Google OnLi- uh, Stadia


My response as a fighting game player to services/consoles like this will continue to be:

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An interview Variety did with head of Stadia, Phil Harrison:

Couple things that caught my eye:

  1. Still no word on how developers will be paid. However, apparently they’re “going to talk about that over the summer in detail”.

  2. There will be two more Stadia events in the summer, one for YouTubers and one for gamers.

  3. In response to concern about internet issues: “The vast majority of challenges that players would face were environmentally inside there own homes. What we will do and are committed to doing is helping educate and inform players so that they can set up their system the best and optimizing their in-home setup to get the best experience. In some cases that might mean the player needs to upgrade the router inside their home.”

  4. This quote has me thinking about Stadia exclusivity: “We just broke through that glass ceiling and we said the games are no longer device-centric. Games are data center driven and what that means for developers is a fundamental shift in the way that games are designed, made (emphasis mine) and played.”


I remain skeptical of much of the tech issues here, but as I’ve sifted through a bunch the press, it’s clear that they are making a lot of decisions based on reducing latency to the display that other efforts haven’t had the massive infrastructure support that is required to do that. I think Phil is understating how bad a lot of last mile and in-home infrastructure is outside of the valley and major hubs, but that’s his job.

I have had some time to think about some of the actually new things Google is bringing to the table, and I think they are good to talk about. Only one of them requires something like Stadia to exist, but it is super intriguing, and that’s links to game state. This could very well transform the state of games critque. Imagine, instead of just reading about how a particular game handled a tough subject, the writer could provide links so you could experience exactly what happened in the context of the article. Sure, you can post short videos, but that’s really not the same thing.

The other thing is the idea of integrating links from the inside of the game out. One really interesting way this could integrate with games is to create fan versions of developer commentary. If you can use game state to determine which links out are present, it wouldn’t be that hard to create layers that provide discussion and context while you are playing the game. This could be as pragmatic as walkthroughs, but there’s lots more that could go on there. This wouldn’t need Stadia at all, but it would need some sort of platform that is game state aware.

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these people truly haven’t stepped foot outside of silicon valley in years have they


Sure, there are ways to set up your network that can give a smoother experience, but it’s not going to make your internet faster or more reliable. Not a great look to call potential customers too stupid to set up their own internet when what Stadia desperately needs is better public opinion. Speaking of which:

“What I mean by that is that game developers have built for a box, they have built the game to specifically take advantage of that box until they’ve come up against the glass ceiling of the capabilities of that box… We just broke through that glass ceiling and we said the games are no longer device-centric."

Hey Phil, your streaming video games. Maybe don’t compare a breakthrough in your endless struggle to let people play Assassin’s Creed on their phones to systemic discrimination.


That quote regarding internet issues is almost identical to the sort of thing I’ve seen in response to complaints from this area of Scotland about our lackluster internet coverage. Intended to place the blame on the consumer and ignore the larger infrastructure issues that are the root of the cause. It’s disappointing if not surprising to see that same tact used here. Stadia is going to remain a pipe dream for huge swathes of people and Google is going to chock that up to needing a better router.


cant wait to get absolutely dominated on stadia by a clan of salesforce employees gaming out of their fiber-connected condos in the mission