Stadia opens a whole new way to play games using computing abilities of the server centers Google. Thus no need for expensive computers and consoles. To start playing, enough to have a stable Internet connection and a controller. For review, we used the block of Google Stadia Founder’s Edition for 6 days, provided by the manufacturer. Was tested the possibility to play in 720p, 1080p and 4k with different speeds of Internet connection. The result can be read on.
The pros and cons
The table shows the main advantages and disadvantages.
|Don’t need a gaming computer or console||Constantly using tons of Internet data|
|You can play from anywhere with good Internet||When connected with a network of medium level has a delay or intermittent connection|
|The opportunity to play on Pixel-smartphone, TV or computer screen||No part of the key functions at the start|
|Simplified and user-friendly interface||Are only available to Pro level|
|No need to wait for the updates|
The working principle of Stadia Google transfers data from the controller over the network to the company’s servers and back, receiving processed information. All the mistakes are made by cloud computing. A possible implementation of streaming in the Chrome browser (for example, you can use Pixelbook), TV with Chromecast Ultra or some Android phones.
During the launch of Stadia supported devices Pixel 2, 3, 3A, 4. However, Google announces the planned expansion of the list of compatible phones. It should be noted that now you cannot use Chromecast with Ultra Stadia. The developers say that will soon launch the update for all devices. Today we need to use the version that comes with the controller, or Founder’s Edition or Premiere Edition.
Stadia supports the transmission of video up to 4k resolution with a refresh rate of 60 frames/sec. The service does not restrict players, usually it makes the Internet connection. However, for maximum quality you will have to purchase the premium package. Google says that the minimum speed connection for the game in 720p is 10 Mbit/sec. The service automatically changes the resolution based on the speed and stability of the current connection.
Google sells a separate controller Stadia, which supports the transmission of data to Google for Wi-Fi. The device has Bluetooth but it only applies to connect to Chromecast. During startup, the service controller must be connected via cable to the phone or computer. It comes solely with a USB wire-A to USB-C. in Order to eliminate this inconvenience when playing on the phone, will have to look at home cord USB-C to USB-C. Google says that over time they will abandon cable.
If you want to use your own controller or a combination of mouse + keyboard, they need to connect to PC or laptop. Currently Stadia gamepad not works as a standalone Bluetooth device and cannot perform the role of an ordinary joystick. Google does not exclude the possibility of further adding such a function with one of the firmware updates.
Good Stadia controller Google?
Controller Stadia are not complicated design, but it is well in hand. The controller is divided into two blocks: D-pad (arrows) and an array of buttons ABXY. On the back side of the bumpers with the R1 and L1 triggers L2 R2. In the Central region are: button Stadia, which is used to turn on and off the device, press Google Assistant, and the screenshot button, reset, and run.
A built-in helper from Google will help users to pass strange place. The assistant will pull up relevant videos from YouTube. He will be able to set the correct timestamp on the video in accordance with the stage of the passing game. Unfortunately, the Google assistant is not active in Stadia.
To charge the joystick uses a USB-C port, which is now also used to link the controller with your phone or computer. Still it can be used to connect headphones to USB-C. below you will find dual port for headphones and microphone. Thus there is a possibility to connect gaming headset to the controller and chat with friends without delay in real time.
Overall the controller is well designed. Concave design allows it well lie in his hands. With comparative ease, he doesn’t exactly seem cheap. Buttons and arrows don’t work as good as the joystick of the Xbox One, but far ahead of most peers. Triggers are successfully located, they can be found quickly, and tactile feedback is quite nice. The controller has considerable weight, it is not easy, but not cause the feeling of heaviness. 4000 rubles, a little expensive, but quite reasonable for the official controller.
Battery life impressive. Usually have to charge the gamepad only 1 time for a few hours-long sessions. Difficulties with charging it was observed. In the house most users already have a lot of USB With cables, so it can be connected to the nearest outlet for a couple of seconds.
A pleasant feeling from Google Stadia causes the integrity of the interface. It is equally developed on all platforms. No matter you use the TV, phone, or the Google Chrome browser, the appearance is identical.
Immediately after loading it displays the list of purchased games. Just a couple of clicks you can go to the store and see what is available for purchase. You can also connect a joystick and while chatting with friends to show personal screenshots directly from the program interface. The firmware offers a simplistic approach to the classic gameplay, which is usually stuffed with a lot of dropdown menus and tweaks.
Due to the fact that all games are hosted on Google servers, their is no need to upgrade as it used to do the owners of PCs and consoles. Immediately after loading Stadia all games are available without delay.
Shop Stadia implemented extremely easy and convenient. Just click on the game, Google will immediately offer to buy it. For this you can use the Google Play credits, which are issued as rewards for public opinion. Now they really turn into money on Stadia.
On the “Friends” tab shows a list of friends with whom you can start to play. Another displayed a list of people who have recently participated in the General match. For example, if you like to play with some unknown user on the run Destiny 2, it can be easy to add to your personal friends list after the match.
A key feature of the Stadia shown during the announcement GDC 2019 – connect to the stream. Technology allows external players to directly see the actions of the main gamers in several ways. You can immediately immerse yourself in the game or view parallel to the a few aspects of the flow. Unfortunately, this feature is not available on the launch of the service.
What is Stadia Pro?
In a network there was a lot of confusion from Pro Stadia and differences from the standard interface Stadia. It’s pretty simple.
The platform itself Stadia will be free, but already in 2020. Initial level of the game (free) called Stadia Base. It allows you to turn the stream at the maximum speed 1080p 60 fps with the usual stereo sound. The game will still have to pay full price, but the service itself will be free on all compatible devices from Chromecast Ultra to smartphone and PC.
Stadia Pro is a paid service, which will cost 600 rubles per month. It opens access to streaming broadcasts in 4k with 60 fps and supports 5.1 surround sound Chromecast Ultra. Pay level further opens the free games for a certain period of time. They are added to your personal library during activation Pro records. Among the advantages of the premium service access to all paid add – ons Destiny 2 and itself the base game and bonus in the form of Samurai Showdown.
Pro also offers discounts on a number of popular games compared to their price Base on Stadia. On the run Pro Stadia are subject to the following discounts:
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – 2000 RUB, not the full 4000 rubles;
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Stadia Ultimate Edition – 4000 rubles compared to 7,500 roubles;
- Mortal Kombat 11 — 2500 rubles instead of 4,000 rubles;
- Mortal Kombat 11 Premium Edition – 4000 rubles compared to 5700 roubles;
- Tomb Raider 2013 – 600 rubles, total price – 1200 rubles;
- Final Fantasy XV – 2000 rubles instead of 3000 rubles.
Approach Pro Stadia differs from the “Netflix of games”, which many had hoped. Users will still have to pay upfront to gain access to the games. Discounts are not so significant in comparison with similar offerings in the PlayStation Store or the Microsoft Store for the PS4 and Xbox One, respectively.
What are the benefits of Google Stadia?
Streaming games from the cloud has many advantages. The most obvious plus – no need to have high quality equipment. Google launches games on high quality hardware that is capable of handling all projects with a maximum resolution of 4k 60 fps. Everything depends on the server capacity and the bandwidth of the Internet connection and the availability of the appropriate level of subscription. In free access in 2020 will be available only at a resolution of 1080p with 60 fps.
To run demanding games in low resolution, like Red Dead Redemption 2 or Cyberpunk 2077, you need heavy duty equipment. The ability to access applications only the purchase of Stadia and no monthly fees is a big plus of the service.
Another important advantage of the Stadia – the opportunity to play on different devices. If this is normally Chromecast Ultra, during a visit of a friend or other place you can run the game on laptop or phone. They open on the Google servers, so the user’s location is absolutely not arbitrary. Of course, in online games after a certain period of inactivity is released, but the single-player game to pass a fun one. This can be attributed to Kine or Red Dead Redemption 2, which can at any moment suspend.
It is worth mentioning about one more big advantage of cloud gaming – no need to constantly update the clients. Stadia spends his time for the user, by downloading and installing the appropriate upgrades on the server. Anyone can start playing immediately.
Unfortunately, the game loading time was not faster compared to a home console. Had to wait a bit to enter, especially a lot of the time it takes the primary testing something like RDR 2 or move between maps in Destiny. Speed approximately level with the console. This is quite justified, because the Google server have to load the game resources. It is hoped that the company will be able to create ultra-fast storage.
Does Google have Stadia latency issues?
The key question of most users concerns the latency in online games. The controller connects directly to Google’s servers via Wi-Fi. Then they need to handle and transfer the final image back to the device. Whether Pro Stadia to broadcast 4k gameplay at a frame rate of 60 fps and even without delay?
Google recommends that you use the connection speed from 10 Mbps to download the games in 720p resolution and it really is true. During the startup of games in the network with a bandwidth of 3 and 4 Mbit/sec they went quite quickly. Even had moments of smooth gameplay for a couple of minutes, but often the lag and lag. After moving to the network 30 Mbps became available for streaming in 4k, but random freezes still took place, as a noticeable lag.
Mainly tested Destiny 2 and Mortal Kombat. Both games need the maximum speed of the reaction. In General, they showed themselves well with a reliable network connection, but it certainly was a small input lag. There is great doubt that professional players will use the Stadia as the main platform. At least as long as the delay will change as fluctuations in the speed of your Internet connection.
The company notes that it will be able to significantly reduce the delay between input and result. They use a technology called “Negative delay”. Its meaning is the prediction of future user actions and their pre-processing. Machine learning this will greatly help. This is an exciting technology, but can a company implement it? Only time will tell.
The biggest problem in Stadia related to the delay sound. Was able to notice a significant delay between the firing of the gun and beeper. For the Amateur level it’s scary, but more hardcore players, the situation can bring great anxiety. However, the problem is less evident with a more powerful and stable connections.
How much data uses Stadia?
During playback Stadia on a computer running Windows using Chrome for speed 720p, the service used the speed of 12-20 Mbps. as Stadia permanently remove data and buffers them, the flow of traffic fraction is high. From a technical point of view, the service can be used when connecting to the mobile Internet, but can’t do it on anyone is a limit on the amount of consumed data on the tariff plan.
The approximate flow of traffic during games at a minimum resolution of 7 GB/hour. This is all the amount of mobile Internet for a month, the majority of operators. If you play every day 4 hours, for a month runs about 1 TB of bandwidth at a resolution of 720 p. After switching to 4k with 60 fps for an hour consumes 25 GB of traffic. This is an incredible amount of data. Users with limited data limit, or when bandwidth less than 100 Mbps, the use of Stadia at the maximum resolution will be difficult.
What games are available in Google Stadia?
Just at the start of the service is available to 22 games. In the coming months has to do, and other projects, more will follow in 2020. Even now, the list is quite decent, including most of the major games. Huge thanks to Google for the introduction of Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2, especially given the high demands of PC games. Still have the GYLT and exclusive indie project Rime. This is a positive sign that Google is investing in the creation of games for Stadia. And yet it will take some time before the advent of full-scale exclusive projects for Stadia.
Only recently the catalog has grown from 12 to 22 games. This is the largest increase even in comparison with the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. It is hoped that the diversity will continue to delight gamers.
Reprimand for Google Stadia
If you have access to high-speed and reliable Internet connection with unlimited data volume, Google Stadia will bring a lot of advantages. You can play it on mobile screen and the TV. Still, you can quickly switch between devices on the fly. And to own high quality equipment is not necessary. If in the office, café or anywhere else you have a strong Internet, where you can immerse yourself in RDR 2, only with the Pixel 2.
Scare of the project many people can the high cost of the games. Already, most gamers are accustomed to PC and console games at a more affordable cost after a short time after release. For example, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey still costs 4,000 rubles for users of Base Stadia and 2000 rubles – in Pro Stadia. Today standard edition on a computer costs about 2000 rubles.
It is difficult to recommend Stadia now. There are several reasons: only available to Pro-level and some key functions no. Most of the projects are already on other platforms and have a much larger community. Google promises a great list of features Stadia, but the sad lack of them at the start of the platform.
If you want to try one of the first cloud-based streaming processing games Stadia is really great value. From a practical point of view, it is better to wait until Google implements more ideas and see what will turn the service over six months or a year. Just at this time will be available a free version of the service. It will help to make the final decision.