Stadia is making me feel like a fanboy, and that’s not a good thing

I bought the Stadia “Founders Edition”, eventually got my package (after their launch debacle), and have been playing for a few weeks now. In theory, it’s perfect for me - I don’t have the room in my NYC apartment for a gaming PC, nor do I have the time (as a parent and workaholic) to waste (from my perspective) building and maintaining a “rig”. So Stadia seemed like the answer to my needs - I’ll gladly pay a premium for mostly offsite tech that lets me play AAA games.

Then Google happened. To summarize (since it’s not really the point of this post), communication has been sorely lacking, and there are signs that they may not be doing the work with publishers that should ensure a good lineup on the platform.

To be clear, I try to have reasonable expectations and not get carried away by the hyperbole on Reddit, etc. And I know intellectually that I should just let it play out as it will without stress over what happens. And yet! I guess I’m invested despite myself. My first platform was the Genesis, and ever since, I’ve never given a hoot what others think of “my” system or even what the system owners do with it. This time around, though, I’m gripped with fear (okay, not really, but figuratively) that this opportunity to game the way I want is being blown by Google, and my newly-rediscovered AAA games life is slipping through my fingers.

So, please feel free to roast me and talk me back down to Earth. Or, if you’re in a similar boat, feel free to commiserate, I guess - just know that we both need help … :crazy_face:

I warned you about the stairs, bro

Honestly, in the future, you should always be extremely skeptical whenever a big tech company does anything, especially Google. They have a bad history of just abandoning new services because their goals are to “disrupt,” not actually offer quality services. If something they sell seems too good to be true, it usually is, or there’s a parade of catches connected to it.

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If it’s any consolation, game streaming is almost certainly here to stay. I have my doubts about Stadia specifically, but Microsoft and Sony both have their own streaming services and there’s things like Shadow that allow you to rent a remote high-end PC and install whatever you want on it.

Google could definitely turn Stadia around if they chose to invest in the platform, I think there’s just a lot of valid scepticism of their commitment to it.

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I can’t see streaming games going away. I also don’t see it taking hold as a primary method of gaming. It’ll most likely settle in as an auxiliary to consoles and PC, leveraging subscriptions like Game Pass and your existing libraries.

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I have to believe that Google isn’t going to cut Jade Raymond a check if they aren’t actually serious about games, but Stadia has not exactly inspired confidence so far. It’s not that they can’t turn things around from where they are, but a lot of the simplest solutions are some of the costliest.

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Unless hiring Raymond was an easy get of a well-known to wave in front of stockholders. Motive Studios wasn’t exactly knocking it out of the park over at EA before Google hired her.

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I’m trying not to hold Battlefront II against Motive because I think that was a strange situation. Besides, Jade Raymond has a much more interesting resume than Phil Harrison.

I’d argue neither Harrison or Raymond have been effective in leadership at all this past decade.

Agreed with Harrison, but I feel like Splinter Cell: Blacklist was one of the most interesting Splinter Cell games ever made (even though they made a rather dramatic error in not enlisting the dulcet tones of Michael Ironside again).

I kinda liked Blacklist too but doesn’t change that it was a failure in the eyes of corporate biz and killed the series, and that’s the perspective you have to worry about here.

“Failed to meet expectations” will be the bellwether of doom for Stadia precisely because it’s Alphabet and the moment shutting Stadia down is good for stock price it will be shutdown. Raymond and Harrison and the rest of its leadership won’t make a fuss on that day because they’ll get 5 years severance.

Honestly if your hope is AAA games streaming with a good library, I feel like your best bet will be Microsoft’s Xcloud service once it launches to the public. It’s got some of the same issues with beta, based on reports, as Stadia has with its launch edition… but it also has Game Pass integration, or is supposed to. So the annual cost might end up being significantly lower.

I’m still a console-and-laptop person, but I’ve been keeping an eye on this stuff. Xcloud so far seems like the best combination of platform-holder with an established reputation and relationships with publishers, and solid tech.

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One the one hand, if you’ve already bought in you can stick with it, but I’m personally wary about the fact that you’re buying a game to play on, and only on Stadia’s service. I can imagine why it’s necessary to re-jig games to work in Stadia’s architecture, but that introduces cost and complexity to porting and cross-play. Meanwhile, the major benefit I can see is the potential for experiences to be developed that would only be possible on Stadia, and those don’t exist yet.

I’d probably be much more comfortable signing up for Shadow or Parsec where you’re renting a high end PC you remote into, and logging into your own Steam account or whatever to play games. Out of curiosity, did you know about those services before you went in on Stadia, or is there a reason you went for Stadia over them?

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Thanks for the reply! I think that this is good advice in general, absolutely, although I would just say that this didn’t seem too good to be true - the Founders Edition wasn’t really cheap, nor is the ongoing service, and as others have pointed out, they’ve made big plays to hire certain folks. It just seems like, as a tech company, they’re not equipped to really succeed in the gaming space or communicate well with customers (IMHO).

Agreed, and it is consoling (so thanks). What’s bothering me today (in the near term) is that Google seem, technology-wise, best-equipped to make it a good experience (their latency is reportedly way lower, they have the server farms and nodes, etc), and I worry that if someone else (MS, Sony, EA, whomever) “wins”, they’ll require the purchase of their console hardware, thus eliminating the draw for me.

That would be amazing, so long as I don’t need to have a console or PC in my home to do so. I covet the GamePass library (though it would be sweet if I could make individual purchases of games not currently on GamePass, as well).

I’m not sure how much to read into the current state of Stadia, since it’s still kind of in early access. I’ll be more interested to see what it looks like when it launches properly next year, and what kind of push Google puts behind it then.

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The pitch of Xcloud is to have it on mobile, PC, and consoles, so presumably it should be manageable. Not 100% clear yet if you have to play Game Pass games or if you can buy them individually, but they have said that the plan is for people to eventually be able to stream “any game they own,” so it might be like, “set up a Microsoft/Xbox Live account, connect to Xcloud, anything you buy you can stream”?

But that’s a might.

That seems like the most likely situation. MS has talked about how devs don’t have to do a thing. If it works on an Xbox, they can get it working on Xcloud. So I imagine that they will get to the point that if you subscribe to Game Pass Ultimate, you can play all Game Pass games in addition to anything in your library that you own a license to. I know they haven’t officially confirmed any of this, but it’s clearly where things are pointing.

I’m in the preview for Xcloud right now, and I’m looking forward to trying it out over the holidays when I’m out of town visiting family. Haven’t had a great chance to really use it so far, as it didn’t seem to be able to connect over my work’s WiFi connection.

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Didn’t they say basically this at XO19 last month?

The Game Pass bit, yeah, but I wasn’t sure if they’ve officially confirmed that when it rolls out for real, you’ll get access to every game in your library. I could be wrong on that, though.