Gaming with Google Stadia

There are many cloud gaming stores and services out there, but today, I want to talk about Google Stadia. It is a cloud gaming service that seems to go a few steps beyond. Here are some things it can and can’t do.

How It Works

The requirements for using Google Stadia are far from unattainable. The initial idea was that you would not need any additional hardware, just an internet connection and your device that supports Google Chrome. It also allows you to stream games. Why is this important? Well, it means that you can use a powerful machine to play demanding games on your phone. What actually happens is that you play the game on your computer or other device and stream it to your other devices, similar to Nintendo Switch.

If you are already subscribed to Netflix or Disney+, you already have some idea as to how this is supposed to work. Your devices become merely the screens for your gaming adventures, while all the heavy lifting is done behind the scenes. A certain type of subscription to the services grants you the Stadia controller, which is essentially a DualShock controller much like Playstation and Xbox use. Also, there is no external device you save your progress on – it’s all in the cloud, which means that you can, in theory, game from anywhere and not lose your progress.

Launch

The service was launched in November of 2019 and, so far, the reviews are mixed. Some are thrilled at the prospect of playing their games anywhere on virtually any device, though the truth is that this refers to Google Pixel phones 2 through 4 and tablets that support Chrome OS. You can play on your TV with ChromeCast.

There are 22 games available so far, and I expect the list will keep on expanding. There is also an idea floating around about making the service available to iOS, but I can’t confirm that yet. My personal beef with the service is that it is not yet available in some locations, meaning that the rest of the world will have to wait a bit before they can enjoy it. This brings me to its other problem – a lack of people online.

Mixed Feelings

Here’s the thing: Google Stadia is pushing the limits of gaming right now. That being said, what was promised is not exactly what was delivered. Bad graphics are one of the most commonly reported issues (or, rather, the fact that 4k often doesn’t look like 4k), while the other is the lack of an online community. While many games on the list have single-player modes, they were meant for online play, and there are very few people to play with at the time of writing.

Still, I believe I could write this all off as being somewhat spoiled about what I like in my services and wait for a while. The system sounds amazing in theory, and what has already been done is beyond what anyone could have expected.