Google Stadia Hands-On: Playable But Under Ideal Conditions Only
Aadhya Khatri - Nov 19, 2019
As stated by some reviewers, Stadia is able to deliver what its company declares, with a stable Internet connection and a limited number of players only
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While Google has been quite vocal on the ability of Stadia, its attempt in the new emerging market of cloud gaming, many users are still skeptical that the service will be able to work as the company said. What Google promises are you will be able to stream any game with up to 4K of quality on almost anything, a smartphone, a TV, or a tablet, as well as no lag even with the current infrastructure of the Internet.
As stated by some early reviewers, Google Stadia is able to deliver what its company declares. One of these reviewers reported that he was able to play Destiny 2 on the phone, Gylt and Mortal Kombat were loaded in just a matter of seconds on his laptops, and a Chromecast Ultra could support Just Dance 2020. All of these happened with Stadia and no console. However, the hardware still plays an important part here.
In order to have access to Stadia, you need either the Premiere or Founder’s Edition, each of which is accompanied by a controller and a Chromecast Ultra. The gamepad of Stadia looks simple enough with springy triggers and round off edges.
The controller is functional and it does what an accessory like it should always do, to fade into the background. If you prefer to try other gamepads, Xbox One Elite and DualShock 4 are compatible with Stadia when you play on handheld devices like tablets or phones, however, for TVs, you still need the Stadia’s controller.
The Chromecast Ultra and the controller of Stadia are connected via Wi-Fi, so you can play wirelessly from the comfort of your living room. However, for now, if you prefer playing on a tablet, smartphone, or PC, the Stadia’s controller still needs to be plugged in.
When the reviewer tested with Destiny 2 on Chromecast Ultra, he noticed that the title was loaded fast and the process of creating new characters run smoothly, which may make anyone forget that he or she is playing an AAA.
However, when the shooting started, lags appeared. It is not much of a problem as you just need to keep going for a few seconds for Stadia to reach the same pace of the game. Lags and stutters showed up during the course of the game, especially when other people came home, but the frequencies were not enough to ruin the joy of Destiny 2.
The same thing happened with Gylt playing on laptops and Mortal Kombat on smartphones. Other flaws are the decrease of resolution once in a while and presses of buttons trailing behind the actions on the screen. Even with these hiccups in place, you can be confident to expect a performance just like what you have with console gameplay.
Overall, Stadia can provide a decent evening’s past time as long as you do not try to play these games or their equivalence competitively using the service.
That is what a reviewer experienced with his home’s Internet, so what users can expect will vary greatly depending on the state of their own connection. Google recommends 10 Mbps to be able to play at 720p, and 35 Mpbs to get 4K. Under ideal circumstances, which are possible to get in certain parts of the world, Stadia has no problem delivering its promises, but that says nothing of what other users can hope for.
When Google first introduced Stadia, it talked about Internet-powered gameplay, 4K, and even 8K streaming. However, since then, we have seen some of those promises undercut.
Here are a few of them. The current Chromecast Ultra does not have support for Stadia immediately. The shipments of the pre-order will definitely limit the number of players that can play on the launch date, which is today.
The controller can only work on TVs. For now, only Google’s made smartphones, the Pixels, have Stadia, and you have no way to use cellular data on it, so the only choice is Wi-Fi.
Some other sweet deals Google talked about have also been delayed, like game sharing and the ability to invite friends to participate in the service with a brought-down cost.
So the takeaways here are Stadia works, as long as few people are online and use it at the same time as you, with a stable and decent Internet connection, and needed hardware. For the reviewer, when all of these requirements are met, expect to be able to stream Tomb Raider on a MacBook Pro, Mortal Kombat 11 on a TV without any extra equipment. The games were loaded fast and game-breaking problems were pleasantly absent.
However, if Google wants Stadia to start the next generation of cloud gaming, it must work for most players without too much frustration. For now, the Internet connection in most parts of the world are not the same, not to mention unstable. So we have to wait until other reports from international users surface to see how Stadia deals with varied conditions when it comes to connections.
Stadia will survive if it has the ideal Wi-Fi; otherwise, expect more lags and stutters, even more than you can handle. This is exactly why Google applied measures to limit access to its service to certain pools of players ever since it introduced Stadia.
The system is still new and fragile so it is no way it can handle a large number of users all at once. What it did was to increase the price users have to pay to gain access, postpone the ability of players to invite their friends, and emphasize the need for hardware, all of which are for a service that is supposed to be based on the cloud.
The ability to stream games is finally here and the closest thing we have now is Stadia. But with its launch, do not expect much if you do not have an ideal Internet connection.