On Mar. 19, Google announced a new way to play video games, Google Stadia. During GDC, also known as the Game Developers Conference, Google announced this new service as a gaming platform without a console. That means playing popular, new games without the need of buying a beefy computer or an Xbox or Playstation. Though this may seem like a great idea on paper, actually executing something like this is actually very difficult.
Being someone who has played video games for a long time, I’ve felt pretty skeptical about the idea of a gaming service that streams games to a device. Stadia does exactly that. Servers that are owned by Google run the game that you wish to play, and stream the screen to your device of choice. It is a similar system to how YouTube or Netflix stream videos to your device, but in real time. This causes major issues for people who may not have the best internet.
When a video on the internet buffers, usually the lack of a connection may be the issue. The same problem would most likely impact the experience of Stadia users. Because connecting to Google servers is a requirement to stream the game, you wouldn’t be able to play games on Stadia from anywhere.
Even if internet connection wasn’t an issue, input lag, or the time between pressing a button and an action appearing on screen, would be a huge problem.
Casual gamers wouldn’t feel the difference between a few milliseconds lag, but when a game requires your utmost attention, that’s where the Stadia’s issue would be prominent. Games such as Call of Duty or Counter-Strike require precision in movement and quick reflexes. Input lag and internet issues could be detrimental to the player.
Though the system may seem like a promising glimpse of the future of streaming, many issues point to the demise of Google Stadia before releasing. Hopefully, I could be wrong on my assumptions, and the Stadia’s release later this year may be a hit.
Written by Nicolas Sarmenta