Lately I have been watching a lot of youtube videos on people’s opinions on the latest Google Stadia update. The reception seems to range from skepticism to mixed feelings in Google’s new service. Personally I like the idea but can’t say whether the service is worth it or not because I simply need more information. In Google’s newest update they revealed pricing, launch titles, and internet speeds required along with a special founder’s package you can purchase. In this article I will be discussing what I believe to be the most important information from the video.
Internet Speed Required
I think one of people’s biggest fear about Stadia is that you will need a really good internet connection to play. This is only partially true because you will need a stable connection but your internet speeds do not need to be all that fast. Google announced that to play games on Stadia at 720p at 60fps you only need 10mbps connection. And to play at 4K with HDR at 60fps you need 30mbps. 30mbps is kind of a low-midtier internet speed, so I think it is a perfectly reasonable speed to run 4K at 60fps.
However internet stability is a whole other issue, in theory you can play Stadia on any device anywhere but most likely you will be confined to your home. 4G LTE internet speeds typically handle download speeds ranging from 5mbps to 15mbps according to Verizon Wireless. They also state that 4G can peak at 30mbps but if you phone service is anything like mine then chances are that your speed varies from location to location, not to mention the data caps. Stadia will eat your data like nobodies business, so it’s most likely you will not be using Stadia on any device with a cell phone plan. Hotel and airport speeds are also pretty bad for Stadia since a lot of people use them their connection speeds tend to lag.
In order to play games in 4K with HDR at over 60fps you will need to pay monthly fee of $9.99, this includes one known free game which is “Destiny 2”. Otherwise you can use the Stadia Base service but with downgraded graphics at 1080p, which isn’t to bad in my opinion. Keep in mind that Google Stadia is a service that allows you to use Google’s gaming computers to render the game and stream the game to your device, you still have to pay for the games themeselves. So far we only know of one game that will come free with the $9.99 subscription. Is this worth the subscription price? Honestly I don’t know, some people say that there should be more free games included with the subscription but you are mainly paying to access google’s “super computers” free games are just an extra bonus.
This topic wasn’t exactly discussed in Google’s presentation but there were a number of people who got to try out Stadia for a while. From what I’ve been hearing there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable lag with a controller. However I haven’t been able to try Stadia out so I can’t confirm. It is possible that Stadia may work well with a controller but what about the latency with a keyboard? Or what about when hundreds of thousands of people are playing at the same time? It’s one thing for a few people to be playing in a demo but it’s another when there are a hundred thousand or more people playing at the same time.
I like the idea of Google Stadia because it let’s anyone have access to powerful hardware without having to actually own it for a relatively cheap price. But there is something nice about owning your own hardware and physical media that streaming can’t replace. For the moment I’m pretty happy owning my own consoles and media.