Google Stadia



  • If this is a subscription, it better be cheap. PSNow died the day they announced pricing, and they never really recovered. If it's a platform you buy proprietary games on - they better have a storefront as good as Steam with literally every QOL improvement that Steam has.

    Hope they know what a minefield they just waded into lol



  • I watched a good chunk of the presentation. I'm immensely skeptical about the potential of playing games via streaming a video feed. The shine of the presentation did however do a good job of reminding me that there is an under-served market for this. Obviously, that market has all these caveats carved into it, but because I'm so negative about this stuff I found it noteworthy that I had positive visions associated with the concept.

    OK -- all that said I'm still skeptical about this specifically because there was no talk about what it will cost the consumer.

    If streaming your games isn't cheap, there is no market for it.

    It's not that people "don't have access" to the non-streaming local hardware option, it's that they don't want to buy it. Or they have the hardware but don't want to buy every little game just to sample everything.

    If you have the dough, you can play whatever games you want. Money obviates the need for buying a worse substitute. And if Stadia is too expensive for what you get, there would be no reason someone would pick it. The service would obviate itself. I know there was talk about doing big server side calculations with more GPUs than presumably a regular console would not match, but I'm saying that is/will be a small part of the selling point.

    If Google wants the public and those GDC developers to think this will be successful (obv. the two are related), they should have given cost information even if they don't have the final price per month or whatever.

    Assuming we had the cost information (and the "what you get" information, like the ownership question and what games are available), the next level of skepticism is whether this business can thrive. @Axel, you said you doubt Google expects it to blow up, but I'm still concerned about where that line is. I don't really know, but I feel there must be a point where not having enough users makes the business unprofitable. Cost per user might be too high, getting licensees onboard might be too hard, etc. if the company doesn't have enough scale or, in the case of things like servers, customer density.

    I know Netflix works and is successful, but I think it is a mistake to use this as the fount of optimism. Ironically, the fact that games have such a high ratio of "hours of entertainment per dollar" means that substituting the local hardware model with "hey, we'll send you each hour of entertainment using servers and bandwidth" is inherently that much more expensive than movies.

    How are the developers being compensated is another tier of skepticism. I've been seeing this tweet linked around:



  • @dipset I totally feel you, and just to clarify, I never said I like it. But I see it as inevitable, like you said, the huge majority of people don't know any better or simply don't care.

    We'll soon be the equivalent of music enthusiasts buying vinyl records, movie enthusiasts buying Blu-Rays, while the rest is happy with Spotify and Netflix.

    And it's funny because in some ways, I've already transitioned to some of the modern convenience aspects of gaming. This gen I've only bought games digitally for my PS4 and Switch. And I love it, saves me a lot of space, and physical editions feel irrelevant to me anyway in the new era of day-one patches and no manuals. And when I moved countries a few years ago, I was very happy to only have to carry my console and not a whole box of games along with it. Maybe in 10 years when I can't re-download certain games I'll feel the sting, but right now I'm all in.

    I doubt I'll play on Stadia, at least not throughout the next gen, but 2 gens from now, who knows? Stadia essentially makes the entire concept of "gens" obsolete at this point. It's scary because that's what we're used to, but I can foresee some advantages too, like no more backwards compatibility issues. Microsoft is clearly moving towards this too.

    Let's see how it goes!



  • Stadia just isn't something for me. At least from what they showed at the event. I currently don't have any problems playing games on my consoles or PC. Well, assuming the developers released a competent product. Brandon Jones said jokingly during the conference, "Oh, thankfully we're finally solving this problem that we all despise. I'm like, I never had an issue with that.". I feel the same way but the games industry could always use more competition. So I don't hate it.

    Something that would change my mind is great exclusive titles. I don't have any allegiances to a single console manufacturer or PC storefront. I simply go where the best games go.



  • I think they didn’t talk pricing for two reasons. One, they can be very flexible, especially with the infrastructure Stadia gives you. Suddenly you can have trailers that offer you the first 2 hours right now for £10, taken off the total price if you choose to purchase. Suddenly you have an ad based service for certain games where you just watch an ad every 20 minutes and get to play for free.

    Announcing costing would work against the objective of this conference, which is to get publishers and devs talking with Stadia where among other things, they can discuss what pricing models they would and wouldn’t be willing to have for their games.



  • @tokyoslim PS Now is dead?
    Is that why it is making 3 times more revenue than Gamepass and controls 52% of the subscription gaming service market?

    As for Stadia... I give almost zero fucks. Having seen several previews regarding the latency in controls, I am certain this isn't for me.

    And that is what I keep seeing. "This isn't for us" but then I wonder who the hell it is for. All the literature brags about the display capabilities with 4k60, but this gen of consoles has proven that nobody cares about power
    Casuals? That market is already covered by, well, everything else. The kids in my after school program all play Fortnite on their Xbox's or go to the library and play on the PC's there.
    Unless they can capture that audience of fad hungry kids, I honestly just can't see this taking off.
    If Microsoft with all it's gazillions of dollars can't convince people to play on Xbox or subscribe to Gamepass, I don't see Google having much better luck.



  • I don't even like streaming movies.

    https://ezekiel43.wordpress.com/2019/03/16/i-hate-your-streaming-only-future/

    Can't believe how positive the reception is. People have such low standards. 4K streams already look poor compressed to speeds of only like 20 mbps, and now that they're combining this with games they want to add input lag to every action, as well as delayed picture, when internet service providers in the United States are buying out their competition, making deals to stay out of each other's areas, which allows them to deliver a product that is only standard and has monthly bandwidth caps. The Netflix age disgusts me. Subscribers sacrifice so much for convenience. Who gives a shit about how graphically powerful the server is when the game plays like shit? I can already picture developers coming up with ways to accommodate the horrible input lag and picture delay, like slowing animations.



  • @chocobop

    That developer brings up a good point that I never thought out. I do not want to live in a world where games make money on a per hour basis. Its going to cause risk mitigation by making addicting but shallow games that are padded for length. Or just pure addiction monsters like Candy Crush. Quantity over quality.

    We've seen this model with music on Spotify where sub-par albums get put out for the sake of having quantity to make more money off streams.



  • @el-shmiablo I'm not comparing its popularity in comparison to other streaming services. I saw that same report, (which is built on estimated data and not hard data). I'm saying that while those are impressive marketshare numbers in that context, per that same report streaming indicated that streaming games services only make up about 6 % of the market revenue in total. PSNow is roughly 3-4% of Sony's gaming revenue... Which is great, I guess, but not something I'd put 400+ million dollars plus yearly upkeep into. I'm happy for the few million people out there that use it. It's just not a very big number.



  • I get the presentation was mainly aimed at Devs/Publishers but they also had to be aware this was going to be streamed and that gamers would be watching. From a gamers stand point this seems interesting. Being able to play AAA/indie games portable is in large part why the Switch is so successful. Like many though I need to see how well this works in practice and how much this is going to cost. It could be my third party system of choice if it works well and can hit 4K 60 FPS. However, I can't really get too excited for this right now, there's still too many unanswered questions. I think it would have made a much better splash if they had one high quality exclusive that people really wanted to play, or at least announce a high profile dev that is making an exclusive game for them. Time will tell but this thing could be pretty cool.



  • Reports saying you need 25mbps to run a 1080 60 game, so in my country i need to pay almost $1,400 a year over what Google are gonna charge me for me to stream a 4K 60fps game.
    FYI i pay $400 a year for my current Internet.



  • I was also a little disappointed in the Allies reactions to this. I expected skepticism but they were very down on everything about this.
    Do I personally care? Nah. Do I want this? Nope. Do I think it will work as advertised? Unlikely.

    But I'm happy this exists cause I want companies to try new things.

    I will say though if there is one thing that will make me care about this, it'll be that couch co op feature working.



  • @axel said:

    I'm pretty disappointed by the Allies' treatment of it.

    @Inustar said:

    I was also a little disappointed in the Allies reactions to this. I expected skepticism but they were very down on everything about this.

    Since Jones has tweeted about this now, I'd like to ask you two of similar opinion why you were disappointed by the Allies genuine reactions from their perspective of gamers watching a stream that Google hyped up as "the future of gaming". I personally value the Allies having real, no bullshit reactions to things, and that includes them calling out a conference that is mostly comprised of a string of buzzwords and basically begging devs to use their datacenters and servers to create new experiences that Google can then take the credit for. You can't expect EZA to react to everything in a positive manner. The world isn't always positive. The conference they watched was a whole lot of nothing, worse a whole lot of alternative facts, ignoring all the downsides to the ideal version of what Google was presenting and pulling wool over people's eyes, so I very much appreciated every time EZA pointed out what Google wasn't saying.

    Aside from a couple of pretty minor seeming side tools like the texture swapper thing, all Google seemed to really be offering with their vision of the future was the raw power and networking needed to run theoretical projects that they're seemingly relying on others to gather around and create for them. I would even argue that they pushed to do this so early, so no matter how the industry eventually gets to this vision, Google is now positioned to take credit for it. We know Microsoft is going to be having similar talks soon, and it'll be interesting to see how those talks differ from what Google presented.

    @Axel said:

    They judged it as a traditional console announcement

    Because Google set expectations like this:

    Of course, from a hardcore/traditional gamer perspective, it's not immediately exciting, but that's not who this presentation was aimed at first and foremost.

    Then don't gather everyone to watch this. Label it as for those groups of people primarily.

    It is the future, whether we like or not.

    That doesn't mean people have to enjoy a bad presentation of it, that leaves out the flaws of it to make the service look better than it actually is in hopes of attracting investors and partners.

    In a way, it's the concept of the Switch, which everybody loves, but cranked up to 11.

    Except it kind of isn't, because this is reliant on you always being able to hover around very good wireless networks to take advantage of this. I guess you can see it has pros and cons just as the Switch does, but it is a different pocket entirely.

    Yes, there were quite a few cringy moments, maybe they overhyped it and the presentation dragged on a bit, but overall, it made sense and the potential is obvious. So I feel like the snarky reactions from the Allies, particularly Kyle, came off as petty and short-sighted.

    I think snarky is exactly the reaction Google deserved with such a dishonest conference that treated people like idiots and brought a famous Youtuber on stage to simply repeat everything already said in a charismatic way to try and stir up a positive public perception of an idea for something that doesn't actually even exist yet. You say it made sense, but they took forever to say what could've been expressed much quicker if they cut through all the flowery propping up of the information they had for us. Of course what they're saying has potential, but they're also not the only ones to think of this, so acting like they are is even worse. There's nothing petty about Kyle and the others pointing that stuff out. That's a genuine reaction to being talked down to in that way and calling out nonsense that others might otherwise harmfully buy into. They did the right thing, and I'd argue Kyle and the others are fully aware this is probably the future. They're not being short-sighted of the potential things like this holds someday. They're being practical about the problems that still exist in the way of this, which were completely ignored in Google's conference, and which affect a large portion of their audience that Google currently seems less than concerned with.



  • @mbun

    I haven't gotten to watch the whole thing yet, but it was obvious just hearing them talk before the event they had hopes of seeing new games, which they almost always do for big press conferences. I think this was just an event that got over marketed to the gamer crowd when it was more for devs/pub.

    I love the allies because they call it as they see it. Sometimes our views don't line up but as long as they are honest and explain why they feel the way they do I'm on board. I think this thing has potential, it could be the future. As of right now I just don't have enough information (pricing, performance,games,etc) to really get hyped, so I'm in wait and see mode.



  • @mbun I have no issue with them being skeptical, I am too and I don't expect them to have blind optimism about everything.

    But there should be a middle ground between taking Google at their word and condescendingly dismissing everything they're saying. It's the attitude that rubbed me the wrong way (again, mostly Kyle, I feel like Blood was a lot more fair and level-headed for example).

    It felt like they were in it to hate it from the start, that their mindset was "Let's nitpick and mock everything we can" rather than "Let's see what they have to say and give it a fair shake". Maybe that wasn't their intention but that's how it came across to me.

    When they showed you could start Assassin's Creed directly from the YouTube trailer and you were dropped in the middle of the game, Jones promptly pointed out that it was unrealistic because when you launch the game, you should start at the main menu, go through character creation, and so on. Duh, obviously, but it should also be obvious that this was done for the sake of the presentation. They would have been the first ones to say how boring it is to show you a game's main menu had Google done it that way.

    Like I said, Google probably overhyped it, maybe they shouldn't have broadcasted it to the world in that manner, but it doesn't mean you have to ridicule them.

    And even once the dust settled, their post-show impressions were mostly about discussing the presentation itself rather than what was actually said and its possible implications.

    I would expect more insight from them, this thread for example had way more interesting discussions about what this technology could mean for the industry as a whole, the old vs new, how it's scary that Google may want to swallow up devs, and so on. There were a ton of fascinating topics to bring up. But no, they'd rather keep hammering on about what a faux-pas it is to start your talk with "I'm not a gamer" (it was a clumsy move, I agree).

    I haven't watched the podcast yet, maybe there they'll go into those topics in a more thoughtful manner.

    As for the concerns about the feasibility of the whole thing, of course those are fair and should be brought up, but again maybe not in a way that implies that Google engineers have no idea what they're doing.

    And saying Google should have addressed those concerns themselves is not very realistic. Of course it's marketing, they're not gonna come out and say "Hey it may not work perfectly at launch but hopefully we'll get there at some point!". You don't expect Nintendo to show off the Wii for the first time and say "Your movements might not always register properly and setting up the sensor bar is a bit annoying".

    Time will tell, if it indeed proves to be unplayable for 90% of the audience, it will crash and burn, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief that our good old consoles are here to stay for at least another 5 years.



  • @themarcv said:

    it was obvious just hearing them talk before the event they had hopes of seeing new games, which they almost always do for big press conferences

    They had a bet going in whether or not they'd see new games announced pretty much since nobody knew what they were in for.

    As of right now I just don't have enough information (pricing, performance,games,etc) to really get hyped, so I'm in wait and see mode.

    That's personally where I am as well, but I sure don't appreciate Google pretending we all have the stellar internet required to run this thing with no datacaps.

    @axel said:

    condescendingly dismissing everything they're saying

    But when what they're saying is directly opposed to what we're seeing it makes sense for Kyle to be pointing it out.

    It felt like they were in it to hate it from the start, that their mindset was "Let's nitpick and mock everything we can"

    They wouldn't have been acting that way if Google was being honest and they were seeing exciting things. Like Jones said a couple times, it was like fixes for problems none of them actually ever have had.

    Duh, obviously, but it should also be obvious that this was done for the sake of the presentation.

    But when Google is saying you'll be in the game 5 seconds from clicking play, that's legitimately dishonest. It will clearly take time to actually purchase the game if nothing else. That's what they were trying to point out. Google is selling things that are simply untrue.

    it doesn't mean you have to ridicule them

    When Google is being shady and dishonest, they deserve the ridicule.

    And even once the dust settled, their post-show impressions were mostly about discussing the presentation itself rather than what was actually said and its possible implications.

    Because nothing was really shown. Google was saying potentially theoretically what could be, not presenting us with anything tangible besides that Assassin's Creed game they tested with, but even during that live demonstration of playing that between devices, it clearly did not go as planned and the guy almost panic'd live on stage when the game wasn't responding to his inputs. But instead of saying they had technical issues, they just mashed until it responded and tried to sweep it under the rug.

    this thread for example had way more interesting discussions about what this technology could mean for the industry as a whole

    As brought up on the podcast this week, many people have been talking about these things for almost a whole console generation now. The technology just didn't seem ready before, and even if Google's servers were working in the ideal they presented, many people's personal internet isn't up to the standards required to use any of this.

    But no, they'd rather keep hammering on about what a faux-pas it is to start your talk with "I'm not a gamer"

    They definitely didn't bring that up nearly as much as I saw it mocked elsewhere. Just pointed out it was a bad move and later remembered it started like that.

    maybe there they'll go into those topics in a more thoughtful manner

    I feel like they were plenty thoughtful during the live reactions. It just wasn't receptive to what Google was peddling, mostly because of the dishonest atmosphere they were establishing, refusing to admit any of the issues around the technology they were spotlighting. It is more thoughtful to question the truth of the information you're being presented than to just take it as face value, when the very things you're seeing are proving it otherwise in the moment.

    not in a way that implies that Google engineers have no idea what they're doing

    The very stream itself they were running wasn't working right. Their AC tech demo wasn't working right. Their Doom tech demo was failing on the title screen after they hyped it up, and they never even actually properly demoed the gameplay.

    And saying Google should have addressed those concerns themselves is not very realistic.

    They should at least address how they expect people with worse internet connections to use this service or lowest expectation they should outright say this service is only for people with high speed internet connections. They were speaking nothing but ideals to fish for partners and investors, but EZA and many of us wanted the realistic side of how this could actually work for us instead of pie in the sky ideals that seemed entirely unrealistic.

    Time will tell, if it indeed proves to be unplayable for 90% of the audience, it will crash and burn, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief that our good old consoles are here to stay for at least another 5 years.

    That's not what people actually want. People want this to work and become an alternative for consoles, but Google seriously had nothing but data centers and a couple tech demos that weren't working as well as they were claiming things would work to show. I have a potato computer. I'd love for this kind of stuff to work. It reminds me of Parsec, and Parsec rules for me. This stuff is no good to me when the net is down or being slow though, and I'd like to see Google actually acknowledge that. People who believe Google are saying "oh this is better than the Switch!" but it isn't. It relies on a constant connection. Even if you're playing games on your phone with this, you'll still be restricted by your phone's battery, although I'm sure not running the game through the phone's hardware will use less battery. Just stop with smoke, mirrors, and honeyed speech and tell us for real how far along your technology is, the challenges left to overcome, and the plans for how to overcome or address those challenges instead of ignoring them entirely and pretending they don't exist.



  • You keep saying they're dishonest but I didn't feel it that way.

    Actually, if you allow me to be cheeky for a minute, they were totally honest when they said they would show the "future of gaming". That's what they showed us, the future, not the present. The ideal future they're working towards, that may not come to fruition for the next 5 or 10 years, but will eventually.

    Like I said in my first post, I don't think they expect this to blow up as soon as it launches this year, it'll probably only offer a handful of games, and they'll gather data in terms of performance, user engagement and all that crap. This is a service that they're planning to build upon for many years in the future.

    Of course they're trying to "sell" it as something exciting as much as possible, they want to attract partners and convince devs, publishers and the world that this is the future. And considering the amount of partners they have on board already, it seems clear that they all agree it is. I'm sure behind closed doors they've addressed all the potential issues, all these companies are aware of them.

    Again I think judging it the same way as a new console launching this year is going at it the wrong way. Maybe their messaging prior to the event was misleading, maybe trying to hype up gamers at the same time as devs was a mistake, but to call them shady and dishonest is unfair in my opinion.

    @mbun said in Google Stadia:

    That's not what people actually want. People want this to work and become an alternative for consoles

    I wouldn't mind if it failed actually, I'm an old fart and want to buy a new console every 5 years! ;)



  • @tokyoslim
    3% of 20 billion is $600 million



  • My opinion of game streaming services is extremely simple and extremely negative. I don't live in LA or NYC or any other huge city and I don't have some amazing internet service. If I want to download a game off PSN or Steam and it's more than a few gigs, then that's half my day shot. If I ever try to catch a twitch stream, then I literally can't do anything else on my internet (even something simple like check twitter) or else it'll either spend the next ten minutes trying to buffer or lag so hard you'd think the video and audio feeds are in different time zones. I have a standard wifi connection for the part of the country I live in, I can't imagine what these kinds of things would be like for someone out in the sticks. And companies think I can stream games on that without massive latency issues? You can call it the future all you like, but I'm content to be stuck in the past where I can just own a physical copy or a digital license to something on my hard drive and not have to worry about that nonsense.



  • @axel said:

    Actually, if you allow me to be cheeky for a minute, they were totally honest when they said they would show the "future of gaming". That's what they showed us, the future, not the present. The ideal future they're working towards, that may not come to fruition for the next 5 or 10 years, but will eventually.

    But "Google presents the future of gaming" when everyone is working towards this in some capacity is what is annoying about this.

    it'll probably only offer a handful of games

    That's another thing. When they throw figures out like 4K 60 FPS they act like this could work with anything, when in reality the devs of the games have to decide how the games will actually run and make them run that well, even if Google's beefy hardware makes that slightly easier on them, but like the Allies pointed during their stream, what currently looks like really beefy hardware might not even be that great compared to the next gen consoles we don't know the specs of yet.

    Again I think judging it the same way as a new console launching this year is going at it the wrong way.

    That's not really what people are doing. I don't see anyone saying nobody will care without a killer app or exclusive. People just want realistic technical details without Google only expressing ideal scenarios or claiming they have a perfectly working demo, when the people watching closely can clearly tell it isn't working as perfectly as they're pretending it is.

    to call them shady and dishonest is unfair in my opinion

    Did we watch the same presentation?

    I wouldn't mind if it failed actually, I'm an old fart and want to buy a new console every 5 years! ;)

    But what if you could do that, but then also use this in situations where you don't have your console with you but have sick internet? More options is always better, but the options need to be presented in realistic ways that reflect the experience the consumer will actually receive.