Google OnLi- uh, Stadia

#61

I guess what I’m trying to say is that ship has already sailed on this. If internet is as bad as people say in parts of the world, aren’t you also closed off from basically the entirety of PC gaming at this point, or the ongoing movement to digital on the console end? Why is Google’s entry so egregious in light of this? Sure, they want a monopoly, but so does Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and Valve.

I guess as someone who has gone pretty much all digital and increasingly subscription based on my media consumption, concerns about game ownership are less pressing to me, but even if you care more about that stuff, it doesn’t seem like physical media is going anywhere, as even Phil Spencer has said that he intends to support physical media and hardware for Xbox’s foreseeable future.

Maybe Stadia isn’t for a lot of people right now, just as Xbox Live and Steam weren’t for everyone at launch, but I’m happy to see the technology being refined and will hopefully help drive demand for better networking infrastructure in parts of the world that need it.

Also, and I’m asking because I don’t really get it, but why is Google singled out as a particularly bad actor? All big companies are basically into some shady shit. Microsoft is a monopolist and does some bad work for the US military, Valve is basically run by alt-right sympathizing libertarians, and Nintendo is absolutely draconian in its use of copyright law to bully creators. And that’s not to say we shouldn’t hold these companies to the fire over this stuff, but I’m just seeing Google dunks in this thread without any explanation which is a wee bit confusing to me.

#62

Their inner company politics, which amounts to not actually maintaining a service or product because that doesn’t get you higher into the company (see the gmail example) and their massive size that makes them just as horrifying to me as Amazon. Like, Google is a company with the potential to own most of the world, and they’re somehow worse than other tech giants about actually providing reliable service (which is saying something). There’s also the fact they’re apart of the social media world that has help give white nationalism a new breath of life and can be partly blamed for the worldwide resurgence of fascism.

I don’t trust any of them, to be honest, and that goes for inner industry giants, but Google is especially troubling because everything they do is an attempt to gain more control over the infrastructure of whatever industry they slide into. History has shown me time and time again that this always leads to bad outcomes, and I don’t just mean when it relates to being able to play video games.

I think the thing they announced that bugs me the most is a service that let you jump into games with streamers. Before 2014, I would have thought that was cool. After 2014, I’m left thinking about how that is going to be used to destroy lives.

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#63

literally just tabbed from this thread to twitter to see this in my timeline lmao

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#64

In my personal experience, no.

I can wait 35 hours to download a game. Its a long time, sure, but I have the game on my hard drive and enough of a conncetion to handshake with Steam/Origin/uPlay. I think people also pretty consantly forget that Steam has an offline mode, so you can still access most old/small single player games after downloading them if your internet were to go down, for example.

Better if its on itch or (until recently, b/c transphobic comments) GOG where the installer can be used offline, so I just archive that on an external drive and there we go.

I cant consistsntly stream a game going 60 FPS at 1080, though. Forget about 4K 60. Its a pipedream for people who have bad internet who otherwise have perfectly fine access to games, just not immediate access to games.

imo bad internet hasnt reduced my access to games, but the rampant monotization and “games as service” sure have. Hard to enjoy a strike in Destiny when hits dont register. Stadia feels more like the natural conclusion / next step in that space.

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#65

Y’all have incredibly moral reasons for opposing this, which is cool, but I’m selfish. I don’t want this because it will even further disincentivize devs from making games that rely on quick reflexes or tight timing windows, which tend to be some of my favorite kinds of games.

Also, Stadia is a dumb name. Even if I ever have a reason to need to invoke the plural of “stadium”, I’m going with “stadiums.” Fuck outta here google.

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#66

Two words: DATA. CAPS.

Until ISP services and infrastructure gets to a point that allows for both the speed and capacity to stream huge sums of data for a realistic price, then this is a non-starter for the immediate future.

Having already gone digital only this generation, I’m less concerned about the game ownership issue (though Google’s record of shutting stuff down that doesn’t immediately catch on gives me pause), so I’m intrigued by the future of this sort of technology, but it’s just hard for me to see it being feasible within the next few years. If game streaming is going to catch on, I think it will be something more gradual, where it is offered as just one option to play the games you own/have access to, while still allowing full game downloads to not be dependent on a constant, stable internet connection that eats through data caps. I don’t see the allure of a service that is 100% only streaming access to games at this point.

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#67

This could be really cool, but the reality of internet service in America really sucks. Like data caps and slow services. Google themselves can’t really be trusted to improve services cause they goofed so badly in Louisville.

#68

If it works, I’ll be into it. I’m not going to buy another console for another room, and moving it constantly isn’t great either.

I understand the moral reasons for being against it, though. Google is pretty shit.

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#69

My naive optimistic look on this and other similar projects is that it will help to make America more aware of how much of a digital divide exists between us and the rest the world to put more pressure on those in a position to make change happen.

You can’t sadly sell everyone on the idea of “wouldn’t it be cool if everyone in your city regardless of economic status got access to the internet” but you sure as hell can sell them on " wouldn’t it be cool if you could stream all these services without being hindered by your ISP? "

#70

I’m pretty negative on this for most of the games I play. I couldn’t stand the latency just from using a Steamlink in my own home.

But the idea of a new MMORPG built 100% on this tech seems pretty appealing to me. The prospect of an online game where there could be for real actual secrets, ones that don’t get immediately data mined, sounds cool.

Who knows if anyone would be willing to drop the huge stacks of cash needed for a real deal MMO like that these days tho.

#71

capitalist pigs: “Game streaming is a new way to make profit”

enlightened socialists: “Game streaming could provide access and function as further socialization of game ownership”

This kind of technology has been “around the corner” for a while now. I just was kind of hoping it would be used for library-like purposes first. I knew it wouldn’t, but a girl can dream, right?

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#72

I got a free Onlive back in 2011 after attending the Eurogamer Expo. Your first game was a £1 (about the right price for Fear 3) and it did work better than expected with exception to a few drops in buffering. I guess at the time, the problem was, would I really rather play a game on onlive rather than play it on my 360 - where I would own the disc, it would run without a hitch whether or not I was connected to the internet or not and have access to all those sweet achievements. I think I would only play onlive games if they were heavily discounted or offered a demo, but the technology was pretty amazing and seeing all the streams of people playing on it was pretty amazing too.

Lately I thought streaming older games on PS Now was a better fit for streaming - but it’s still not perfect.

Pros

  • As I live in the UK and have access to a better than average interent connection - I can see Stadia will probably run pretty well.
  • Some of the ways this could change the way games are made and played could be interesting. Like if I’m playing a co-op game and can see the screens of my friends. That’s awesome. As is the idea of sharing a game, like a friend and I could be playing a single player game and we take it in turns to complete.
  • They’re not turning away from couch co-op.
  • Having a minimalist approach to playing games on whatever device I want is really cool and far more accessible.

Cons

  • Google overlords can fuck off.
  • Controller sucks - though presumably, I may be able to use my existing controllers or mouse and keyboard.
  • Outside of search and maybe YouTube, everything Google has had a hand in making has bombed eventually.
  • I don’t want to be a gaming YouTuber, I have no ambition to be a Google YouTuber. Whilst I might enjoy streaming here and there in front of an audience of none. I want no part in engaging with them or playing into their ‘brand’ or whatever brand they’re promoting. Thankyou and goodbye.
  • Too many subscriptions.
  • But what if solar flares?

Time will tell whether everyone jumps onboard with it. I think a lot of people within the industry are a little suspicious of it. No doubt streaming is the future, but I still think people will just want to own their stuff.

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#73

It does seem like you’d be getting a lot of your listed positives and fewer drawbacks with Microsoft’s approach to streaming. There, you can use an Xbox or or PC to play games locally, and if you do want to stream that option is there as part of your existing subscription. That said, a whole lot of people probably already have Chromecast at home and Chrome as their default browser, so I can see Google leveraging that to get people who don’t typically play non-mobile games.

#74

I am definitely very interested in what Microsoft has to say at E3 this year. By all accounts, it seems that they’re going to be rolling out streaming in a big way: https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/20/18273991/google-stadia-microsoft-xbox-phil-spencer-response-comments

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#75

Microsoft and Google are particularly huge names to be entering this market. With Nintendo possibly on the side of Microsoft, I’m worried Sony has accidentally made it’s bed with Gaikai years ago and now will end up behind in the race to the cloud.

(plus it wouldn’t be a generational shift if the previous leader didn’t fail spectacularly in execution)

#76

I am extremely wary of the way the megacorps behind this stuff are positioning streaming as the inevitable future of gaming, while the overwhelming response I’m seeing from actual people ranges from tepid curiosity to outright rejection of the idea. The benefits for devs and consumers seem minimal at best, so it’s hard not to read this as a power grab by Google – to what ends I’m not sure, but it skeeves me out.

The pitch seems to be hyper geared toward a small niche of graphics-heavy AAA games, as well. It’s almost entirely pointless for smaller indie stuff with light disk/GPU requirements. Undertale is a <200MB download, you’d blow through that in a few minutes of streaming.

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#77

If Sony truly does not have anything up their sleeve to compete with what google and Microsoft are pushing here (beyond PSnow which…that ain’t it at this point), they should just totally lean into it. Literally they should bring back that video of “how to share games on ps4” that they roasted Microsoft with at the start of the new console generation. Focus on their stellar first-party output, emphasize how they value game ownership and all that. There’s a strategy to be made out of capturing all the skeptics and people with bad internet.

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#78

I don’t think Microsoft will be discontinuing downloadable/physical games with their next-gen, at least not the Microsoft of the past few years who has tried very hard to be pro-consumer, they’ll most likely probably be pushing that alongside a streaming option (possibly tied to Game Pass). Rather than the option being Microsoft/Google for streaming and Sony for physical, I foresee it playing out like Google for streaming, Sony for physical, Microsoft for options. And I think we all know who wins in that case.

As an aside, I have no idea what a hyper-dominant Microsoft with a secondary Google and a trailing Sony means for Japanese games.

#79

That’s true, physical games aren’t going anywhere for anyone yet. But my thing is that Microsoft is going to push hard and spend a lot of time using the same online-centric rhetoric that massively hurt them back at the launch of this generation of consoles. A lot of attitudes have remained the same since then regarding ownership and the US’ trash infrastructure (I know other parts of the world don’t deal with this as much but there’s not denying how massively important the US market is to all these companies). I could see Microsoft and Google being blinded by their desire to market the fuck out of their big utopian vision for gaming that is simply out of reach for a lot of people. I think there’s room for Sony to capitalize and present their stuff as a more grounded, stable approach.

#80

As prevalent as this may become, and even if it’s the most convenient service in the world to use, in a consumer society there will always be a large demand for having a physical box on your shelf of a given piece of media.

Even after Disney launches their streaming service and it reaches a point of having their entire catalog on it (which is the goal, apparently), they’ll still sell tons of souped-up classic film re-releases in whatever the latest format is.