smartphonesshop.com.au - From Snake on the Nokia 6110 to Clash of Clans on your Samsung and iPhone, mobile games have truly become a force to be reckoned with, turning those dull train rides into heroic endeavours and epic battles. It’s only natural that with the viability of the platform growing, we’d see companies attempt to evolve it to be more than just Candy Crush alongside the many microtransaction-filled apps that dominate both the App and Play Store. Enter Google Stadia, Google’s streaming platform that wishes to bring console-quality games to your laptop, television and mobile device. While it’s clear that Google wishes to offer a Netflix style service with their product, and with the base subscription to Stadia becoming free, let’s take a look at how Stadia wants to dominate every screen in your life.
Time Is Money
You come back home from a strenuous day of work. You fire up Netflix, ready to continue your favourite series, then you realize you’d like to play your favourite game, but unfortunately, it requires an update that will probably take a couple of hours, perhaps even more at peak time. With Stadia, the days of waiting for updates are truly gone, offering you access to your library akin to your favourite streaming service. The main appeal of Stadia is its simplicity, with features such as the ability to switch from playing on your tv to a mobile device without losing progress and even your laptop or Chromebook. It’s the sort of convenience that we’ve always dreamed of and may even turn toilet browsing into toilet dragon slaying!
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
After Stadia’s initially rough launch as covered by Kotaku, Google has begun to finally allow its service to blossom with more devices compatible and features available. At launch, the only mobile devices that were compatible with Stadia were Pixel devices, with the Stadia controller being mandatory for use with it as reviewed by Eurogamer. Thankfully that’s no longer the case, with the ever-reliable XDA Developers reporting that Stadia now has touch screen controls and is no longer limited to Pixel devices, with a list of officially supported devices and even experimental support for any other Android device running Android 6.0 or higher! You’ll even be able to run Stadia on your Android TV if you don’t have a Chromecast. The full list of officially supported mobile devices as outlined by 9to5Google are:
- Google Pixel 2/2 XL
- Google Pixel 3/3 XL
- Google Pixel 3a/3a XL
- Google Pixel 4/4 XL
- Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+/S8 Active
- Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+
- Samsung Galaxy S10/S10+
- Samsung Galaxy S20/S20+/S20 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10/10+
- OnePlus 8/8 Pro
- ASUS ROG Phone/ROG Phone II
- Razer Phone, Razer Phone II
- OnePlus 5, 5T
- OnePlus 6, 6T
- OnePlus 7 Pro, 7, 7 Pro 5G
- OnePlus 7T, 7T Pro, 7T Pro 5G
- OnePlus 8, 8 Pro
While Stadia is currently only available over WiFi, 9to5Google reports that Google is preparing to make it compatible with your mobile data. We suspect power banks will suddenly become much more popular.
Scepticism was quite strong for Stadia at the beginning, with many snubbing their noses at a service that would never be able to compete with their $5000 computers. Putting aside the elitism, the worst concern was input lag, and with Stadia being run from servers as opposed to a device your experience would be at the mercy of your internet connection. The Washington Post covered how the time between buttons pressed and for them be translated into actions on-screen, even with a solid connection was quite high but with improvements made by Google, there’s a lot more stability at play (pardon the pun!) Concerns have also been levelled at Stadia’s limited library, with only 50 currently available as compared to the thousands that other platforms have, as outlined by Android Central. Perhaps the biggest concern of all would be Google’s habit of abandoning projects. We’ve seen how Google has killed many projects including Google+, with even developers themselves nervous that Google could potentially kill Stadia as Android Police reports. The website Killed by Google shows a comprehensive list of projects that Google has abandoned or plans to remove which is quite concerning, especially since Stadia’s games are priced at full retail.
Released Into The Wild
Due to its heavy reliance on internet speed and infrastructure, The countries that Stadia is currently available in according to Google are:
- United Kingdom
- United States (except Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands)
While Google is eventually planning a worldwide release, internet speeds and infrastructures need to be taken into consideration. Perhaps if we all reduced our Netflix binging there would be less congestion on our networks?
I Got 99 Problems But Cash Ain’t One
Now to pricing, the most crucial question. As with any streaming service, Stadia uses a subscription service. CNET reports that the base model is currently free although it is limited to 1080P resolution and 60 frames per second alongside stereo sound. With Stadia Pro, for $9.99 US a month you’ll get up to 4K resolution, sixty frames per second, HDR, 5.1 surround sound alongside free games every month and exclusive discounts. A brand spanking new Stadia controller will net you $69 US while games on the Stadia Store retail for $40-60 US. So far we’ve seen high profile releases such as Red Dead Redemption 2 on the store with major releases such as Cyberpunk 2077 planned for day one as well, which shows a step in the right direction, but it’s going to take a lot more to compete with the heavyweights!
With technology turning every dull moment into something special, Google Stadia certainly has it’s market and uses. A rough launch may have turned many off the service, but with convenience and simplicity being in high demand from consumers, Google Stadia may very well surprise us. Will Google Stadia be the future of gaming on your mobile device? For everything to do with Google, stay tuned to our Smart Blogs for all the juicy leaks and info!