Review Google Stadia Review

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TheKLF99

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Feb 7, 2014
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I decided to try stadia with my Google One account with their 3 month offer. A month after signing up totally unimpressed by it. It really does have a lot of work to do to get it right. We are in a rural area and recently we switched from PlusNet's mediocre 2mbps broadband to Airband which works at about 50mbps. Now with this new speed we have no problem doing most things - we can watch Apple TV 4K, play Playstation Now, Games Pass, stream games between friends in at least 1080p (sometimes we even get up to 4K when no-one else is using the internet to watch something like Disney+)...

So I thought I'd give Stadia a go and see what that's like - sounds quite awesome - latest console games streaming... erm... yeah ok... the entire system is awful. Every few seconds I get a nag screen telling me my internet isn't stable and so I might get booted off - and this is only at 720p - then at regular occasions either the screen freezes or the audio freezes. Just recently trying to play Human : Fall Flat on it was an interesting experience. It's hard enough trying to control a guy who looks like he's had one too many down the local boozer and keeps falling on his backside, without having to also put up with the screen freezing every few seconds and a broken audio track.

I thought maybe it's because I'm going through WiFi so I went downstairs to the Mac Mini which is hard-wired into the router via ethernet - exactly the same experience. Did a test on my internet speed - according to my test it seems to fluctuate between 30-50mbps with an average of about 40mbps. All other streaming services work absolutely fine - Playstation Now, Games Pass, etc...

Then we also get to controllers - they seem to claim that "all controllers" work with Stadia. I don't know why but the main controller I have on my PC will not work at all with Stadia. It's a wired USB mini PS4 gamepad made by a company called HORI. It's very strange as this controller works fine on all other PC games, works just like a PS4 gamepad on the PS4 - the only thing it's missing on the PS4 is the lights, rumble and touchpad as it's only a mini-game controller. But on Stadia - nothing - it's USB and even Windows joystick control panel recognises it - I've tried it on both Mac, Desktop PC and Laptop but absolutely no recognition by Stadia. The only way I could get Stadia to recognise it was by using JoyToKey and setting it up to emulate keyboard/mouse controls. I know it's only a cheap Chinese PS4 clone gamepad but I don't understand why all other devices recognise it except Stadia - surely Stadia should just take the information it's receiving from Windows regardless of the joystick - I even tested the joystick in Unity and it works fine in that too. I know in the settings it says you have to press a certain button combination to sync the joystick - but even that does nothing. I also tried plugging it into a mobile phone and using it via stadia on a Motorola One Vision - again nothing - and again on the phone the joystick works fine in games like Assassin's Creed - but not in Stadia.

Stadia is an interesting concept but it does need a lot more work to make it viable - maybe when internet speeds improve in the future it might work better (then again 50mbps should be fast enough at least for 720p!) Or maybe Google should look into the codecs they're using for streaming and use more efficient codecs like things like Disney+ and Apple TV are using (Apple Arcade works much better than Stadia and also works with my joystick - and is even thrown in with Apple One subscribers!).
 
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