's only good things to say about the Stadia controller, and Google should increase the value as it continues to release new features centered around the built-in microphone and Wi-Fi connection.

Nevertheless, a word of warning: the smartphone clip recommended by Google leaves permanent marks on the fine textured surface of the Founder's Edition controller. The claw, as it is called, has a very firm grip and the tension of the phone clamp is equally intense. If you're sensitive to the cosmetic condition of your controller, think twice before investing in the phone clip, but don't take advantage of the opportunities given, because Paw positions the phone ideally for mobile games.

Watch the controller! Paw can draw and draw.
Watch the controller! Paw can draw and draw.

We may also evaluate data requests that will consume 20 GB per hour for 4K gameplay and 4.5 GB per hour elsewhere, as stated by Stadia & # 39; s Google. There is a balanced option where Google & # 39; will calculate a data rate somewhere in the middle, depending on your network environment.

Long story short, I had to pay an extra $ 50 on the Internet bill to unlock my data title that I am currently hitting or approaching. This is a cost I can afford, for business, but when I try to imagine the impact on me as a typical consumer, I dare say it's a deal.

Even if I have professional reasons, the additional cost allows me to reconsider the value of Stadia's convenience when I need to increase my pocket money and pay out of my pocket for many games, many of which I have played. decided to play on other platforms. Destiny 2 and Samurai are free at Shodown launch, and Google promises to add more free games to subscribers over time, but what does it do for me today as a founding member of Stadia?

At least I can confirm a handful of games that will be part of the launch process. Because it is free for all Stadia Pro users, Destiny 2 has to be one of the most popular games coming out the door. Under ideal conditions, Destiny 2 plays smoothly with responsive controls and good enough graphics. However, if you experience a delay, your fireman will dart and you will fight during the fire while standing. It is also one of the games that is difficult to play on a phone screen due to the relative size of remote enemies that you can watch on a TV, but it looks too small when scaled down to fit on a smaller screen.

Mortal Kombat 11 is another game that cannot be played without a strong enough connection to support quick actions and reactions. This goes on almost unspoken for most video games, but this is especially true for a fighting game like MK. But when everything works as it should, the MK doesn't feel too far away from the real deal – the tiny input delay is always on when you call clearly.

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I can generally play for a long time under acceptable conditions, but it is easy to focus on the small troubles that make the Stadia feel less like an alternative to traditional console games or PC games.

The shadow of Tomb Raider, one of the games offered to us, has proved to provide the best balance for Stadia, a factor of the game's relatively low-key demands.

Gylt is the only special game in the package, but it cries a lot from a system vendor who defines a basic secret design and the definition of fear for children as the main selling points. As mentioned earlier, it awakens the best atmosphere comparable to Alan Wake with strange supernatural disturbances that damage the real world. There are monsters standing between you and your next item or puzzle, and your best option is to fight using a flashlight to infiltrate indefinitely or defeat the monsters. After playing Gylt for an hour, I was intrigued. I can see how you can entertain someone who is not dedicated to catching up with the latest games, but the derivative design is probably in the middle of the road to satisfy the gamers who are waiting to see what Stadia is all about.

I've now experienced less than half of Stadia's publicity library. There are more games coming soon, but titles are available on most other platforms. Google's technology has impressed me so far to the point where I can play comfortably on a browser tab or on the phone unobtrusively, but I think I'll have to buy most of the games. Even though the general services lacked the flexibility of Stadia, Microsoft and Sony remained amazed at the value it offered. For now, cloud games still seem a good alternative to the real thing, and I don't think I'm ready to dedicate a full-price gaming purchase to a secondary platform.

I will continue to give priority to my consoles and computer for a foreseeable future, but I will continue to test the Stadia in the coming days, and I will return with my final thoughts on the first release of Stadia in 2019.

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