Google Stadia should represent a natural evolution for gaming. Streaming on practically any platform, phones, web browsers, smart TV’s, etc., may seem like a peek into the future, but the issue is that the initial launch of the Stadia may end up burying it.
A number of features will be missing from day one, the platform will not support 4K or HDR, the social features that were highlighted during presentations will be absent, and the ability to connect your Steam account won’t be available at launch. Even though Google has announced that these features will eventually rollout in the weeks and months to follow, there really isn’t a justification to become an early adopter.
To make things worse, the launch lineup is tad bit underwhelming. While there are solid titles like Assassins Creed Odyssey, Mortal Kombat 11, and Red Dead Redemption 2, these are already available on other platforms and at lower prices. Until the Stadia starts to roll out original titles, which may not happen until 2020, there might not want to be anything to entice you.
Google has the more than enough revenue to withstand a shaky launch of the Stadia, but the question is, what separates this platform from its competitors? Sony has Playstation Now and Microsoft has its game pass, both feature larger libraries and the ability to download these titles to their respective consoles. Being able to cast on practically any device is novel in concept and the logical step forward, but Google isn’t doing itself any favors by releasing a new platform half-heartedly.
Presentations leading up to launch held so much promise for the Stadia. There were a number of developers who gushed about the capabilities of the platform, the team behind Doom Eternal highlighted the lack of latency when streaming, and the game looked solid overall. It felt like the Stadia was ready to compete. Then, Google started to release information regarding the Stadia’s launch and reality set in.
If Google is serious about gaming, then a good first impression is paramount to success. While their transparency regarding the platforms state of release is welcome, this may end up negatively affecting sales figures, which would be damaging to a new platform. That being said, the Stadia might be dead on arrival.