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I won the Fibre to the node lottery with an average download speed of 47mb which pretty much never falters from that even at peak hour times but even still it would not be enough to reliably stream 4K 60fps because in the real world there is more than one person using the connection at a time so if I’m taking 35 of the 47 it’s only going to leave 12 for everyone else in the house, once they start streaming Netflix or YouTube my 4k is going to go out the window! I’d say you’d need at least 100mb
After watching the Stadia announcement stage demo, this is what I had to say.
(Stage demo starts at the 1:35 mark)
I have to be skeptical about this, and not just from a tech standpoint.
1. While I know game streaming services have existed and struggled through latency problems for a while, and that no one has better infrastructure than Google to support it, there were at least two points in the stream that showed severe image breakup. So you have to wonder if this catches on like wildfire if more and more people will suffer the same problem while playing games once the gaming audience grows.
2. This service will no doubt require uninterrupted FO lines from source to your home to work well, and a lot of places in the US still don’t have FO. Even in the case where your service provider has FO, that doesn’t necessarily mean the apt building one may live in does. So this could potentially become a have to be financially stable enough to be an owner not a renter thing.
3. There was literally NO info given on speculated game prices and required ISP speed, and in my searching I can’t find ANY FAQ on Stadia. I’ve seen various services tack on a “free” Google Play trial as a selling point, only to find it’s just a link that takes you to nothing but various movies and games Google is trying to sell you, so excuse me if I’m skeptical about what this will cost.
4. They claim you will be more secure playing strictly within the Stadia network vs the “public internet”, yet they’re quick to use the phrase “all over the internet” when referencing places to buy Stadia supported titles. I’ve 2 years back to back during holidays had the common Google Redirect bug, where the links it generates take you to sites that have zero to do with what you’re searching for.
5. It’s common knowledge the most used platform for alternative browsers is Chromium, but many don’t know the most popular of them that is a secure browser, Epic Privacy Browser, also doesn’t use Google, or Chrome’s tracking your URL inputs, or even Google’s servers. Why, because they are not exactly secure. So I have to be very skeptical about this claimed gaming security.
6. What about overly awkward security measures? One thing I can’t stand about Google is it’s the LEAST VPN friendly search engine out there, and the only way around those oft used bot checks is to either spend several minutes clicking this and that picture with a car or street light, or temporarily disable your VPN to access their search engine, which compromises your security.
7. If it works as well as advertised, this could in a short period of time put most gaming hardware manufacturers out of business, and become a monopoly in the process. That’s a HELL a lot of power to give one company whom could then pretty much charge whatever they want for the service. Out of work HW manufacturers could form a coalition to hack this service.
8. Google has non existent customer service. Good luck getting a hold of anyone, or receiving anything but a vague email response of “we’ll look into this”, IF you get a response at all. And good luck getting help from the game devs, as they’ll likely refer you to Google. I used to have respect for Jade Raymond (54:00), but since working at Ubi she’s sold out to corporate gaming.
9. Image quality is one of my biggest concerns. You can’t just toss out “1080p” and “4K” and expect everyone to ooh and ahh. We all know services like this use compression for efficiency, so that 1080p and 4k you actually see onscreen won’t likely look as good as those resolutions from direct play of the game on decent hardware. When they keep using the mantra “on any hardware”, you can likely expect it to look like it would on mediocre HW and settings.
10. Perhaps the biggest concern is the games have to be ported to Linux. Since Valve, a pretty wealthy company with expert coders whom had lots of manufacturer and developer support for Steam Box, already tried that with worse performance on the converted to Linux versions than on the original Windows versions, it seems a fool hearty venture even for Google.
That said, if successful, this could very well become the new streaming version of Steam. I know a lot of people rave about Steam sale prices, but in reality it’s mostly only older games that go on big sales, meaning you have to be VERY patient to make use of them. Every time I look at Steam sales they are either games I already own, or obscure titles I have no interest in. Price wise I’ve not seen anything from Google that encourages me though. Whenever it comes to selling other people’s content, they if anything have fairly high prices. And their YouTube Red and YouTube TV services are a joke. They make it sound like you get a lot of extra content with YT Red, but in reality it’s only ad free. YouTube TV costs more than it should when you compare it to other TV streaming services.
If Steam was enough to make Valve so filthy rich they pretty much became lazy by it and nearly retired from game development, you can imagine what Stadia will do to the much greedier Google. They DO however have some big hurdles to overcome, not the least of which is porting to Linux. It’s something that proved very time consuming and not as effective performance wise as Valve had hoped. Too many red flags here for me.