Google Stadia : Stream games on all your devices

As games are becoming better and better, some gamers find themselves struggling to keep up with the advancements the gaming industry has made over the years. Since high-quality games with the best graphics are the top priority of gamers, the gaming industry continues to bring out better and more hardware demanding games. That’s a given considering that the more realistic the game, the more processing power you need to render it.

For some gamers, more processing power means more budget for their hardware. It doesn’t help that lately newer games require high-end graphics cards that the average person finds difficult to afford. As the budget grows higher and higher for a gamer, it becomes difficult for them to enjoy the game. Google Stadia might just be the solution to this problem. But things rarely seem too good to be true.let’s take a closer look at Google Stadia and see what’s the catch to this solution.

The Problem of being your average gamer

Every year there are lots of games being released. Everyone will have atleast five games they are looking forward to playing. Since games have become so popular , game developers always try their hardest to make the game as beautiful and fantastic as possible. This attempt, however, can become a double edged sword for most gamers. A lot of new games that have great visual effects and complex game play take up a lot of processing power. That means these games are going to need more resources ie, RAM, Graphics Cards, Processors , Storage etc..

So the primary problem is that a PC gamer has to upgrade his PC every now and then if he wants to play the latest and greatest games. This can, for most average gamers, be unconventional and expensive. Even if you have an income, it wouldn’t mean you’ll spend all your savings on a new Graphics card to play the newest game. For most, it’s not practical. Even if you build an expensive PC that has the latest Graphics and maxed out Graphics cards, it will get outdated in less than 5 years and the intense budget to even get the build started is extreme for some gamers.

Console Players might have it easy in this regard. Since consoles are cheaper than a gaming PC and they don’t require upgrades that much. But PC’s have their own sets of advantages over consoles. but that’s a story for another time.

The Idea

There was an Idea. Instead of using your own hardware to render and play the game, why not use a server to do the heavy lifting for you. In a nutshell this is Google’s Stadia. Lets elaborate more on this “idea”.

Suppose there’s a subscription service where you can “rent” a fully upgraded computer. Now imagine if you can get the full computational power of this computer on any of your devices like your laptop, desktop, phone, tablet or even your smart TV. This can possibly be made possible with Googles Stadia.

You can stream-play your favorate games using a subscription service and not have to worry about RAM or Graphics cards ever again. Its like how you watch youtube on your web browser. Similary instead of watching videos, you will be playing your favorate games.

What is Google Stadia ?

Stadia is a cloud gaming service operated by Google and its capable of streaming video games in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second to players connected to Google stadia through their numerous data centers. Google Stadia only requires the device to have an Internet connection and support for Google Chrome.Stadia works on top of YouTube’s functionality in streaming media to the user, since game streaming is seen as an extension of watching video game live streams. So players can opt to record or stream their sessions onto YouTube through Stadia. 

Google developed its own controller which connects via Wi-Fi directly to the Google datacenter in which the game is running, to reduce input latency.During its GDC 2019 keynote reveal, Google confirmed that the controller would also feature Google Assistant, which will automatically search YouTube for relevant, helpful videos related to the game they are currently playing at the touch of a key

There are some concerns

The deal might seem too good to be true for a lot of users and to a point it is. There are some drawbacks and concersn regarding this new development. Lets adress a few of them.

First things first, let’s address the elephant in the room. The bandwidth. Stadia is going to be a game-streaming platform. So it’s going to eat up a lot of bandwidth. Just how much bandwidth it’s going to use, we don’t know yet. If your net is too slow, there’s going to be “buffering”. You might not be able to play at 1080p or 4K if your internet is not fast enough to stream the video and audio.

Then there’s the question of latency. Latency is the in simple terms for gamers, how long it takes for an action to be performed after you press a button. If you click the mouse button to fire a gun on the game, how long does it take the game to fire the gun after you pressed the mouse button, that is latency. It’s always within the range of a few milliseconds, but for hardcore gamers, even a millisecond can be the difference between winning and losing. So we can be sure not to expect any fast-paced multiplayer first-person shooter or similar competitive games like the popular battle royale games.

Because your device is only streaming the game, the actual processes for the game are being rendered at a far away server. This means you “mouse click” action has to travel not to your device, but all the way to the server where the game is running. and the distance between you and the server is going to impact your latency. Basically, the farther you are away, the worse your latency is going to be. Latency can also be an issue for some single player games , which require quick actions to clear a level.

The verdict

The Google Stadia seems like a great deal and an amazing thing putforward by Google. But it obiously has some flaws and drawbacks.Regardless it still seems like a great Idea for lots of gamers around the world. And like most gamers , i too am eagrly awaiting for its arrival.

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