Google revealed Stadia more than a year ago, offering the promise of a cloud gaming service backed by one of the most powerful companies in the world.
The service was advertised as a new way of playing video games without the need to worry about hardware or software requirements, as they would work without problems. But there were lots of problems, and Google struggled to solve most of them in the months since the service was released.
Stadia became available in November 2019, and the first problems surfaced at launch. Free buddy passes, which allowed a friend to join a subscriber, were released only a few weeks after the service went live. 4K, one of the main selling points, was unavailable on browser streams, and the controller couldn’t be connected wirelessly to PCs or smartphones. Despite Google’s best effort, many critics anticipated a flop as the company rushed to meet the release date.
A big issue for many of the prospective customers that may have opted for the service is represented by the fact that Google imposed the need to purchase or access versions of the games that were made specifically for Stadia, Unlike GeForce Now, which allows users to play games bought on Steam, Uplay or Epic. This means that the titles bought for Stadia can only be played on Stadia, which is far from being attractive in the case of people who wish to use the service and a dedicated gaming rig for the same games.
There is also a lack of cross-play, which is particularly visible in the case of multiplayer titles like Destiny 2. In some cases, attempts to join PvP activities result in an error since there aren’t enough players online to create a match. PUBG handles this problem by using bots if you play with a mouse and keyboard, but they can be spotted easily.
Stadia remains promising, but major changes need to be implemented to make it more popular.