Google, the cloud game that’s been brewing for half a year, screwed up again?

The concept of cloud games, presumably without much introduction. On March 20, 2019, Google hosted Game Developers Conference (GDC) and officially launched the cloud gaming platform Stadia, seen as a key step in the search giant Google’s entry into the gaming industry, and as a cloud game call for so many years. Key technology nodes. After all, this is Google, and people are expecting it to come up with something different.

After more than half a year of waiting, the Stadia Cloud Gaming Platform is finally on the line. But the first experience doesn’t seem very good.

Ideal is very plump, the reality is very bone-feeling

Currently, Stadia is in a fairly early stage, supporting only 14 countries and needing to purchase a “founder package” for $129 to experience. Includes a Chromecast Ultra, a Stadia wireless handle, and a 3-month Pro subscription fee that gives you better picture quality support.

Google, the cloud game that's been brewing for half a year, screwed up again?

While Stadia theoretically supports platforms such as PCs and smartphones, you need big-screen support for a full experience, such as 60fps and HDR, and the Chrome Ultracast from the Founders Package connects to your TV and pairs it with the handle to start the game.

In terms of the lineup, Stadia was expected to offer only 12 games before its debut, perhaps Google itself felt it was over, and on the eve of launch it had 10 more games, and 22 games are currently supported, including Tomb Raider,Red Dead Redemption, Cyberpunk 2077. Games such as assassin’s Creed Odyssey, but Google has clearly failed to deliver on its previous promise of 30 plus.

Google, the cloud game that's been brewing for half a year, screwed up again?

In terms of network speed demand, Google’s official 4K quality configuration only takes 35Mbps, the 720P requires only 10Mbps, and most people have enough bandwidth. In fact, the delay problem is the core of cloud game technology, whether the game running in the cloud, feedback to the user side, can achieve the same effect as local operation, determines whether the concept of cloud games is established.

Google, the cloud game that's been brewing for half a year, screwed up again?

The first step is to admit that Stadia does realize the concept of cloud games without downloading them, and curry’s game is play-by-point. The New York Times article noted that several of the games tested performed well, but occasionally failed and quality problems. According to Forbes, Stadia has dramatically reduced the time it takes to load the game.

But the delay problem remains. Eurogamer tested the performance of game latency on different platforms, and you can see that Stadia does have more latency than hosts running games locally, averaging more than 50 percent. But thanks to the stronger configuration, Stadia has a higher number of frames and Destiny 2 can run steadily at 60fps.

Google, the cloud game that's been brewing for half a year, screwed up again?

Fighting games, fps games, etc., for the delay requirements are quite demanding, handle-to-device delay, equipment and cloud exchange data delay, monitor delay and so on all add up, will produce a larger image of the game effect. And this is a beta version, where the pressure on the server rises as the number of users increases. In addition, this is based on wired connections, if wireless, there will be delays, packet slings and other small problems.

In terms of picture quality, the showia and the xbox One X, currently the strongest-performing console, are noticeable, and the latter is noticeably better in detail.

Google, the cloud game that's been brewing for half a year, screwed up again?

The U.S. media’s assessment of Stadia is also quite direct.

The Verge thinks this is the best cloud gaming platform, but it’s only a beta version; the New York Times directly points out that Stadia hasn’t revolutionized traditional game consoles; the Guardian argues that Google’s launch is a bit sloppy, and that the founder’s package is actually the equivalent of a paid test, even Stadia’s handles are incomplete, and video sharing and voice assistant features are not available; eurogamer thinks it may be too early for Stadia to be launched as a full-service service.

The first critical media, basically, gave a relatively neutral attitude: “The idea is good, but it’s very bad, far from subversive.” “

Kotaku reporter Jason Schreier said on Twitter on the morning of the 20th that Stadia’s pre-orders were lower than expected and appeared to be a huge failure.

“I learned from the people involved that Stadia’s pre-orders were lower than expected. Earlier, Google officials had said the founder’s package was sold out, and Schreier added that Google’s subsequent ‘first release’ was not selling well. “

Google, the cloud game that's been brewing for half a year, screwed up again?

The media gave the score, Stadia is basically 6/10 3/5.

In addition to completion, one reason users can’t trust is the tradition of Google product stoics. What if you subscribe for years at once and end up yellowing Stadia? Someone even created a website for the Stadia Death Countdown… Stadia’s most attractive selling point sits at least until next year, if it’s still there.

Business models that need to be explored

Subscription system is a popular business model in the streaming industry today. It is generally believed that the nature of cloud games, naturally and subscription system is very consistent, after subscription the full-court game is play, think of the really good experience.

But there are too many problems behind it.

Currently, Stadia’s premium members offer some free games, but some large or recently available games still need to be purchased, with 3A standard large games costing $60, which is about the same as traditional console platforms. Traditional console games, players can not only buy a physical box as a collection, but also facilitate second-hand blood (although this behavior is controversial).

The regular package will only arrive next year, with a maximum support for 1080P, and sound specifications shrinking, meaning that even if you buy a game at the same price, you may get a different gaming experience because of different subscription packages.

Google, the cloud game that's been brewing for half a year, screwed up again?

The overall use of the subscription system, the game industry’s ecology is a huge impact. If you can play all the games, then the subscription price is bound to increase, then how much is appropriate? How can the manufacturers and platforms be divided to protect the interests of both sides?

Obviously, the business model of cloud games, like technology, needs to be explored and tried.

In addition, exclusive game is also a question to think about. Exclusive IP, a “nuclear weapon” in today’s competition between console platforms, is clearly not yet ready for a self-study game, leaving it in a less-than-clear position in competition with Nintendo, Sony and others.

Cloud games are a concept that has been shouting for at least a decade. Now, as technology matures and big companies come up with their own cloud gaming solutions, Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s head of gaming, has previously said that 2.5 billion people cannot have consoles. But xCloud, Microsoft’s cloud gaming platform, will help developers make money in markets where consoles such as India (which can actually be added to China) have never taken off.

On the day of the Stadia launch, the A-share cloud game concept stocks are up and down, and it is clear that the industry expects cloud games to bring about some different innovations. But the more this time, the more cautious you should be. Adding another Stadia to Google’s death list is clearly not good for the industry.

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