Google Stadia vs Microsoft xCloud: why are gamers rooting for the "wrong" option?



  • Let me preface that i'm not biased towards one or another, it is still up in the air to prove how reliable are these services for the average consumer, they can both turn out amazing or terrible.

    I'd also point out that despite the comparisons we are all doing between these services, these are two very different approaches, they don't even compete directly.

    Anyway it seems the general consensus among enthusiasts and even here on EZA among the allies that Google Stadia is bad, while Microsoft approach seems the right one.

    Let's analyze the two offerings and what are the visions from Google and Microsoft for the future of cloud streaming:

    Google Stadia

    • Launching November 2019
    • Streaming up to 4K 60 fps
    • Requirements are very low for internet speed but heavy on data usage
    • It lets you play cloud games on phones, tablets, laptops from the Chrome browser or even on your TV through Chromecast.
    • GPU AMD 10.7 teraflops of power, Custom x86 CPU, 16GB RAM. More powerful than all current gen consoles, probably comparable to PS5 and Scarlett.
    • There will be a series of software features Stadia exclusives like State Share. For example Ghost Recon Breakpoint will use Stream Connect only on Stadia which lets you see what your teammates are doing in real time.

    You can choose between Stadia Pro ($9,99 a month) which lets you play games up to 4K 60 fps with HDR and 5.1 Audio Surround, or wait for Stadia Base (free) which lets you play games up to 1080/60, no HDR or audio surround.

    No Netflix-style model, Google plans to sell games as any other store but they do allow third parties to do that, UPlay Plus (Ubisoft subscription service) will be available on Stadia also.

    Microsoft xCloud

    • Launching October 2019
    • Streaming up to 720p 60 fps.
    • Available on Windows 10 laptops, unclear Android/iOS at launch but they plan to launch the service there too.
    • Hardware used to run these games is an Xbox One S, far weaker than what Google uses, weaker than PS4 Pro and Xbox One X and any modern mid-range PC.
    • unclear details about pricing and release, requirements,...

    Microsoft plans to sell xCloud combined with Game Pass, so you'll be able to pay a montly fee to play all games from that catalogue.

    I don't understand what's the deal with gamers supporting more a service that is clearly not targeted for them: chances are you already have an hardware more powerful or comparable to Xbox One S to play games. xCloud is geared towards people who only play games on their phones.

    On the other hand Stadia is targeted for everyone including gamers, because if you only have a base PS4, Xbox One, Switch or weak PC, you don't have an option to play games at 4K 60 or even 1080/60 in many cases, which will be even more true towards the next gen, so if you are not interested on spending 500-600 bucks or more to invest on PS5/Scarlett or upgrade your PC, Stadia could be a viable option if it works as intended.

    Finally few words on Netflix-style subscription services: on paper yes they are far more convenient than buying games separately, you pay only 10-15 dollars instead of 60 and you access to a vast library of games.

    On the opposite side, as we already saw with Spotify, this inevitably means lower income for musicians, in this case game developers, which would fundamentally change the way games are built, making single player $60 games less profitable and pushing even more games as a service. Some developer have already warned about this.



  • game streaming is inherently terrible so I don't see why anybody with common sense would want to support either honestly.



  • I personally haven't really seen a lot of people taking on stand on this yet. Most opinions I've seen are taking a wait and see approach as no one really knows just how well these services will work. I think outside factors will shape most opinions of these services depending on what your internet set up is like and what hardware you already own and prefer to game on.

    Personally I'm not super interested in game streaming, I've been playing games on consoles, using either physical or digital media to run the games and I'm just fine with this. Never really been all that interested in gaming on mobile and I don't own a tablet.

    This being said I still think these services are cool. Cheaper ways to game is always welcomed.



  • I don't really know what the hell xcloud is, but I haven't seen much support for either option tbh, neither of them are appealing to me whatsoever tbh so I don't really pay them much mind, but even in the best of cases I would be cautious with Stadia and what they are advertising.



  • @themarcv said in Google Stadia vs Microsoft xCloud: why are gamers supporting the "wrong" option?:

    I personally haven't really seen a lot of people taking on stand on this yet. Most opinions I've seen are taking a wait and see approach as no one really knows just how well these services will work. I think outside factors will shape most opinions of these services depending on what your internet set up is like and what hardware you already own and prefer to game on.

    Personally I'm not super interested in game streaming, I've been playing games on consoles, using either physical or digital media to run the games and I'm just fine with this. Never really been all that interested in gaming on mobile and I don't own a tablet.

    This being said I still think these services are cool. Cheaper ways to game is always welcomed.

    You can watch Jim Sterling, Spawnwave and other gaming media (and to some extent even here on EZA, they've talked about it on the podcasts, during live reactions,...) and they all seem to agree that because people are skeptical on Stadia, xCloud will be more successful which is not a given in my opinion.

    I think Stadia's promise is extremely ambitious but Google still has to prove almost everything (including the confidence on keeping such service alive for many years to come), if the service doesn't work as intended it will be a massive failure for Google considering the money invested on the hardware for data centers and the technology.

    While Microsoft doesn't seem to be as ready to launch the service (or it's part of a long term plan), we know very little details about xCloud, it seems lower effort looking at the hardware, and it will be interesting to see if the casual audience is actually interested on this kind of service for gaming: Playstation has PS Now which is very similar and already available, but it hasn't been this groundbreaking success, it exists.

    Mobile users don't pay for anything software related, they like to play games for free.



  • @gageblackw23

    Yeah, I don't watch those youtubers so I don't know what their take on it is. From EZA, I mostly just recall Huber was very interested in playing CyberPunk 2077 on Stadia as it could be the best version for the least amount of money.

    The xCloud I just haven't really heard much about at all, and since I don't have an Xbox One or Microsoft Hardware I haven't been keeping tabs on it.

    Mostly I take no offense to these services, as of now I'm not personally all that interested in these services but that could change once they are up and running and if they every get exclusive software that I just have to play. That seems to be the big missing piece for both services.



  • I'm using this thread as it is partially related.

    Apparently Google had a booth at gamescom with playable demo of Stadia games like Doom Eternal and Mortal Kombat XI (granted streamed in a controlled environment but so it was xCloud at E3) and reactions are positive





  • I'll support whatever service supports physical media along with streaming. A service that's 100% based on streaming doesn't interests me at all.



  • xCloud is more attractive if you get the back catalogue of Xbox games with it. However, many developers have said that streaming services have offered them horrible profits so it’s good Stadia is charging for the games.

    Problem is... if I’m spending full price for a game, may as well just get it on PS4 when I know it’s gonna look great and exist forever.