Cloud gaming service, Google Stadia is the perfect platform for someone who isn’t already super into games as it doesn’t needs much hardware to play
Several companies have been trying to develop cloud gaming for a few years now. This is essentially the Apple Music or Spotify streaming approach.
When the PS5 and the Xbox Series X made their debut, 2020 saw the beginning of cloud gaming, the next generation of gaming. Both the boxes have their own share of innovative new features.
Google Stadia, a cloud gaming service developed and operated by Google, was marred by criticism in its first year, which stemmed from lacking advertised features and a need to pay subscription fee just for purchasing games. Google now has been working to improve the platform by slowly bringing well needed features like party chat and notifications.
Unlike Netflix, Stadia, rather than streaming anything you like for a monthly fee, has you purchasing the games you want to play. You will be able to buy whichever games you want, and stream them straight from high powered servers of Google as there is a free option available now. Higher quality streaming, discounts and free games are the benefits of paying the subscription fee.
You may find yourself feeling like you’ve just walked into a second-hand game shop, when you look through the game library. Some games (like Super Bomberman R Online) are exclusive to the cloud gaming service, Stadia. Games like Cyberpunk have been released on Stadia, but you will still find a lot of major titles missing.
A gaming platform is no use without games even with all the promising hardware and features. While the library may not have too much new for a major gamer, it’s a pretty good list for anyone new to gaming. To console gaming, the Xbox Series S has created an affordable stepping stone, which, alongside Game pass and xCloud, is surely causing a headache to Google. But, as the cloud gaming service of Google is the perfect platform for someone who isn’t already super into games as it doesn’t needs much hardware to play.
XCloud, which is Microsoft’s attempt to enter the cloud gaming space, is being able to play your library of Xbox games anywhere, which is its big selling point. This is a huge step up from Stadia’s approach which requires players to purchase a whole new library.
The app is surprisingly full featured despite of still being in preview. You will be able to create parties, check achievements and access your friends list. The experience isn’t flawless, connection issues and video compression do remind you that this isn’t a 1 to 1 experience, but we are getting closer to having that ‘on the go’ console experience.
Combining Game Pass with XCloud makes for a very tempting prospect as the former remains one of the best deals in cloud gaming. Being able to just throw your controller in your bag and be able to access your Xbox library everywhere could be a huge selling point for Microsoft as everyone has a phone, and plenty of people have controllers laying around.
GeForce Now is the most direct competition to the cloud gaming platform, Stadia as the former is offering a free and paid tier both.
There might be a trouble discovering that for you as the user interface for choosing games isn’t great as there are plenty of games offered. GeForce Now, which appears to be the future of cloud gaming, is connected to both the Epic Game Store and Steam, meaning any games you own on those services can be played through GeForce now. However, shortly after the launch of GeForce Now, all Activision/Blizzard games were removed from the service.
Occasionally games did drop down to 720p or even 480p in some situations as the connection remained solid, using an Ethernet-cabled PC. As internet connection improves around the country, this issue will iron itself out.
With all three services have their pros and cons, it feels like the cloud gaming space is waiting for most people’s internet quality to catch up. The technology is there and works well under perfect conditions.
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