Google OnLi- uh, Stadia

#41

I am a long time PlayStation Now apologist. There’s a ton of great JRPGs and other easygoing games that play great. And I’ve played extensive amounts of Fallout, AC Rogue and Red Dead with little technical issues beyond an occasional audio glitch.

Still, I am incredibly skeptical about Stadia. PS Now is fine as a JRPG supplement, but I can’t imagine it being the main way I played on my TV. And that’s pretty much how I feel about Stadia. If it’s reasonably priced, I could see myself using it as a secondary option for smaller games, the way I use my Switch now, but relying on it to be my primary way of playing doesn’t seem reasonable now.

I also think Google is shooting themselves in the foot by trying to be first out of the gate with this. If it suffers technical difficulties at launch, the story is going to be written, and they’ll just be setting up Microsoft to learn from their mistakes.

3 Likes
#42

I’m trying really hard not to be crusty about this technology but I can’t shake the feeling that this service is designed to profit off a future that doesn’t exist yet and no one is willing to put in the work to create.

#43

Can I just say that I’m baffled at the Americans in this thread extrapolating their internet to the rest of the world? Decent internet of the likes that could enable playing Assassin’s Creed via streaming is not that expensive for the rest of the world. I played through Deus Ex Human Revolution nearly 10 years ago via OnLive on worse internet than I have now and it was a perfectly acceptable experience. And judging by people’s experience with the Chrome beta, I’d say the experience has gotten better since then. I’m more than happy to play RPGs, strategy games, and story based games this way if it gets me out of the hardware arms race. And it’d be nice to play high spec games in bed or away from home without buying an expensive and bulky gaming laptop.

#44

I get 10 Mbps down and i live in Toronto

this will literally never work for me and plenty of other people who can’t afford anything faster and if this catches on then fuck me playing videogames i guess. I dont mind waiting 24+ hours to download a 60GB game but if I just can’t play something because I can’t afford better internet? ugh.

4 Likes
#45

We are because we all know where this is going: trying to create a monopoly that chokes support in other areas of the industry that basically leaves swaths of people unable to actually play games, which is already kind of happening if you wanna play an online multiplayer game in the middle of the country, where infrastructure basically doesn’t exist. Hell, I live in a pretty built area of Texas and even I have tons of service interruptions and just random dives in speed.

This is what AAA companies want and are trying to build to (see their obsession with live service models) so they can make money with little effort or use of resources, which is SUPER bad for art. The industry wants streaming games to be the future, which is basically apocalyptic for preserving gaming history and for wide swaths of the world even being able to play them.

8 Likes
#46

Is the 20GB an hour number real?

Damn, to think fighting game TOs already complain about venue bandwidth costs.

#47

is it on switch? if not what’s the point

#48

Its not even a matter of expense necessarily, like it is, but decent (by the standards of idk the UK or something,) internet is also just straight up not available in most of the US, for any price point.

Either way I’m already annoyed I don’t actually own any of the games I currently own, and I really miss being able to rent videogames.

#49

I’d like to know more about how Google, the Stadia ‘database’, and developers who are working specifically on the platform are going to handle accessibility.

‘4K 60FPS’ What is it going to be like, and who’s responsibility will it be to account for, making sure the player can make it not 4K or 60FPS? I don’t have a 4K monitor, streaming in 4K is just a waste of bandwidth - my TV is less than 1080p, and Twitch is often uncooperative when I try to lower the resolution while I watch livestreams.

My Chromebook - hey, Google - cannot handle 60FPS video. If I am watching a Let’s Play, I often have to lower the framerate if it’s uploaded in 60FPS so it displays smoothly on my screen.

Will we run into the issue many did in the early days of the PS3, where fonts are unreadable because many people didn’t have an HD TV yet?

“No cheating or hacking.” That’s pretty cool, but I often edit .ini files to fix things like Field of View and turn off visual effects which give me migraines. Not all mods are Big Booby Dragonborns, either, there are mods that - again - adjust font size, turn off certain effects, change sound balancing.

Hell, one of the first mods for Skyrim swapped all of the spiders for bears for all the arachnophobes in the audience. Without any ability to fix this if the developers haven’t included the features, this is at least as - if not more - limited than most consoles.

I am curious how compatible certain accessibile controllers will be. They clearly want you to buy their ~ soft xbox aesthetic ~ controller with, umm, Google Home installed or whatever, but what will plugging in a different controller or mouse and keyboard be like.

Perhaps one like Xbox’s will work, Xbox controllers pretty much work with everything, but there are a lot of specialty controllers out there that may require robust button mapping. Can you do that with Stadia, or is it down to the game developers to provide it? (They should, mind, but it’s still not standard.)


But all that said, I’ll probably try it out. I’ve been surprised how well game streaming has worked in the few times I’ve tried it, and I don’t have great internet. Google can go to hell, but so can Sony, Microsoft, and - sorry, I love Animal Crossing too - Nintendo.

I only ‘own’ my games until Steam or whoever decides to ban me, or can’t be bothered to verify me if I get hacked. The archivability of games is a big concern, though, especially if Google dumps this in a few years.

#50

I’m only just catching up here, but I have a few thoughts about both Stadia as it was announced and all the takes I’ve read here so far.

First of all, it seems very likely that infrastructure in the U.S., at least, is not going to support Stadia being any sort of cheaper alternative. The motherboard piece folks have mentioned gets it just right, and even though Google’s been flirting with attempting to disrupt telecom giants, we’re still extremely far away from the world where Comcast gives me better service or even a less shitty deal for the mediocre service they provide (it’s mediocre here in the bay area; certainly much worse elsewhere).

Second, I’m curious just how much control they intend to exert here. The ends of this spectrum are 100% control of what they host (a la Roblox, where it’s literally impossible to take your game somewhere else without rebuilding it) and something more like a platform (like AWS or Azure where you can host instances of your product, but you still totally own and control the product). I suspect it’s somewhere in between, but I may have missed where people are getting that it’s going to be all in their control. It seems to me that their service could present no more of a barrier to preservation than what live online games currently face.

Oh, the save state thing. The way they described it, what concrete benefit does it actually provide? Developers have to flag all of the parameters that get outputted to a save state, which is the exact same amount of work as literally implementing the same functionality manually on any current engine or platform. The only added value is that Google can build it into a neat little link for ya. I genuinely hope the existence of a feature like that leads to folks thinking more about their games as complex state machines, and giving more tools to folks to tweak and nudge game state. That way folks who face accessibility and difficulty challenges that games themselves don’t address directly might have ways to even odds in their favor.

I dunno, I’m as skeptical as anybody here but I’m not sure I have the energy for a “fuck these capitalist scum” take. This seems like a serious enough attempt at game streaming that we’ll actually get a glimpse of the implications. Honestly, my biggest moral concern is the prospect of even more proximity between online gaming communities and the cesspool that is YouTube…

2 Likes
#51

So my personal take on this is that it’s just well… cool but not mindblowing. I think game streaming is a cool idea but I honestly don’t see this taking off with the casual consumer when it launches. There are a lot of questions regarding latency, performance, privacy and other things that we still don’t know. Especially considering that the US and most other countries don’t have great internet infrastructure. Since most people don’t have great internet, I feel like it may take a while for the public to get into game streaming. Stadia has potential but Google should start detailing more game and info soon if I want to get into it. Press conference at E3 maybe?

#52

Good news everyone. The entire google press conference was fabricated by DeepMind. None of it was real!

2 Likes
#53

Honestly I’m not too worried. This seems aimed at people who aren’t me and it would be a far stretch to see studios decide to drop support for everything but this streaming service. Does anyone here really think a company like Ubisoft decides to leave money on the table when it comes to PC and consoles? They’ll publish on it alongside other releases but it’s not like the next main AC is a streaming only game

Redbox still does game rentals if the one at my grocery store is to be believed.

#54

I’m still a little more optimistic than most people about Stadia, especially since Google has more money than God at this point, even with their tendency to drop projects long-term. There’s a Doom 2016 demo for Stadia that still has stutter, but I think the potential is definitely there for games that are less fast-paced, and it’s still leagues ahead of where we were a few years ago.

I tried Project Stream for about an hour and I was thoroughly impressed with its performance on my fairly weak laptop, even if it was locked to 30FPS and there were ocassional, heavy resolution dips. I don’t think it’d be ready for a 2019 release like Google wants it to be, but I can easily imagine this kind of thing working out really well in a few years. There is also the issue of things like data caps, though.

I’m also a little more optimistic with their announcement of a first-party studio, since many of these games streaming offerings don’t necessarily have a ton of exclusives.

#55

If 5G is as good as I’ve read, the tech will probably work fine. This is especially true for the kind of people that play fortnite on a phone already.

#56

I’d be interested to see how much electricity (and by extension, cabon dioxide) those servers are going to need compared to traditional set ups.

5 Likes
#57

This was what was mostly on my mind the entire boring thing. Does the world really need this.

3 Likes
#58

Had the conference touched on any of the questions around the environmental costs of producing tech for this kind of service, who might be left behind by the lack of proper infrastructure in various regions around the world, what tangible benefits developers would see from creating games for this service, and more simply why the convenience of streaming outweighs the number of obvious drawbacks for the type of consumer this is intended for, I might have been a little charitable towards Stadia. As it stands, this felt like a lot like Silicon Valley showing up at my door with their next piece of life-changing tech that won’t materially improve the lives of anyone other than those who stand to make a profit off it.

There are things about the technology I find neat. I could envision a future where something of this nature could have applications outside of games but I have little desire for a company as monolithic as Google to be the one involved, especially given their track record with other services that require proper, ethical curation and oversight to not be an absolute mess. Regardless, on my 3-4 megabits per second internet I’m almost 5x under the “worst case scenario” for Stadia so I can’t imagine this kind of thing will ever reach me as long as I live where I do.

13 Likes
#59

Wait until I tell you about this thing called “capitalism.”

Also I have no faith in Google after I found out how their inner company structure works. You don’t get promotions unless you shake things up or do something new, even if those new ideas are failures or changes made to an existing service make it significantly worse. It’s why gmail has become a trash fire of an email system that takes eons to load.

They don’t really think well about long term plans because they’re just trying to get flashy for silicon valley investing and funding, the management of Google barely cares about what actually happens to these projects. Remember Google Glass?

1 Like
#60

Enough people here have touched on the big picture reasons that I’m hesitant about all of this, but yo did anyone see that video going around of someone playing Doom (2016) on it and the wild amount of stuttering it has going on? If that’s what they’re showing off at GDC, god knows what I’ll be getting at home. I just don’t think we’re there yet with this sort of thing, and I’m not sure I want us to be.

1 Like