Google Stadia: The Innovative New Way to Play [2020]

What is Google Stadia?

Google launched the Stadia platform in November of 2019 in 14 different territories; including the US, UK, and Canada. The service costs $130 for access with a starter kit and initially three months of premium service, then $10 a month afterward. The number of games available right now has been extended to 22.

The Google Chromecast dongle and Stadia controller
The Google Chromecast dongle and Stadia controller


How Does Stadia Work?

First off, Google Stadia is a cloud-based gaming service operated by Google. It is run by processors on a server farm. Loading times are really quick for that reason. As soon as you subscribe to the service, you have a multitude of games, playable on any Google-equipped device including PC or Mac. That’s because memory storage and graphics processing is done entirely on their servers. Everything is processed through a Wi-Fi internet connection. You can have as many games as Google makes available, and loading time is extremely fast, making games startup as soon as you select them.

The major questions: Will Stadia be good? What does Stadia mean for consoles? Will Stadia be the promised “Netflix” of video games?

Will Stadia Be Any Good?

Google Stadia Console Gaming Comparison
Google Stadia Console Gaming Comparison

Game-streaming vs Console; which works better? Google’s answer to this question determines the future of what could be a revolutionary shift in gaming as Netflix and Disney Plus are to movies and TV. The tech that goes behind this is promising, it could be the vanguard of a new future. But has it been well thought out before delivery? As was mentioned, the games are processed on their server farms and beamed to you through Wi-Fi, that’s what makes Stadia provide quick and high-resolution performance. Like with the Nintendo Switch, it offers portable gaming on a Chrome accessible device, or on TV, via Chromecast. Stadia has built-in streaming for YouTube gaming. Games load up in mere seconds. Stadia outperformed PlayStation Now with its stability, and it supports 4K HDR.


What is Google Stadia Graphics Quality?

Stadia is a streaming service, which means your experience is based on your proximity to Google servers and your connection speed. Also, because it’s streaming the resolution is generally magnificent, but that’s depending on the strength of your internet connection, sometimes the graphics may drop to a lower quality mid-game.

That doesn’t generally happen on a console, think of it like satellite TV, but for video games. It’s generally good in concept since the processing and save storage is done by Google cloud servers, theoretically, Google Stadia should have sharper graphics and faster loading speed than anyone else. You’ll have a good time playing if you have a fast enough internet connection.

Graphics Quality Comparisons PC, X Box One and Stadia's Wi-Fi Streaming
Graphics Quality Comparisons PC, X Box One and Stadia’s Wi-Fi Streaming

What Does Google Stadia Mean For the Future of Console Gaming?

Will Stadia be a threat to console gaming? You see, Sony and Microsoft are raising their prices for the next-gen consoles. Both will initially be $499, that was the price for Xbox One and One X. With any tariffs on trade, the value of PlayStation may come to exceed Xbox in later days. How convenient, then, for a monthly subscription service of streaming cross-platform video games!

There are games from Sony that might be hot right now, and you want it, but you have an Xbox One. How often has that happened to many gamers? Whenever a new game dropped for Xbox One, my friends would want to come over to my house so they could play it. With Stadia, you could have access to any game on either platform.


Google Stadia; What are the Pros, What are the Cons?

What’s great and what’s not so great about Google Stadia?  Well, Stadia invites you to imagine a future where you will not pay for expensive consoles, but stream directly from the cloud on multiple devices. It is a future where you could pay a subscription service for unlimited access to gamin- wait, not so fast; there’s a little issue with that. 

The way Google has its model set up, you have to pay for additional games after subscription; free access does not come with the whole package. By contrast, Playstation Now is updated every month with hundreds of games from PS2 to 4.

You can stream or download these games without additional purchases. When you look at it in the long run, Google Stadia may lose major points for that. The fact that you have to pay for additional games after the subscription is the reason why its online community is lacking in force.

With a Google Stadia account, you can play on any device. Save a game on your TV, and pick up where you left off on your smartphone or tablet.
With a Google Stadia account, you can play on any device. Save a game on your TV, and pick up where you left off on your smartphone or tablet.


Google Stadia Technology; Are We on the Cusp of Something New?

Nevertheless, Google Stadia is heralding a trend that most major players in the industry are beginning to pay attention to. Google is not the only game-streaming service, nor are they the most popular. Other companies like Sony and Microsoft are also making the shift to video game streaming services.

In the upcoming decade, this may likely be a major trend shift in video gaming, just as Netflix or Disney Plus was for entertainment, or what social media has grown to become for the internet in the 2010s.

Will It Live Up To The Hype?

Does it have the potential to be the Netflix of gaming? Well, it has a lot of potentials. With cloud-based gaming, next-generation games can be produced with open worlds and complexity on a level not ever seen before.

If it boasted a high number of players online – it doesn’t – Google would more than be able to handle the load since the visuals are being processed on its machines and the data is passing through its system. That, in theory, would mean larger online platforms, and uniform speeds for everyone with no lag time. That is the intended vision, but reviews seem to indicate that Google came out of the gate with its gaming platform half-baked.


With a Stadia subscription, you have access to Youtube streaming directly from your devices. At the end of a Youtube game trailer, you may see a button that says “Play Now” and that would launch you straight into the game in seconds. You could stream in 4K from any device with Google Chrome, even one as vintage as a Windows 98.


How “State Share” Changes the Game

Stadia has also pioneered a new innovation called “State Share”. What is that? Well, when I was growing up, I and my friends always used to play games to beat the level and get a sense of accomplishment, you know all the old-fashioned stuff. “State Share” changes things. It’s a transferable encoded link to a game’s save-state. So if you were a YouTuber and you had a playthrough, you could provide a link to the gameplay everyone just saw. If they had a Google Stadia account, it would be accessible to them as well.

According to one review: “By clicking the link, players will be able to enter a game at a specific moment in time. The link will preserve the world state, the player inventory, and all of the other key factors required to pick up the action right where it left off.”

Google Stadia State Share
“State Share” saves the player’s position, inventory, and game progress. You can share any point in-game through a link.


Complete Google Services Integration

The Google Stadia controller has button access to Google Assistant. Usually, you would pause and look up a walkthrough. Stadia games are integrated with a Google Assistant guide in addition to YouTube videos. Here’s what Polygon says on it: “With the press of a button, you can tell the Assistant you’ve had trouble and it will automatically detect where in the game you are and show you the most relevant YouTube video to help you get through the tough section.”


Google has been known to terminate its projects, but Google Stadia looks promising. It’s biggest issue, I would say, is that you have to pay for most additional games after subscription. If anything causes Stadia to flop, it may very well be that. The entire appeal of cloud gaming is not having to pay for games or a console. Nobody wants to pay $129 dollars down for a $9.99 monthly subscription (plus extra for the games) when Google might shelf their project anyway.


Nevertheless, the technology that goes behind this is revolutionary and it goes much farther than one single company or platform because as I mentioned in the article, most of the major players in the industry have some form of cloud-gaming subscription service right now. Cloud-based gaming may be one of the biggest shifts we’re going to see in home entertainment technology in the upcoming decade.


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