Google Stadia’s first 24 hours – a glimpse of the future or complete disaster?
Google Stadia burst on to the gaming scene yesterday, but its heralding fanfare was quickly muted as gamers the world over began to complain about the anticipated lag that was always destined to plague the ‘Netflix of gaming’.
Stadia is designed to pave the way for consigning consoles to the same dusty shelf as DVDs and CDs, but if the experience of its debut 24 hours is anything to go by then PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo have nothing to fear. Yet.
In principle, Stadia is the future – a cloud-based platform accessible over WiFi and playable through just about any device with a screen.
In another five to 10 years, the world will likely look back at Google Stadia’s launch and mark November 19 2019 as the day a gaming revolution began. For now, however, it is widely regarded as a day to forget for most gaming enthusiasts.
Within hours of players getting set up on their controllers and bundles, social media was awash with grainy footage, pixelated images and murmurs of discontent.
Some huge titles were in the available 22 on launch day – Red Dead Redemption II and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey among them – but that did little to appease already-disgruntled minds.
The dream was that anyone should be able to enjoy those big games at 60 frames per second streamed in HDR at 4k resolution. The reality, though, was a tale of frustrating delays and the predicted lag which so many had been warning Google about for months.
In terms of summarising Stadia’s first day, well, it’s hard to label it anything other than a disaster. Perhaps not an unmitigated disaster, though.
After all, Google has delivered a peek behind the curtains of what the future holds for the gaming industry.
What they haven’t delivered is a sustainable platform that will have people scurrying away from the incoming PS5 or Xbox Scarlett. Nor has it provided enough of an incentive to bring aboard a loyal army of early adopters.
We’ve seen the future, but it will take several years to perfect. By which time PlayStation and Xbox will have sold millions upon millions of their next generation consoles and got to work on producing their own ‘Netflix of gaming’ platforms.