Is Google Stadia Worth it? That was the question on everyone’s mind. Let’s clear out the dust. On the announcement day, Google made lots of claims, most of them turned out plans for a later date. At present, it is a cloud service trying to compete with PC and consoles but it’s not living up to the expectation. Google Stadia quality shows that Google is just trying to be the first one with a good cloud gaming service. None of the claims are clear on its current version. It seems more like a beta test than an actual product. The chances of creating a big community for the platform are slimmer than any other platform. Small community means huge matchmaking problems in multiplayer games which is evident in Destiny 2.
Not only do you have to pay for the games but also the service just so that you could play 4k at 60 on the platform. Right now there is no test session on for player, the only way to use the platform is to buy it. The cost of Stadia premier is $129 without even a trial. There is no way to play games without a controller. Many of the features are lacking from the platform which does not make it a good deal.
Google Stadia was Suppose to be Cost-Effective
Is Google Stadia Worth it? Let’s find out. As I said earlier, right now there is no way to play games on Stadia without paying for the service. It’s like Google is forcing you to use their devices just to play games. It only works on Pixel Smartphone, Chrome browser and a special chrome cast that comes with the package. If you are using a regular chrome cast then you would need to overhaul it. As of now there no proper way to stream games without using Google products. Surely you can use Chrome on all devices but wireless controller connected to the internet is only available on Chrome Cast.
One of the major features that clarified the response concerns was the direct connection of the controller with the server. Connecting the controller directly to the server reduces the repose time because the controller is sending signals directly to the server. On paper, this is a great solution for the latency of the response time. However, this solution is not yielding perfect results. Surely the response time is fairly low with the direct controller connection but it is still not in par with on-board hardware. The exclusive availability of controller internet connection on a Chrome Cast is just making everything worse. Google is saying that they will introduce this feature later on other devices. Right now it is not even available on Pixel phones.
There is no alternative at this point to use Stadia cost-effectively. In fact, it is worse than a console and its cost is close to a console. The store of Google Stadia is not reliable because every game in it is expensive than any other store. Right now playing on Google Stadia will only increase your cost instead of reducing it.
Google Stadia Quality is Not What Google Says it is.
The problems of Google Stadia are not limited to the cost but also its performance. You not only have to deal with the latency issue but also the performance of the platform. As I said earlier that Google Stadia is not what Google says it is. This is the exact representation of that argument. Supposedly you could stream games at 4K 60FPS on Google Stadia. In reality, you can run games on 4K which is not exactly 4K. The quality of its resolution is not perfect, to say the least. It is 4K and it is 60 frames but when you compare it with a console or a PC then it is not 4K. The resolution is still better than 1080 but that’s about it.
On a big screen, this difference is evident but on a mobile device, it is spectacular. Playing Red Dead Redemption on a smartphone is something amazing. The graphics of the game look insane on a phone. You don’t even have to worry about the temperature of your phone. After all, it is a streaming service that is only providing you with videos. However, it’s performance on a cell phone is not that good. I am not talking about visuals but rather the response time of the controller. As of now, the Google Stadia controller cannot be connected directly to the internet using a phone or computer. The direct connection of the controller with the server is only available through the use of a chrome cast. You have to use wire which can create serious problems in response time.
There is Only Grace Period Which Makes Games on the Go a no Go
On Netflix, you can begin the stream from the same spot that you have left on another device. Google Stadia was going to do the same and they are still trying to do the same. However, all this is just a story for another day because right now the game will only wait for you for a couple of minutes. After the grace period is over you are going to have to start from the last checkpoint. Is Google Stadia Worth it? With this, it might not be worth it for many.
Unstable Resolution is the Major Issue With Google Stadia
The resolutions of the platform are not stable and it will change without informing you. All of a sudden you will start to get 1080 resolution. Even on the recommended internet speed, this problem is evident and frequent. To compensate for lagging Stadia will cut your resolution in half or even more. Even at a 50 Mb connection, you will see a drop in the resolution. There is never a certain moment for the constant resolution of a game. The only way to get a perfect resolution is through a fast internet connection. Wi-Fi is not the solution because there is a greater chance of lagging or resolution drop. Using a line with all the devices is the only sure way to avoid drops in resolution or lagging.
The recommended speed of it is not what Google says it is. According to Google, the platform will let you stream the game at 4K using 35 Mbps internet. You will be able to stream at 1080 using 20 Mbps internet. The minimum speed required for basic 720 streaming is 10 Mbps. However, this is what Google is saying because reality is different, the speed requirement is much higher. The resolution is not constant at the recommended speed. Even if you get 4K resolution then the resolution is not 4K, which makes all their claims false. In my previous article Disadvantages of Google Stadia shows how it is a failed concept with current internet infrastructure.
Even though Stadia use gaming PCs to run game the resolutions are not that good. In a traditional PC gaming, you can change the graphics setting but that is not the case with Stadia. The video setting of games looks like a console video setting due to limited options. Considering its quality, Is Google Stadia Worth it?
Matchmaking and Store of Google Stadia is a Nightmare
The community of players in Google Stadia is small. A limited community can make matchmaking a troublesome ordeal. The amount of games available on Google Stadia is quite limited. The limitation of games means that more players will be playing these limited games. In theory, it should make matchmaking easy right? But that’s not the case because matchmaking is extremely difficult. Destiny 2 is their flagship product which is not a game I would play on this platform. In Crucible you need 12 players to start a match which can make matchmaking nightmare on Google Stadia. Gambit matchmaking is also an issue because it needs 8 players. This is an example of just a single game.
At launch, there were only 22 titles and the library of it is growing at a steady pace. Compared to other platforms this library is too small which is a bummer for many players including me. Even if they include many games Stadia still can’t catch up to other platforms. First of all, there is not a single AAA exclusive title on the platform. Secondly, most of the games on Google Stadia were released on other platforms before it. Thirdly games on Stadia store are expensive which is something that no one can accept. Who would want to buy an old game at full price that they can get at half or less price on another platform?
Problems with A Small Game library
There are limited games on the platform and even if you buy a game then finding game buddies would be a tedious task. Then you will have to pay more for an old game along with subscription fee. After that, you will finally have a chance to stream on service with a limited library. On top of that, you will get an inferior platform. The library of Google Stadia at present is very small which can be a red sign for many. With such a small library I think the answer to the question Is Google Stadia Worth it? might be obvious to many.
Is it your type of Platform?
Google Stadia at this point is not ready to keep up with consoles due to all the issues that I have discussed above. There are lots of improvements that Google Stadia needs to compete with other platforms. Stadia was supposed to be the alternative of traditional gaming and the future of video games but it doesn’t seem like it. Most of the features promises that Google made, are not even in it. Google has abandoned some services, if Stadia continues on the same path then Google might close it and you will lose all your games. To me, the answer to the question Is Google Stadia Worth it? is simple “It is not worth it”.
If you are just trying to test the service then it is the service that you should. If you are a tech enthusiast and what to see what Google Stadia is, then do check it out. It is a good cloud gaming service but it is not Netflix of video games. It might also be for you if you are traveling a lot or do not own hardware because it does not affect the battery of the phone that much. After all, it is streaming. On the other hand, if you are expecting a Console or PC level then Google Stadia is not for you. In short, it is not a reliable source of gaming at the moment.