Today is the launch of Google Stadia, a new streaming service from the American giant. It uses cloud technology that enables us to play games on different devices, and the only requirement is internet access (image quality depends on bandwidth). However, Google has made its service available to various editorial teams before release, so we can already read the first reviews and expert opinions that will bring us closer to answering the questions of whether the product is worth the interest of users.
On day one, Stadia offers 22 games. Here's the list:
- Assassin's Creed Odyssey
- Attack on Titan: Final Battle 2
- Destiny 2: The Collection
- Farming Simulator 2019
- Final Fantasy XV
- Football Manager 2020
- Grid 2019
- Just Dance 2020
- The Exodus Metro
- Mortal Kombat 11
- NBA 2K20
- Rage 2
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Rise of the Tomb Raider
- Samurai Shodown
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
- Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
- Trials Rising
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood
Surely each player will find something for themselves. Admittedly, there are several decent titles here. Stadia, however, is no match for Microsoft's xCloud, where more than 50 games are available, despite the fact that the project is still in beta phase. Google has assured that in the future, the platform will feature many AAA games such as Cyberpunk 2077, Watch Dogs Legion and Marvel's Avengers.
As you may know, Stadia is currently available in the USA and Canada and in selected European countries (UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland).
It works decently, but in reality it is still a beta version
Trusted Revievs has spoken out positively about the new service and has high expectations for it:
Google Stadia’s cloud-streaming service shows a lot of promise and could be a great option for those who want to game without spending a fortune on a console. But with lots of missing features at launch, Stadia has a long way to go to become a serious challenger to PlayStation and Xbox.
Richard Leadbetter from Eurogamer says the image quality is the best he's ever seen (probably comparing the competition: PS Now, XCloud, and GeForce Now), but he's disappointed with the latency of streaming games.
"As a technological statement, Stadia impresses with the best image quality and latency I've seen from a streaming platform, but there's definitely scope for improvement from a stability perspective [...] Combined with the feeling that the platform and the ecosystem is still some way off completion and I do feel that it's perhaps too early for Stadia to be rolling out as a full service, especially when games are limited and the all-important platform exclusives are very thin on the ground."
PCWorld has a similar approach to the case:
"The underlying tech is great, but everything else half-works, or works only in specific situations, or it’s 'coming soon.'"
Other reviewers didn't were hardly enthusiastic and didn't even try to justify the shortcomings that the developers had committed.
"This has been a catastrophe from start to finish during my testing phase, and the problem is that even if it did work flawlessly, which it absolutely doesn’t, the entire model seemed doomed from the start. This is an enormous miss from Google, and I am really wondering what the fallout is going to be from this ill-conceived early launch," wrote Paul Tassl from Forbes.
"Stadia is just like all the other cloud gaming platforms I've tried: Often great for singleplayer games, terrible for multiplayer if your internet isn't up to snuff. [...] Stadia's launch is simply missing many of the features it needs to be a robust gaming platform," said Joanna Nelius in an article for PC Gamer.
As we can see, the opinions of the reviewers are diverse. Does Google Stadia have a chance to become a top cloud gaming platform? Many reviewers say it will if the company deals with the arduous delays and is able to quickly expand its game library (including exclusive games). Currently, the price for a monthly subscription is 9.99 euros