Stadia adds three more games to its library this week

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,455   +562
Staff member

Google’s game-streaming platform Stadia got off to a rocky start. It is trying to stem the criticism by throwing more free trials into the ecosystem, but that does not help one of it's biggest issues — a lack of content. Thankfully for early subscribers, that has not discouraged Google from plowing forward with its planned releases.

Google announced Borderlands 3 and Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 are available in the Stadia library as of Tuesday, with Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint hitting on the platform on Wednesday. Ghost Recon will be the first title to incorporate Google's exclusive Stream Connect feature, which allows players to view their teammates’ screens, picture-in-picture style, so they can better coordinate their missions.

Early impressions of Stadia have shown that it’s not for everyone. Its skimpy library consists of games most players already have and barring the fact that you can play anywhere; there is not much else that is a draw for the $130 entry point (not including the cost of games). As Kotaku’s Paul Tamayo put it:

“Outside of the ability to stream games on a browser or your phone, I really can’t find a strong selling point for playing games that you can largely get on other platforms already for around the same price.”

It’s a valid point even though, for the most part, the service runs pretty smoothly as long as you have a fast and steady internet connection.

In Google’s defense, Stadia is still technically in beta, and more games are coming in 2020, including Doom Eternal, the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077, Gods and Monsters, and Watch Dogs: Legion. None of these titles have release dates set, but Google has confirmed that they are arriving next year.

One must also realize that game streaming is still relatively new, and so far, nobody has gotten it completely right. Sony’s PlayStation Now has been around since 2014 (beta release) and has an extensive library of games. However, it still struggles to sell the service.

The main hurdle that platforms like these have to overcome is not making the system work perfectly with little lag. It is more about offering the player something that they can’t get elsewhere. While playing anywhere is novel, it's just not enough.

Google is on the right track by bringing gaming to practically any device you own (eventually). Still, without exclusive content, it is going to struggle to compete with standalone consoles and PCs. To treat it like a completely separate market is a fool's errand — just ask Sony.

Without sufficient bait to lure players from other platforms, any streaming service is going to struggle to get off the ground, just like PS Now still does even after five years.

Image credit: Cody Engel via Shutterstock

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KingAlistair

Posts: 39   +13
Part of it could be executives at Google don't understand how inexpensive PC gaming can be. You can pop a used $150-$200 USD GTX 1070 into any quad core computer since the i5-2500k and get much better performance than the performance we ended up getting from Stadia (no next gen performance there). So any quad core computer in the last 8 years can be faster for a low price. There's 0 reason to get a Stadia since you can't play your PC games with it unless you buy a second time. The Xbox SX will unlock games that require a ton of money to play, and the PS4/Switch have exclusive content. Not sure what Google was expecting from their poor pricing strategy and poor performance.
 
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ZackL04

Posts: 657   +420
Pretty sure this isnt for everyone but let me tell you how a 34yr old father of two would utilize:

I still have close contact with some high school buddies and we like to on occasion play a game. We just all moved to xbox from playstations, but maybe we should have gone to stadia instead....

We are currently playing borderlands 3. To be able to join at any time (no matter the game), on any pc or screen in the house would be pretty convenient at least for me or my single buddy with a big house and multiple TV’s. Being “restricted” to our basement TVs or dragging the xbox up to another tv isnt impossible but to be able to instead just bring the controller sounds like something I would take advantage of for sure.

Dont forget the fact that the PC game is intimidating for most casual gamers, and to be honest it can be frustrating when a game crashes for seemingly no reason. I know for a fact most of my buddies would just rather not bother with that and stay capped at 30fps with sub par 1080p visuals on a system that “just works”.

Id like to know how Borderlands 3 runs on Stadia, We are playing on xbox one s and its pretty rough, frequent frame dips especially with 3 or more players and during large fights. Also the visually quality is pretty poor, looks to be medium settings at best and maybe 720-1080p.

Xbox is great tho with gamepass, that was our main reason to switch. Our biggest gripe is no bluetooth support, so our headsets basically need to be replaced (really microsoft?)

Is anyone here using stadia? What is the chat like? The more I think about it, the more I might give it a shot...
 
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Eldritch

Posts: 230   +277
On desktop : Stadia can't compete with even a mid end pc. Why would anyone pay monthly fees for that?

On handhelds : The point is gaming on the go. Maybe I am travelling and I want to continue slaying monsters. But playing Stadia while travelling or outside without dedicated high speed wifi is going to be attrocious.

Yes, it will be better in 4-5 years when networks improve, 5g becomes mainstream etc. But, what exactly is the point right now?
 

Lounds

Posts: 489   +369
I currently have Nvidia's geforce now with my shield TV and I rarely use it. It's good for offline single player experience but I wouldn't use it for online competitive shooter such as CSGO.
 

picka

Posts: 75   +78
Tried it recently. Surprised how well it worked. It's not really aimed at hardcore gamers, but for everyone else the experience is pretty good.

Just needs a higher selection of games.
 

VariableSpike

Posts: 19   +18
On desktop : Stadia can't compete with even a mid end pc. Why would anyone pay monthly fees for that?

On handhelds : The point is gaming on the go. Maybe I am travelling and I want to continue slaying monsters. But playing Stadia while travelling or outside without dedicated high speed wifi is going to be attrocious.

Yes, it will be better in 4-5 years when networks improve, 5g becomes mainstream etc. But, what exactly is the point right now?
5G is going to have the same effect as 4G, as the amount of people on the network will eventually slow down speeds a lot.