1. What internet connection does Google Stadia need?
Game streaming is all well and good, but a fast internet connection is a prerequisite for a flawless and trouble-free gaming experience. Especially when expanding in Germany, it looks likely to be rather poor for rural areas. But what internet connection do you need to be able to use Google Stadia in a satisfactory quality?
At the end of 2018, the beta test called Google Project Stream required a speed of 25 Mbps to represent Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in Full HD at 30 fps . Google Stadia should support up to 4K with 60 fps , later even 8K with more than 120 fps. So does your connection have to be significantly faster again? And what happens if the connection is interrupted for a short time? What happens to your progress in a game when the connection breaks?
2. What about the picture quality?
Modern games like Anthem or Metro Exodus look breathtaking, especially in 4K and with nice graphics effects. Can a stream conjure a similarly high image quality on the screens? What about artifacts and artifacts?
Sure: A stream in 1080p looks good, but the differences to a locally running game in the same resolution are visible due to the video compression . The executable version of Google Stadia was still struggling with some blemishes. Especially with fast movements the difference to local games was clearly visible.
The larger the screen and the faster the game, the more susceptible the image is to artifacts . In slow games like Anno 1800 , the difference is barely noticeable. But fast shooters on a huge TV are currently struggling with problems.
3. Is there an input delay?
Any input we make on the controller or mouse and keyboard will need to be sent to the Google servers and then back to us to translate the signal on screen. Is there an input delay? How high is this? Are fast Esports titles with Stadia perhaps unplayable?
Currently cloud gaming offerings such as Shadow PC have problems with fast games, especially in this area. Digital Foundry was already using a high-speed camera to test the input delay of Google Stadia .
However, this also depends on how fast your internet connection is and what hardware you use – for example, the refresh rate of the monitor also plays an important role.
In the current version, the input lag in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is 166 milliseconds , measured at 1080p at 30 fps. In the beta test it was still 200 milliseconds. On a local PC it is 133 milliseconds or only 100 ms at 60 frames per second. For comparison: on the Xbox One X it is also 166 milliseconds .
These are good values, but the input lag also varies from game to game and depends on the time of day and internet usage. Will Google be able to further reduce the input delay until it starts? How do other, much faster games beat? We do not know it.
4. Which games will be available?
Google Stadia is described as a place that is everywhere where YouTube is. But what games will there be? Is Stadia based on PC games ? Can I play my console games ? What about my existing accounts ?
The presentation just showed a handful of games. Jade Raymond and her team take care of exclusive titles, but where do the other games come from? Raymond said she plans to work with external developers to make Stadia technology accessible to large and small developer studios.
It almost sounds like all the games for Google Stadia need to be adapted to the streaming platform . Microsoft could certainly play there, but what about Sony and Nintendo? Will it be difficult to port games to Stadia ?
5. What about games I have already bought?
The advantage of game streaming is that you can play purchased games on almost any device – whether television, smartphone or ancient laptop. But what about games you’ve already bought? Can I continue to use my Steam , Xbox , PlayStation or Nintendo Switch games on Stadia ?
Crossplay and the ability to take your own scores everywhere were important parts of Google Stadia’s presentation . But how exactly should that work?
6. How will the multiplayer work?
Multiplayer games such as Apex Legends , FIFA 19 or The Division 2 are becoming increasingly important. However, always more complicated. In the past, you simply connected a second game pad and you were ready to start.
But in times of online games that is not that easy anymore. Now there are gamertags , friend codes , IDs and other hurdles. There are matchmaking , leaderboards , anti-cheat solutions and much more. In addition, some games are now available only in certain online stores. Can I just take over my accounts with Stadia ? How does the interaction with my friends via the internet work? How does Google basically prevent cheating and hacking?
Online games are an important issue these days, and Google needs to be clear on how to do it quickly and comfortably with Stadia . The possibilities are there, but a lot of persuasion is needed.
7. What about iOS devices?
Google is Chrome, Google is YouTube, but Google is also one: Android. The biggest competitor for the mobile operating system is called Apple or iOS . Can I use my iPhone or iPad with Google Stadia at all? Or do iOS users stay out?
All live demos to Stadia came as little surprise with Android. For iOS compatibility Google lost so far not a word.
8. What will Google Stadia cost?
Everything about Google Stadia is changing the way games are experienced. But also on the rights to the games Google leaves us currently in the dark. Do we have to buy games that we stream? Or are they just borrowed? Can I use the games on a regular PC or console?
9. What will the use of Google Stadia cost? Do I have to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee or a one -time fee? Is this another subscription or is the Stadia fee perhaps integrated into YouTube Premium? How expensive is the controller?
Let’s talk about the games: are they possibly already included in a possible fee, like PlayStation Now or the Xbox Game Pass, or do we have to buy them one at a time?
In addition, the question arises, how Google wants to finance the streaming service in the long term, after all, we do not have to buy additional equipment. Is advertising regularly displayed while playing? If so, will there be a premium model without advertising?
We do not know it. There are still many unanswered questions about Google Stadia, with which the self-proclaimed future of gaming stands and falls. It will probably take a while until these are cleared up. After all, Google wants to announce more details in the summer of 2019, while Google Stadia is scheduled to launch this year. We are curious.