So it seems clear lately that the major players in gaming are pushing for cloud streaming as a viable future and a natural evolution of the medium.
Film & Tv have gone the way of streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon & Hulu so it makes sense that gaming should embrace a similar path.
The premise is also tantalizing for the customer. No longer do you need the latest €1000+ super PC or the latest gen console burning a hole in your bank account when all the processing power is coming from servers. The physical box may soon be replaced by the mighty LAN cable! What a tempting solution.
Game streaming is not a new concept but it has yet to be done successfully. Sony’s ‘Playstation Now’ and Nvidia’s ‘GeForce Now’ have offered a library of games to consumers streamed to their homes for a monthly subscription but neither have taken the world by storm. Dated games, lag, minimum high speed connections and poor marketing have meant streaming has never entered the mainstream! Puns!
Is all that due to change with Google? Enter Google ‘Stadia’ to the mix
If their demo at GDC week is to be believed, then the short answer is yes. They are offering a completely connection based service to provide players with their every gaming need, no gaming hardware necessary! In fact, below is a short list of what they’ve promised Google Stadia will be capable of later this year :
8k resolution with HDR with 60 FPS
More processing power than a PS4 pro & XBox One S combined
Faster connectivity due to using google servers directly (bypassing regular internet)
Any basic screen with internet connection. If it can have a browser, it can run it!
YouTube integration. See a game in a video…click a link and start playing that game!
Optional game controller with google assistant (Big brother is watching)
Share function where others can pick up & play your game from your save point
That’s a lot to take in and definitely impressive. But is it realistic? The minimum entry point for users to get decent service is 25MBS download speeds. Although that’s certainly achievable where I’m based, I know a pretty huge marketplace where decent internet infrastructure just isn’t widespread enough. That place? Little community called AMERICA! Going forward, for something as ambitious as this to take off, it needs mass consumerism. If they don’t sell big to consumers in the millions, I can’t see them sustaining their servers. Sure Google have infinite money but I don’t think they’ll continue to support an idea if it doesn’t flourish. Remember Google Glass? No, me neither! Which brings me to my next point :
Out of the gate, even at my most optimistic, I can’t see them delivering on their promise. This is not going to work well at launch. It will be buggy, have issues, have server down time, need updates & patches and lots of customer support. That alone will put people off as the promise at GDC was so unrealistically high. I am just guessing but I can’t see such a massive undertaking like this starting off strong.
I really hope I’m wrong but 2019 seems a little too soon for successful cloud gaming. Please prove me wrong Google…..I really want to be wrong on this one! Google say they’ll have more to say later in the spring so here’s hoping.
So what do you think? Is your Nokia 3210 going to be able to play God of War later this year? Can we expect all Internet Service Providers to add data caps into our contracts if Google are successful? Let me know in the comments below