Stadia? WRUP

So Google Stadia seems like a less than stellar deal. Not that game streaming is itself a bad thing. I do think this kind of service is going to be a real thing in the future, but they're going to have to be something more along the lines of a movie and TV streaming system where you can pick from a library of titles for the cost of your subscription. Stadia is going to work like this: You buy the equipment, which is a Stadia controller and a Chromecast Pro, for ~$130.00. Then you can choose to subscribe to the Stadia service for $10.00 a month and play games at 4k, 60 FPS and enjoy your 5.1 surround sound. Or you can stay on the free service and get 1080p, 60 FPS with standard stereo. Here's the catch though. The games you play have to be purchased separately. At launch the founder's edition paid subscription will include the whole of Destiny 2. Which is okay I guess, but Destiny 2 is going to be free to play on Steam before the launch of Stadia in November. Now, that free to play Steam version doesn't include the whole Destiny 2 collection but it does seem like less of a great deal in comparison. And there is some confusion on whether or not the Stadia version of Destiny 2 will come with your paid subscription, or only with the founder's edition purchase, which is not the same as a normal paid subscription... *Whew*...  I guess we just have to wait and see.

So on top of your subscription, you're still buying games. Google also wants you have around a 35 Megabit per second download speed to stream at 4k, 60. If you don't have that, this subscription isn't going to work for you very well. They want you to have at least 20 Megabit per second down for 1080p, 60. Which is more common that you may think. Around here for instance, that's about the fastest internet you can get, even on fiber, without paying ridiculous money. Below that speed and your stream will drop to 720p, 60 FPS. So if you're looking into Stadia, check that before you commit to subscribing.

There's my speed test. I could probably get 1080p, but that doesn't warrant a $10 a month subscription

 

Then there are bigger potential limitations to consider:

  1. There will be no mod support because you don't get to own the games you buy. Remember - you're streaming.
  2. There is no ultra-wide monitor support for PC players.
  3. You must use the Stadia equipment. That means no support for Xbone controllers etc.
  4. If you have a data cap on your internet plan you probably should just not even think about this service at all since streaming at 4k is likely to fill that cap very fast.
  5. There are bound to be latency issues causing less than enjoyable game play issues from time to time.
  6. Even if what ever system you have can handle it, you will be locked at a maximum of 60 FPS. This makes more sense since it's a streaming service and your system capability doesn't matter.
  7. The last thing worth mentioning (as I see it) is that even though the launch library does include some good titles, there won't be very many in total. And some of those probably won't even be released at launch.

On the other hand, Stadia, and services like it, are going to work quite well for some folks. If you're on the road a lot, for example, being able to play games wherever and whenever is a pretty enticing prospect. If you don't have a high end gaming machine or a console then this type of service is great because you can play these games on your phone if you wanted to. You don't have to worry about maintenance or storage issues of any kind as updates will happen on the server side. And the paid subscription will include some deals on games, including free ones every so often. So you can look forward to that. Also, if your order the founder's edition, your gamer tag will be unique and not include some string of numbers at the end. So I'd just be Scrooloose instead of Scrooloose5492, as an example. Not sure how they'll deal with unique tags being duplicates in the founder's edition though... Anyway, if  that matters to you then there's another small incentive. Also included in the founder's edition will be three months of service for you and a separate three months of service to give to a friend. And of course the free copy of Destiny 2 and its current and future DLC.

So let's keep in mind as well that Google Stadia doesn't launch until November. That gives them time to make changes here and there if they wish and perhaps the folks at Google can make Stadia a little more exciting before then. Let's hope they do because as I said above, I do actually feel like game streaming is going to eventually be a bigger deal in the market. They are already out there now, in fact. Shadow, Parsec and Jump, just to name a few, are already established and running strong. You have choices.

Check out the Google store here if you'd like to see more about Stadia for yourself or do your own speed test. Certainly you should come to your own conclusion and not just take my, or anyone else's, word for it alone.


Anyway, what's everyone playing this weekend?

Greywolfe: i am playing games and doing things. one of these things is getting my setup going again after i restarted my machine. so i have to get my recording settings all straight and that's proving to be a bit of a mess. reasonable looking files at a decent file size? ahahahaha. also, for whatever reason, i can't figure out the good settings i had for my microphone before, so that's frustrating. otherwise: more etherlords 2! more quest for glory 4! more beneath a steel sky. plus, i'm sinking quite heavily into assassin's creed: origins [as of this writing, i'm level 22 and the base game has 40 levels.] - it's very ubisoft. so i think it's just a subpar game, but my god, it has great atmosphere. for the most part.

Tru: Some more Mortal Kombat 11, Days Gone, as I'm enjoying it although it's a bit slow at times. Also I picked up the Telltale's Back to the Future game as I've been meaning to play it for a few years now, so I grabbed it on PS4. Also, E3 is this weekend be sure to check out the Podcasts from @yoda0vgs, @greywolfe and myself @trulegendkiller

Yoda: Not sure. There are too many games. Hopefully gnna try out some DIE this weekend and maybe even finish Divinity Original Sin 2. Which I need to make more GM campaigns for that as well lol

Scroo: Work for me this weekend so it would seem. That's okay because I need it. But, after work I think I'll be gaming some. Most likely more Grim Dawn. I'll probably also try and find time to reinstall games from the Epic store after Windows Update bricked my system this week. Apparently reinstalling games from the Epic installer after that kind of situation requires you to hard delete the directories first. That's annoying. I had more or less just started playing Rime and I'd like to pick that back up.

AJ: Gonna have an Analogue weekend with some F-Zero and Gunstar Heroes.

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