re: Google Stadia VIEW POST

FULL DISCUSSION
 

tl;dr: That's all fun and games (pun intended) but I feel like it's unnecessary and made only for the "wow effect" with more cons than pros.


My reaction to it is basically the same as every time I hear "streaming" and "gaming" in the same sentence: meh.

I kinda love the idea for the "wow effect" and the whole "this is the future" thing, because it's indeed quite impressive technically speaking.

But putting this aside, I really don't like the idea of streaming games because I feel like the cons outweighs the pros. I mean, what are the pros?

  • Playing anywhere? That's cool but does anyone really need (or even want) that? Not so sure.
  • Playing high quality games on weak hardware? I'll give them that.

Meanwhile:

  • You need internet to play, that's definitely an issue in a world were we already depend on internet for a lot of things.
  • You need high bandwidth internet to play. A lot of people don't have that and won't have that before a long, long time. And even for those who do, it's not for life. What happens when one moves somewhere with shitty bandwidth?
  • Input lag. I gave a try to local game streaming recently on a Gigabit network with very decent hardware. Input lag was light but still noticeable, too noticeable for some games. So I doubt we'll ever have over-the-internet game streaming services with no input lag, which means some type of games (online games, fast paced games, etc...) won't ever be playable on this type of services.

And of course there's the usual issue I have with non-physical support: you don't own anything, but that's another debate (that's basically purchase vs. rent at that point, but still).

Anyway, that's a very cool thing but the "it's the future of gaming" speech kinda pisses me off because it's just plain wrong. It reminds me of 3D movies or VR gaming... they were (and still are) sold as revolutions but are in fact niche techs no one really needs to enjoy the original media.

I'm in no way opposed to innovation but, you know, why fix something if it's not broken? Gaming works well as it is and it's already moving fast, we don't really need more options... especially when they don't actually serve the games themselves... which should be the focus IMO.

That being said, being a tech-loving person and an avid gamer I'll definitely give it a try when it will be available, but I doubt it will change the way I consume video games.

 

And of course there's the usual issue I have with non-physical support: you don't own anything, but that's another debate (that's basically purchase vs. rent at that point, but still).

We're already at that point with Steam and downloading the default assumption for video game purchases, though. Nintendo eShop loses support and you lose access to redownloading your games. Better have backups of installers for everything :\

Fundamentally, I don't agree with Internet-based gaming requirements, though. I did't agree with the Xbone E3 initial reveal when I was on a college campus and from a small town with no internet access. I don't agree with it now when I'm in the city and my hometown still barely has internet access (1 provider, bad service and reliability). The US, at least, is simply not ready for this to be anything but a gimmick. It's not going to kill the big players of the gaming industry.

 

We're already at that point with Steam and downloading the default assumption for video game purchases, though.

And that's one of the reasons why I prefer playing on console rather than on PC: physical games are still a real thing there.

Agreed, internet-based gaming requirements are clearly not ideal in today's world and that's not going to kill the old way of doing things anytime soon (e.g. Sony already announced they are not interested in streaming for the PS5).

 

You need high bandwidth internet to play

I think anyone who can afford a console i.e Xbox or Playstation, can and will be able to afford good internet connection.

And it's not like all the games will mandatorily play in 4K 60fps. Just like network speed determine what video quality we get, some will play theirs on 720p, others 1080p. Heck some might get 144p, i guess.

My point is, we already stream a ton of things already. A ton. So when everyone is placing emphasis on bandwidth bandwidth, I think it's just too much of a stretch.

If you have decent internet connection, you should be able to play.

Now, latency is where my worry might be. Streaming video is generally a one way street. But gaming is both ways. So the next frame being dependent on my input now is gonna be an interesting one.

However, I hope it turns out to be great. Fingers crossed.

We'll have to have access then actually use it to be able to make end user analysis.

 

I think anyone who can afford a console i.e Xbox or Playstation, can and will be able to afford good internet connection.

It's not about the cost, it's about the fact that some areas (a lot of them actually) simply don't have access to high bandwidth internet. In the village I grew up in (i.e. where I spent my youth playing video games) the bandwidth is about 300KB/s (in the good days). It's been like that for years and won't change any time soon.

As for the rest: yes, people with low bandwidth can play but still won't enjoy the full extent of the service, that's the issue I have with this. I feel the same pain when I see my parents watch shows on Netflix, waiting a couple minutes for it to load and end up with 360p while I enjoy instant 4K for the same f****** monthly cost.

And no I don't think it's too much of a stretch to place emphasis on bandwidth exactly because there are too many things streamed today. Remember when I say my parents have a hard time watching Netflix? Guess what happens when me and my brother come home and use Spotify, Youtube or even another Netflix instance at the same time? Bandwidth isn't unlimited and relying too much on it is a problem. Sure, in my everyday life in a big city living alone with 30MB/s for myself it's all fun and games, but not all people have (or can have) that.

It IS about the cost, or more succinctly: cost constitutes a significant factor in consumers's buying decision. Stadia is very accessible precisely because of its low comparative cost ($0/mo or $10/mo USD). Not only does this not require a sizeable up-front expenditure, it also carries a reasonable competitive cost amortized over the lifetime of an upgrade cycle, and is arguably much, much more convenient.

And I think you're mistaken to assume that a product must meet the needs of the majority of the market to be successful. This is a fallacy that often prematurely stifles business endeavours. A product need only turn its owning company sufficient profit, and I'm sure Google is well aware of, and satisfied with the state of telecommunications now and/or in the projected future, and that it will support its investment in the product line. Simply put, I doubt that they would release such a product, at such a scale, unless they thought it would make money.

And hey, Google is not alone in this: Sony has already had success with its streaming service Playstation Now (despite sparse and exceptionally negative media coverage) and are likely going to upgrade their service (reports of Sony purchasing server time from MS) and Microsoft is launching its streaming service xCloud. Other players like Ubisoft also are streaming on Nintendo Switch which may see a broader distribution down the line.

Why would these companies move so aggressively if they were concerned with bandwidth? I think that game streaming is viable and that OP has the right idea.

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