News Google Stadia was never going to work

Feb 6, 2021
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While I agree with a lot of this article, it feels like the author somewhat misses the point of cloud gaming and makes a pretty big assumption about the average gamer.

Not all gamers, even the serious ones, have top end hardware all the time. It's a bit arrogant to even imply that. It's expensive and a hassle to even buy top end gaming hardware and while I recognize that's an indication of popularity, it's also heavily influenced by timing. Cloud gaming is very new while traditional hardware is established. No one, myself included, is prepared to skip this gen for cloud gaming but next gen? Maybe, that's a long time for people to accept it. Digital only games were "doomed" in the beginning too but things changed.

In theory, cloud gaming gives any gamer access to the best possible experience. That's it's main benefit. Not playing Assassin's Creed on your phone or similar. Being able to play Assassin's Creed Valhalla seemlessly at 4k with ultra quality graphics on a $50 Chromecast or the Nvidia Shield I already use as my entertainment hub.

The audience you can't identity is PC gamers who don't want to maintain gaming rigs anymore and console gamers who want better quality. The fact that we JUST had a hardware refresh obfuscates things a bit because they're the most powerful they'll ever be right now. But let's talk in 2-3 years and see how they handle modern 4k gaming.

I think cloud gaming is the future. In the end, it's better for everyone involved. Stadia Pro provides a great experience but Google will probably screw it up and the first party thing sucks. Still, the Xbox Game Pass model isn't bad and easily adopted. Stadia Pro BADLY needs to expand their free offering but I definitely see it as a viable model.
 
Feb 6, 2021
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The game market is huge, and the minority has what you think is the majority!
Stadia will stand out after it is installed from the factory on smarTvs, and google has AndroidTV and just made a deal with LG to also come pre-installed!
Not to mention other services that have integrated into Stadia such as Youtube, Android and Playstore!
 
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Feb 6, 2021
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I'm a gamer and I have a decent pc, but the reason I love Stadia is because it offers a lot of flexibility I didn't previously have. I can play on my phone, my tv, my pc, my mac laptop, or pretty much any device that can run chrome and and has a decent internet connection. That's huge because I don't always have access to my pc if I'm traveling or sometimes I just wanna chill in a different room.
 
Feb 6, 2021
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The game market is huge, and the minority has what you think is the majority!
Stadia will stand out after it is installed from the factory on smarTvs, and google has AndroidTV and just made a deal with LG to also come pre-installed!
Not to mention other services that have integrated into Stadia such as Youtube, Android and Playstore!
I can see cable companies bundling this as a part of their service. There's an entire market of gamers out there that can be tapped here. I can't help but feel the author is short sighted.

Google's on to something. I don't blame them for getting out of the game development. Game development and production is a risky and very difficult endeavor. Just creating the platform is risk enough. I don't know if they'll succeed but the payoff is huge if they do.
 
Feb 6, 2021
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As pointed out by the previous comments I think there is a huge untapped market, before game streaming services there simply has not been a way for the casual gamer to play AAA games.

To answer the author's question from their original review:
"But is there really a huge audience that's been waiting breathlessly all these years to play Destiny, or Tomb Raider, or Just Dance, but is also unwilling to buy a gaming platform?"

Yes, yes there is. But these "aspiring gamers" don't know that it's now possible to play these games without investing in gaming hardware. When Stadia has Android TV integration I think that's the point when we will start seeing a marketing push. Because they will then have the opportunity to grab those people who would normally sit down for the evening to stream a movie and say "hey, want to play Cyberpunk?"

Personally I think I'm in a subset of those "aspiring gamers" group, I now have limited time to play games and my latest consoles are a PS3 and Xbox 360. I really want to dive into the latest AAA triple games but it's very hard to justify paying for a console when I know I might only be able to play one or two of these games a year. It's an even harder sell now that consoles don't offer any added benefit like they used to because smart TV's have filled that gap, they are simply a gaming device. Game streaming services remove that decision entirely because I'm simply buying the game with the added benefit of not having to wait for OS and game updates to download and install. In my case I would have never considered buying Cyberpunk knowing that I would have to get either a new PC capable of playing it or a new console.
 
Feb 7, 2021
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This article is quite the self centred opinion piece on part of the author. Of course Stadia is pointless for people who own high end hardware, that's been obvious from the outset. Stadia is for people who don't own consoles or high end PCs, but still want to give current gen gaming a go. I know plenty of people in thier 30s/40s who havent bought a console since the PS3 era due to natural life progression like careers and families...myself included. When you can skip the $1,000+ PC or $600+ console and jump right into a modern game, Stadia is absolutely perfect. No upgrades, no installs, no system crashing or overheating. I didn't even know google had an in house game development studio, and quite frankly I'm surprised they did given that Stadia is a bit of a niche. But that doesn't mean there's no market at all or that the service is doomed. I'm perfectly content playing content from popular developers.
 
Feb 7, 2021
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1. Stadia is stronger without exclusive titles, this was an absolutely correct decision
Competitive triple A titles are very expensive to produce and are therefore only possible with huge installation bases. Even then, you make less money being exclusive, so being exclusive only works as a strategic decision to give a platform a strategic edge: Exclusives work as system sellers.
Stadia doesn't need exclusives, because there isn't a system to sell! Stadia -as a system - is free and even the pro version, which can be cancelled monthly is dirt cheap.
There was little advantage to having exclusives.

2. But what about the existing exclusives?
Probably nice games. I have Stadia Pro, so I could play them for free, but I don't want to. They are basically well made little casual games. Of which there are hundreds every year. Nice to have, but not worthy exclusives. This article makes it sound as if Google shuttered a Studio with a long tradition in making genre defining games. But let's not kid ourselves here: Basically no one will notice these developers being gone.

3. 3rd Party developers are the way to go
Three months ago I knew not a single person using Stadia. Now I know four, myself included. Everyone of us came because of Cyberpunk. Everyone of us has bought other games since. Everyone of us is absolutely happy with Stadia. Google probably saw that one year of delivering and promising Stadia exclusive casual games didn't help their service. Promoting Cyberpunk made their platform explode (relatively speaking).

4. There is a target group: People like me.
I'm no longer a student. In fact, I have a job, a family, hobbies. I haven't played a triple A title in years, because for the few hours I play on average per week,the 500 Euro upgrade from office to gaming PC isn't worth it. Plus I don't have the will any more to study hardware tests and install drivers and that stuff. With that profile I should buy a console. But consoles are still somewhat expensive, they are wired to the living room where my family lives, they collect dust most of the time and they aren't a pretty sight in you rliving room - also I like to use mouse and keyboard.
And there Stadia is fucking brillant! I just open a browser tab and I can play. Is is cutting edge graphics? Probably not, there's maybe 15% more possible. But it looks better than anything my own hardware could render, better than everything I played in the last 40 years. It's good enough in the perfectly right way.

5. But aren't there too few games?
No. Between Cyberpunk and Red Dead Redemption and maybe a bit of Tomb Raider my videogame time in 2021 is already fully booked.
And even if I wanted to play more, I could always look at Geforce Now or other streaming services, too. Since I didn't buy a system I am completely free to move around and pick the best from everywhere. Absolutely no disadvantage for me!

6. What about other streaming services?
What about them? Some of them are nice, too. The great thing about these services is that you do not have to invest hundreds of Euros upfront. You can just use the one that right now fits your needs best. Since Stadia is free, you can use it all the time, or sometimes, or only very seldom.

This article reads like the author is just an old guard type gamer hating streaming innovation. But this is exactly what enables people like I to get back to gaming: I used to be a gamer-gamer and now I just want to casually be able to play a triple-A title now and then.

Will Stadia get shuttered eventually? Maybe, who knows?

But as opposed to what the author of this article believes
  • this decision was strategically the absolute right one and
  • there is a huge market for Stadia (or similar services) and
  • exclusives are basically irrelevant to these services (especially non triple A exclusives).
 
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