Interestingly I’m not that bullish on Google Stadia.
The remote gaming industry already has a few big players, who are much closer and more embedded with the gaming industry. Nvidia, Steam, and I expect the VR companies to get more involved (to reduce load on their own hardware.) This doesn’t include the console publishers who watch the space closely as hardware becomes obsolete quicker and quicker.
There are a few concerns I have for Stadia.
Firstly the games you own don’t transfer over, this means you need to rebuy your gaming library, for someone like me this is a huge barrier to entry. This also means Google will need to replace your current gaming needs currently and going forward, meaning they are entering the game distribution space which is a very heated space, not to mention hugely fragmented and getting worse.
Secondly, the technology is fairly smart, the controller goes straight to Google’s servers cutting out connecting to your machine before going to their servers. I really like the approach of your inputs going direct, and then the screen display coming direct. However, you are still working against your WiFi. Google claims to aim for negative ping by using smart AI to predict your inputs, an extremely bold claim and one that might actually trigger anti cheat solutions that modern triple A games come with.
Third, they are behind on exclusives. A lot of the mega publishers have their own distribution channels, and looking at the Epic store they are paying out millions to get extended exclusivity. Will gamers reduce their choice of stores (you can have multiple on PC, with Stadia you are locked in) when it doesn’t give them a benefit? A lot of the existing distribution channels are offering subscriptions to get unlimited access to their games e.g. Origin Store.
I like the idea of playing games anywhere using a shared library, but for now this isn’t giving me any major advantages.
The easy of use looks like a huge plus, but the existing competition isn’t far behind and I don’t think Google’s USP with how the controller works to reduce lag will be unique forever.
Stadia for me is a great innovation and pushes the industry forward, but it’ll be too expensive for me to move over my library currently. It’s innovative but as a consumer it’s not an attractive enough proposition for me.
Happy to be wrong on this though! If they achieve what the marketing claims and get over the issues with your library then it will be something extremely special.