Google’s Launch Lineup for Stadia Is Pretty Depressing

Revealed with enormous fanfare, we’ve heard precious little about Google’s ambitious game streaming service recently, a service that’s supposed to launch early next week. It’s a little weird that until this morning, we didn’t even know what games Stadia would be launching with, but in a blog post, the company announced its not particularly inspiring lineup.

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That’s uh… underwhelming. Maybe I’m missing something and maybe it was never the point, but is the first “platform” launch with zero exclusives?

Google’s Pretty Depressing


Google will try for 6 years and then abandon anything that isn’t adsense rent-seeking or ignoring sexual harassment allegations.

Stadia is gonna go the way of Google Plus.

The only shot I see this thing having is if it dramatically ramps into form just as the new consoles are coming out, which I imagine is mostly their plan. Best time to try to build a foothold, I guess. If they don’t have a decent install base by next Christmas then I dunno.

I’m honestly really glad it doesn’t have any exclusives worth talking about. I don’t want to touch this thing with a ten foot pole and I don’t want any exclusives to tempt me.

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Big shoutouts to id for inadvertently making this launch look even worse by delaying Doom Eternal. The positive side-effects are already showing up.

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This bodes well:

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who would’ve guessed next to nobody wanted to develop launch exclusives for a company who just abandoned an entire platform (that had actual use and an install base far beyond projections for this shit), and who apparently offer a pretty raw deal for anyone who tries to make said exclusives anyways.

It’s been so fucking weird seeing people take this at all seriously as a potential major platform in games media. Like, even Jeff Gerstmann hedging his bets on “well we said the same thing about Microsoft” is weird as hell.

Google couldn’t keep a glorified facebook clone (that was undoubtedly able to piggyback off Youtube infrastructure for the heavy lifting of video and image hosting) up, who the hell’s going to invest in their way more experimental thing that falls apart when a semi-frequent internet hiccup, speed throttling, wifi fuckery or the inability to stream at the high bitrate required for more than a clean-enough-i-guess 720p60 that you cannot magic away enters the picture?

Even the “but the horsepower!” stuff will fall apart when next-gen consoles show how much visuals have plateaued for the average consumer, and anything you can do beyond that with the power won’t appeal to a wide audience besides.

I’m not like, upset about it? If anything I love to see a corporate bid for control of media and destruction of archival efforts be thoroughly fucked from the outset, I’m just very very very confused.


I reckon that stadia will not be around long without major investment. This is clearly not ready for mass market. It’s marketed at a very niche group I feel.

Google fanatics. The problem is that this is a market that doesn’t exist, at least nowhere near as much as Apple fanatics. I think that group finally died after Google Glass.


“Some of our historical competitors in the console space have been a bit more masculine and a bit more mechanical in their approach,” Phil Harrison, Google VP and head of Stadia, said in an interview with CNN Business.

Stadia is taking a more gender-neutral approach. Google is selling controllers that come in white, black or Wasabi green. (Nintendo, which made the Switch Lite in bright colors like turquoise and yellow, is another outlier in designing for a gaming audience that includes women as well as men.)

Google looked at hundreds of colors and polled thousands of gamers before deciding on Wasabi. What Google found, according to its director of design Isabelle Olsson, is this color had “universal appeal.”

“Both men and women gravitated towards this color. It ended up being super gender neutral but still very expressive,” she said. “It’s really hard to find colors like that.”

Love it when companies try to be inclusive by…selling products in different colors. And by different colors I mean the same colors that their “masculine” competitors use. I know the “girls only like pink and pastels” stereotype is still fairly common in marketing, but bragging about how a green controller means that Stadia is designed with women in mind feels out of touch and out dated in a very specific way, especially since there are no shortage of examples of how gaming can be actively hostile in ways that Wasabi green doesn’t fix.

Traditionally, gamer gear has been manly. Microsoft (MSFT)'s Xbox controller comes in colors like electric blue or firetruck red. Sony’s controllers are available in black as well as various shades of neon and camo. And Nvidia’s angular, black controller looks a little too much like Darth Vader’s mask.

This bit wasn’t in quotes so I guess CNN just decided that women don’t like the colors blue, red, black, neon (any color that’s too bright?), camo, angles, or Darth Vader.

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