This is a featured article!
Stadia was a cloud-based gaming console developed by Google. It was released in 18 countries on November 19, 2019.
It was advertised to be capable of streaming video games up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second with support for high-dynamic-range, to players via the company's numerous data centers across the globe, provided they are using a sufficiently high-speed internet connection. It was accessible through the Google Chrome web browser on personal computers, Pixel smartphones, supported smartphones from Samsung, OnePlus, Razer, and Asus, as well as Chrome OS tablets and Chromecast for TV support.
On September 29th, 2022, Google announced that Stadia would be shutting down on January 18th, 2023, ending the platform for good.
Why It Flopped[edit | edit source]
- The very concept of cloud gaming, while a good idea on paper, is very unreliable as you need a constant uninterrupted internet connection to even play games. Any form of internet lag can make the games unplayable, and considering that the Stadia is very demanding, many houses without high-speed internet literally cannot use Stadia at all because of this issue.
- Additionally, since the user doesn't own any games they purchase and since the servers shut down, all those games the user spent money on (see below) are permanently lost forever.
- Unlike movies and music, which can be cloud-streamed with little trouble because the file is always the same for every user, games are significantly more complicated to cloud-stream.
- The device suffered from horrible input lag and bad optimization, with delays of up to two to five seconds between the player clicking the button and the game responding depending on the user's internet speed, thanks to the terrible server quality, which were never fixed till the end.
- Bad Presentation: All that was included in the box is the controller, a Chromecast Ultra, and some useless manuals and thank-you cards.
- The rubber used on the Stadia's controller isn't good as it collects sweat and condensation way too easily and takes forever to dry, as seen in Daniel Ibbertson's unboxing video for the console.
- The smartphone mount for the controller is very awkward and intrusive as it blocks the view of most of the buttons and you need to be quite close to the phone just to play anything on it.
- Terrible lineup of launch titles with one exclusive (Gylt) and games people already played or they can get physically/digitally. Ten additional launch games were added at the last minute, but none of them are system sellers.
- While it is true that other consoles have indeed been released with few launch titles before, those included an exclusive system seller game to boost early sales, which Stadia lacked. The only real exclusive Stadia launched with is Gylt, which isn't a system seller.
- On that note, there have been very few Stadia-exclusive games since launch: Gylt, PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle, Outcasters, PixelJunk Raiders and Hello Engineer. To make matters worse, Google would eventually announce that they're shutting down their first-party Stadia game studios, therefore preventing their cloud gaming service from getting any more worthwhile exclusive titles.
- False advertising: One of the selling points of the Stadia is that it was capable of streaming games in 4K resolution at 60fps, but many games on the platform are incapable of doing so.
- Streaming in 4K at 60 FPS consumed an absurd amount of internet data, which is terrible for houses and telecom plans with internet data caps.
- To make matters worse, the Stadia could easily overload your modem or the Chromecast Ultra included to the point where it could genuinely become a fire hazard. Did Google learn from the LeapFrog Didj or the Amstrad GX4000 at all?
- According to some sources, Stadia consumes over 7 GBs of data for 4K streaming.
- The system was very overpriced, costing US$99 for the Stadia itself, in addition to (optionally pay) US$10 to subscribe to Stadia Pro for 4K streaming, and HDR. You also still have to pay the regular prices for any game that you want to stream. In comparison, Nvidia's GeForce Now streaming service is much cheaper and it can be used on any computer and phone (though Google finally rectified the "Pixel only" rule, and now there is an experimental mode where you can play on an unsupported phone).
- You couldn't buy games from Stadia itself, because you needed your computer or a phone to buy them.
- It was very awkward to play motion-control games like Just Dance 2020 on the Stadia in mobile mode as you need another phone to connect to it just to play it.
- A lot of people who pre-ordered the Founder's Edition did not receive the access codes to their Stadias at launch.
- Many games like Red Dead Redemption 2 were pretty inferior and have worse graphics than on consoles, which hurts since you stream the games (meaning you don't need an expensive computer for high settings).
- In addition to this, many of the games performed worse than on consoles despite the inferior graphics.
- Some of the games on the platform costed more money than on other platforms for seemingly no good reason. One example includes Darksiders: Genesis costing 10 dollars more on Stadia.
- The advertisements are random and nonsensical. They've tried to be hip and relevant but fail with cheesy and over-the-top effects, and stupid dialogue.
- There was no search bar to look for games that you want, which is very ironic, considering that Google is famous for their search engine.
- A search bar was eventually added on April 28, 2021, which was almost a year and a half after the Stadia release.
- Updates and new games are ridiculously far and few, with the last update being on July 1, 2020.
- In March 2020, some developers admitted that they believe that there's very little to no incentive to release more games on Stadia, explaining the low amount of games being released for it.
- Just like the Wii U, its third-party support is pretty poor, with it missing out on most games coming out for the PS4, Xbox One and the Switch, even though the console has up to "10.7 Teraflops of power" which is way more than base PS4/Xbox One and Nintendo Switch combined.
- It's a nightmare to disassemble due to Google strictly wanting it to be opened only by them. This makes DIY maintenance or repairs a challenge and will even give game repair shops a hard time.
- Google has reached a new low and decided to follow Epic Games' practice by paying studios to make their games timed exclusive to them (starting with Serious Sam 4).
- On top of that, the timed exclusive is pointless since Google paid Croteam to make the consoles version to be released next year, instead of the PC version.
- It used Chrome OS, which means Stadia's performance issues and porting difficulties are no different from the Steam Machine.
- Google recently shut down its first-party game studio, only worsening the already present fear that it will shut down.
- Despite Google touting Stadia as being the future of gaming, the service has gotten outperformed and is considered outdated when compared to its competitors.
- While the '10.7 teraflops of power' and 'lack of load times' arguments worked with 8th generation consoles (Xbox One/PS4), they are considered moot points now that 9th generation consoles (Xbox Series X|S/PS5) are out; with both incorporating Solid State Drives (making load times nonexistent) and with hardware that is nearly on par or even surpassing Stadia's graphical powers.
- Current services offer better deals than what Stadia Pro currently offers: GeForce Now charges users $10 a month to stream games they already own on PC platforms like Steam, while Xbox Game Pass Ultimate charges users $15 a month and gives them the option of either streaming the games on their phone/tablet or letting them download the games to the local hardware they already own.
- Google had been secretly tried o kill Stadia lately, with little to no support and little to no 3rd party games until the announcement of the shut down.
- In March 2022, Google announced that they were pivoting to a Google Cloud service, selling the technology that underpins Stadia to mobile companies like AT&T, called "Immersive Stream for Games", basically sealing Stadia's fate as dead.
Redeeming Qualities[edit | edit source]
- The Stadia came with a free Chromecast Ultra, allowing you to freely watch TV shows and movies on your TV or monitor.
- The controller can be used with PC games that support Xbox 360/One controllers and has a direct capture button, making it the second console to have such a feature, the first being the Nintendo Switch.
- Google brought out the free Stadia tier (formerly Stadia Base) which was completely free and has 1080p streaming at 60fps. (Though it is still too little, too late)
- Despite the issues with the rubber, the controller feels very nice and is quite comparable to the PS4 controller or Xbox One controller.
- It received a few updates which fixed the missing launch features, like Google Assistant, Stream Connect, and Crowd Play. So the service is definitely way better than it was at launch.
- The service had far less input lag if playing wirelessly on a PC or a Phone (And if your TV has a Game Mode, that helps too), and you could even enable an experimental mode to make Stadia ignore the fact that your phone is unsupported and let you play with any phone.
- If any part of your Founder's Edition or Premiere Edition was defective or broken, Google's support team would replace it for you.
Reception[edit | edit source]
Google Stadia received mixed to negative reviews from critics but was panned by gamers alike.
John Saavedra of Den of Geek gave the Google Stadia 3.5/5, praising its crossplay feature while criticizing its abysmal launch lineup and lack of features.
Alex Hern of The Guardian gave Google Stadia 3/5, praising its uniqueness and minimalism while criticizing the fact that nobody asked for it and Google focusing too much on marketing it.
Google Stadia was featured on Gamers Nexus' "The Disappointment PC 2019: Worst Parts of the Year" video.
YouTuber YongYea had trouble running games like Destiny 2 without them lagging, even on high-speed Internet connections, and when he retries it on Ethernet, it somehow downgrades the graphics.
In response to the poor early reception, Google made sockpuppet accounts and played the SJW card by saying the controller is "gender-neutral" in an attempt to defend its launch but those did not help and only hurt the Stadia's own image even more. As a result, many people quit using Stadia, and even the die-hard fans who kept defending the platform now moved to Nvidia's GeForce Now streaming service. In response to poor sales, Google started to give away the Stadia Pro subscription.
With Project XCloud (Microsoft's cloud streaming service) now released and with it being part of Xbox Game Pass, it is pointless to have a Google Stadia subscription. YouTuber YongYea has stated that, unless Google overhauls or changes its business model, Stadia is doomed now that XCloud has been released.
On GameFAQs, the console has a score of 1.74 / 5, it was later considered by some as one of the worst consoles of all time.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Alen Ladavac, who is one of the six founders of the Croatian indie game studio and creator of the Serious Sam franchise Croteam, left Croteam in October 2019 to co-develop the Google Stadia.
- This could possibly explain why Serious Sam 4 is the console's first timed-exclusive game.
Videos[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
Comments[edit | edit source]
- Featured articles
- Bad media
- Covered by SidAlpha
- Covered by YongYea
- Gimmicks in gaming
- Misleading in gaming
- Commercial failures
- Launch disasters
- Consoles and accessories reviewed by Rerez
- Consoles with terrible commercials