Google Stadia is a cloud based gaming service developed and published by Google. It was released in 18 countries on November 19, 2019.
Why It Flopped
- The very concept of cloud gaming is very unreliable, as you need a constant uninterrupted internet connection to even play games. Any form of internet lag can make the games unplayable, and considering that the Stadia is very demanding, many houses without high-speed internet literally cannot use Stadia at all because of this issue.
- Additionally, since the user doesn't own any games they purchase and if the servers shut down in the future, all those games the user spent money on (see below) would be permanently lost forever.
- Unlike movies and music, which can be cloud-streamed with little trouble because the file is always the same for every user, games are significantly more complicated to cloud stream.
- The device suffers from horrible input lag and bad optimization, with delays up to two to five seconds between the player clicking the button and the game responding depending on the user's internet speed.
- Bad Presentation: All that is included in the box is the controller, a Chromecast Ultra, and some useless manuals and thank-you cards.
- The rubber used on the Stadia's controller isn't good as it collects sweat and condensation way too easily and takes forever to dry, as seen in Daniel Ibbertson's unboxing video for the console.
- The smartphone mount for the controller is very awkward and intrusive as it blocks the view of most of the buttons and you need to be quite close to the phone just to play anything on it.
- Terrible lineup of launch titles with one exclusive (Gylt) and games people already played or they can get physically/digitally. Ten additional launch games were added at the last minute but none of them are system sellers.
- While it is true that other consoles have indeed been released with few launch titles before, those included an exclusive system seller game to boost early sales, which Stadia lacked. The only real exclusive Stadia launched with is Gylt which isn't a system seller.
- False advertising: One of the selling points of the Stadia is that it's capable of streaming games in 4K resolution at 60fps, but many games on the platform are incapable of doing so.
- Streaming in 4K at 60 FPS consumes an absurd amount of internet data, which is terrible for houses and telecom plans with internet data caps.
- To make matters worse, the Stadia can easily overload your modem or the Chromecast Ultra included to the point where it can genuinely become a fire hazard.
- According to some sources, Stadia consumes over 7 GBs of data for 4K streaming.
- The system is very overpriced, costing US$129 for the Stadia itself, in addition to (optionally pay) US$10 to subscribe to the service for 4K streaming. You also still have to pay the regular prices for any game that you want to stream.
- A ton of features advertised in the Stadia's reveal trailer were completely absent from the console itself when it was released (e.g Stream Connect, State Share, Crowd Play).
- You can't buy games from Stadia itself, because you need your phone to buy them.
- It's very awkward to play motion-control games like Just Dance 2020 on the Stadia in the mobile mode as you need another phone to connect to it just to play it.
- A lot of people who pre-ordered the Founder's Edition did not receive the access codes to their Stadias at launch.
- Many games like AGW have worse graphics than on consoles, which hurts since you stream the games (meaning you don't need an expensive computer for high settings).
- In addition to this, many of the games perform worse than on consoles despite the inferior graphics.
- Some of the games on the platform cost more money than on other platforms for seemingly no good reason. One example includes costing 10 dollars more on Stadia.
- The advertisements are random and nonsensical. They've tried to be hip and relevant, but fails with cheesy and over-the-top effects, and stupid dialogue.
- One of the main advantages of Stadia is that you can play literally anywhere with your TV or phone, however not all of them are compatible with Stadia, it doesn't even help that you need more Chromecast Ultra to stream on more than one platform.
- The Stadia comes with a free Chromecast Ultra, allowing you to freely watch TV shows and movies on your TV or monitor.
- The controller can be used with PC games that support Xbox 360/One controllers and has a direct capture button, making it the second console to have such a feature, the first being the AGW.
- Google gives you US$30 worth of the Stadia Pro subscription with both the Premiere and Founder's Editions, which last until February 2020. This is also when Google plans to bring out Stadia Base, which is free and has 1080p streaming.
Google Stadia received mixed to negative reviews from critics but was panned by gamers alike.
John Saavedra of Den of Geek gave the Google Stadia 3.5/5, praising its crossplay feature while criticizing its abysmal launch lineup and lack of features.
Alex Hern of The Guardian gave the Google Stadia 3/5, praising its uniqueness and minimalism while criticizing the fact the nobody asked for it and Google focusing too much on marketing it.
Youtuber YongYea had trouble running games like Destiny 2 without lagging, even on high-speed Internet connections, and when he retries it on Ethernet, it somehow downgrades the graphics.
In response to the poor early reception, Google made several PR statements and sockpuppet accounts in an attempt to defend its launch but those did not help and only hurted the Stadia's own image even more.
As a result, many people quit using Stadia, even the die hard fans who kept defending the platform.
- Alen Ladavac, who is one of the six founders of Croatian indie game studio and creator of the Serious Sam franchise Croteam, left Croteam in October 2019 to co-develop the Google Stadia.
Google Stadia's official trailer
Engadget's review of Google Stadia
Android Authority's review of Google Stadia
GameXplain's review of Google Stadia
DreamcastGuy's review of Google Stadia
boogie2988's review of Google Stadia
Julien Chièze's review of Google Stadia
gameranx's review of Google Stadia