Google Stadia – Who Would Benefit The Most?
Here are a couple of questions I’ve been asked a few times about Google Stadia, “Who would benefit the most from this platform?” Which gamer would Google Stadia fit best with? Although I find the questions to be a bit complicated to answer, in the end, it’s really easy…
The easy answer, without any explanation whatsoever, “Google Stadia isn’t yet ready for most gamers”. Now comes the complicated part, and that’s explaining why not, while justifying its benefits for others…
For One, What Is Stadia?
I’ll tell you what it isn’t; it’s not a console. It’s not hardware. What Stadia is; however, it’s a platform that is accessed online, by way of an app or streaming device, more specifically, the Chromecast Ultra. Stadia eliminates the need for video game discs, which is not the only video game brand that provides that service. In fact, all consoles including STEAM provides that service: Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo.
As a highly eccentric, leaning towards a more berzerk gamer when it comes to playing video games, I need to have access to my video games wherever I am! The thing is, I’m pretty specific about which genre of games I like to play, more specifically very particular of which games I prefer to play. For instance, I love Shooters, Fighting, Racing, Survival/Horror, and VR games. So, if I need access to my video games, how do I access them?
I can access my Playstation 4 at home by way of the PS App on my PS Vita, iPhone & iPad, on my laptop via Remote Play, and PS NOW online via Playstation Network. Basically, I can access all my Playstation games easily, but then I would need a couple of devices in order to feel at home, so to speak. Accessing my Playstation games through my iPhone and iPad, I’ll need my trusty SteelSeries Nimbus Controller. If I access my Playstation or Playstation NOW on my laptop, I’ll need my DUALSHOCK 4 Controller.
Xbox One/Xbox One X
I love my Xbox One X and I still have my Xbox 360, mostly because I still love to play my Kinect games. Games like Kinect Sports, Kinect Adventures, Kinect Star Wars, Just Dance, and PowerUp Heroes… I was able to access my Xbox One X from anywhere outside my network at home by way of Port-Forwarding my Xbox One X. It was amazing while it lasted, as I was able to play my Gears 5 online anytime I wanted. Then the method went bust and been unable to access it again (Sad Story, I Know…). But then I purchased Gears 5 on the STEAM platform, where I can utilize my Xbox Sign-In to keep my status going, which is awesome! But very soon though (09/15/2020), we’ll have xCloud, which is FREE to Game Pass Members like me. Mobily speaking, the xCloud mobile app is only available on Android devices. As for why Apple App Store is still denying Microsoft xCloud, click HERE.
The best part of accessing any of my Nintendo titles is through my Nintendo Switch! I know I could’ve purchased the cartridges, but why? Instead, I purchased a 256GB microSD card and began purchasing Nintendo titles via my Nintendo Switch Online membership account. I then downloaded them onto the microSD card and access them in an instant without inserting a single cartridge – it really does cut the time!
As I mentioned above, as it pertains to my Xbox One X, in order to play one of my all-time favorite games, I used STEAM to do it, BUT… I also utilize STEAM to access my older, but oh so awesome games like Team Fortress, Counter Strike, CRYSIS 1, 2 & 3, Half Life, Dead Effect 2, and Red Faction: Armageddon. The best part about these games on STEAM is that they’re normally On Sale, which is great because who’d want to pay top price for a decade old game, you know?
Finally we have Stadia, which has games that go back as far as 1997 (DOOM 64). First of all, who wants to pay for a service in order to play a game that is what, over 20 years old? Even the console that the game was originally played on a console was discontinued in 2002. I mean, Why?
Google Stadia Price
This part is a bit confusing because if you’re paying for a subscription of $10/month, you’d think you get something for that, whether it be one (1) game of your choice per month or quarter. Instead, all you get is Free games, I suppose like DOOM 64. You see, you still have to pay for games. You pay and download onto your Stadia account, which you can access even if you decide to dump the subscription. I remember when Stadia was first launched last year (11/19/2019), the premier edition, which included the Stadia controller and Chromecast Ultra, was $129 and now it’s down to $99.
Here’s where I begin to lose interest in the platform and why I believe Stadia is not yet there… The number of games Stadia currently has in its stable is at 68, most of which are comprised of older titles. Do I believe Cloud Gaming’s the future? It’s the logical next step, sure. But it’s just not here yet, even though it is. What Google’s done with Stadia is no different than what Larry Ellison did with Oracle at first, which was basically introduce the world to an incomplete product. Today, Oracle is one of the TOP 3 BIGGEST Database Software companies in the world. Could Stadia be huge? You’d think they would, I mean they’re owned by Google, but the same was said about Google+, so only time will tell.
So Who Would Benefit From Stadia, Kai?
So here’s the answer to your question as it pertains to Stadia? Remember the unveiling early last year? Phil Harrison mentioned how the platform would benefit gamers with an Internet connection, and (voila!) Stadia can be accessed on your television. Well, that made me realize that one of the things you don’t need with Stadia is a state of the art gaming laptop or desktop. All you basically need is an online connection exceeding 35MBs/sec, which isn’t a lot, and you’ll also need a controller. Finally, if you wish to experience playing a game on your television set, you’ll need a Chromecast Ultra device.
So, if you don’t own a console gaming system or gaming machine, but have a decent Internet connection, then yeah, you would most definitely benefit from Stadia and its Premier Package. The package is now going for just $99 and includes the Stadia controller and Chromecast Ultra device for your television set. So, right now, at this time, Stadia would benefit the gamer who only has an Internet connection! Will it benefit every other gamer who does have a console or gaming machine? In my opinion? No… it’s not ready to be an alternative or take the place of those other options.
I think it’s very important to point out that playing console games online, whether it be from your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop, bandwidth is extremely important!
Without an appropriate amount of bandwidth, gameplay will not be at its optimum, it’s that simple. And this is with everything, whether it’s with Stadia, PS Remote Play, xCloud or Nintendo Online. Bandwidth is Bandwidth is Bandwidth, and without it, just put it all away, because it’s not gonna work right.
Normally I carry around a mobile hotspot device known as a Jetpack, which I have through Verizon. However, as it pertains to signals, these hotspots work just like phones. If your phone is in a dead zone, so is the Jetpack. I was on a Royal Caribbean cruise last year, where I sailed on one of their bigger ships. The vessel provided a satellite tech they call VOOM. I wouldn’t go out of my way to say it was 100% 100% of the time, but I spent most of the time streaming. I admit that there are many gamers who are very enthusiastic about a game’s visual quality, and so am I, but not to the extent that I’ll let it discourage me. My point is that no matter where you’re at, where there’s WiFi, it’s never perfect, but you do need enough oomph to get you through the level you’re on and the next one after that!
Another thing is having a TV that’s set up with HDMI ports, now I know that seems obvious, but it needs to be said. Another thing to keep in mind is that even though you can take your Chromecast Ultra anywhere, some hotels/resorts & cruise lines can and have disabled HDMI ports with exception to the one providing cable and pay-per-view movies. Therefore, do take your Chromecast Ultra on your vacations but don’t expect it to work on some TVs.
But know that whichever video game brand you choose, make sure you’re playing a game you love playing. Do with that information what you will, but that’s it for me, for now.