The incredible adventure of Google Stadia
Launched in fall 2019, Google Stadia, the streaming game service (transmission) of the leading search engine is still there in 2021. But its course is not the smoothest. In the same columns on this site, I was among the most excited to see this service arrive.
the moment it was great for me at a time when high speed internet is becoming more prevalent. But, where I expected, like many, a Netflix-style business model, we were entitled to a much more (also?) Traditional model: an online store with games at various prices and a Pro subscription. That allows you to have a few “free” games every month. It’s actually the same approach as PS + or Xbox Live Gold.
In addition, Google had put the plates in a big way by founding a studio in Montreal and buying the Typhoon studio (which has since returned under the name Raccoon Logic). It was before reversing a few months later as an admission of failure. This is for the backstage. But for the players, how are they doing?
Will Google Stadia hold in 2021?
Having scoured the service with some Google-provided game codes, it’s clear that Stadia is of good quality … as long as you have the right connection and the right gear. In fact, on a computer, Wi-Fi is not recommended. If, like me, you have a Mac, then there is one more step to enjoying it decently wirelessly (you have to temporarily disable “Continuity” mode).
But nothing replaces a wired connection with an old RJ45. Again, on Mac, at least on my side, it was the cross and the banner to activate my Ethernet connection. For this reason, among other things, I no longer play on the computer. In short, once the connection is established, we make the most of it.
We tested games like Cyberpunk 2077, Metro Exodus, Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Risk of rain 2, NET and a few more to see how the service performed. On the technical side, there is nothing to say. With my 120Mbps connection from Fizz, I had no slowdown or disconnection once I connected to Ethernet. The loads are fast, the games smooth. There is also no latency in the controls.
On the mobile device, the experience is just as pleasant, as long as you have a controller. Although the service supports touch controls, this is not ideal. Having those big fingers that take up the entire screen in titles like Cyberpunk 2077 is disturbing.
But what is interesting and really impressive is the diversity of platforms supported by Stadia. Computers, mobiles, tablets, even the Xbox Series X will be compatible with the next update. This is a great promise kept by Google and we are delighted.
My fears for Stadia
The only thing that really bothers me is the business model that I don’t understand. Although I’m the first to cheer on the dematerialized (I don’t have physical games on the Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, and Xbox Series X), I can’t tell myself that I can pay for the wind anytime soon. Here, the purchase results in access to a server on which the game is stored.
If the servers go down or if Google closes its service, it’s over, we lose everything. While in the context of digital games, we can still play it if we download it. Yes, I know that digital games are only licenses that give us the right to play.
I don’t know, maybe I’m getting old and Stadia is changing my benchmarks too much. Especially since it is not the latest rumors about the possible white label transfer reported by my colleague Patrick that reassures me. I remember the 3DO too well!
Regardless, Stadia is an objectively solid service with a catalog certainly smaller than the Google Play Pass on mobile devices, but just as varied. If you have a good connection, feel free to sign up and take advantage of the 30-day trial version.
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