Stadia is a cloud based gaming console developed by Google. It was released in 18 countries on November 19, 2019.
It is advertised to be capable of streaming video games up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second with support for high-dynamic-range, to players via the company's numerous data centers across the globe, provided they are using a sufficiently high-speed internet connection. It is accessible through the Google Chrome web browser on personal computers, Pixel smartphones, supported smartphones from Samsung, OnePlus, Razer and Asus, as well as Chrome OS tablets and Chromecast for TV support.
Why It Flopped
- The very concept of cloud gaming, while a good idea on paper, 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, thanks for the terrible server quality, which still hasn't been fixed as of January 2021.
- 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.
- On that note, there have been no Stadia-exclusive games since launch aside from Gylt, and to make matters worse, Google has announced that they're shutting down their first-party Stadia game studios, therefore preventing their cloud gaming service from getting a worthwhile exclusive title.
- 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. This pretty much shows that Google didn't learn from the LeapFrog Didj or the Amstrad GX4000.
- According to some sources, Stadia consumes over 7 GBs of data for 4K streaming.
- The system is very overpriced, costing US$99 for the Stadia itself, in addition to (optionally pay) US$10 to subscribe to Stadia Pro for 4K streaming, and HDR. You also still have to pay the regular prices for any game that you want to stream. Which in comparison, Nvidia's GeForce Now streaming service is much cheaper and it can be used in any computer and phone (though Google finally rectified the "Pixel only" rule, and now there is an experimental mode where you can play on an unsupported phone).
- You can't buy games from Stadia itself, because you need your phone (or a computer) 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 Red Dead Redemption 2 are pretty inferior and 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 Darksiders: Genesis 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.
- There was no search bar to look for games that you want, which is very ironic, considering that Google is famous for their search engine.
- A search bar was eventually added on April 28, 2021, which was almost a year and a half after the Stadia released.
- Updates and new games are ridiculously far and few, with the last update being on July 1, 2020.
- In March 2020, some developers admitted that they believe that there's very little to no incentive to release more games on Stadia, explaining the low amount of games being released for it.
- Just like the Wii U, its third party support is pretty poor, with it missing out on most games coming out for the PS4, Xbox One and the Switch, even though the console has up to "10.7 Teraflops of power" which is way more then base PS4/Xbox One and Nintendo Switch combined.
- It's a nightmare to disassemble due to Google strictly wanting it to be opened only by them. This makes DIY maintenance or repairs a challenge and will even give game repair shops a hard time.
- Google has reached a new low and decided to follow Epic Games' practice by paying studios to make their games timed exclusive to them (starting with Serious Sam 4).
- On top of that, the timed exclusive is pointless since Google paid Croteam to make the consoles version to be released next year, instead of the PC version.
- It uses Linux OS which means both performance issues and porting difficulties similar to the Steam Machine.
- Google recently shut down their first party game studio, only worsening the already present fear that it will shut down.
- 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 Nintendo Switch.
- Google recently brought out the free Stadia tier (formerly Stadia Base) which is completely free, and has 1080p streaming at 60fps. (Though it is still too little, too late)
- Despite the issues with the rubber, the controller feels very nice and is quite comparable to the PS4 controller or Xbox One controller.
- It received a few updates which fixed the missing launch features, like Google Assistant, Stream Connect, and Crowd Play. So the service is definitely way better than it was at launch.
- The service has far less input lag if playing wirelessly on a PC or a Phone (And if your TV has a Game Mode, that helps too), and you can even enable an experimental mode to make Stadia ignore the fact that your phone is unsupported and let you play with any phone.
- If any part of your Founder's Edition or Premiere Edition is defective or broken, Google's support team will replace it for you.
- Google is trying to make sure that Stadia is not discontinued.
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.
Google Stadia was featured on Gamers Nexus' "The Disappointment PC 2019: Worst Parts of the Year" video.
YouTuber YongYea had trouble running games like Destiny 2 without them 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 sockpuppet accounts and playing the SJW card by saying the controller is "gender-neutral" in an attempt to defend its launch but those did not help and only hurt 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 now moved to Nvidia's GeForce Now streaming service.
In response to poor sales, Google started to giveaway the Stadia Pro subscription.
With Project XCloud (Microsoft's cloud streaming service) now released and with it part of Xbox Game Pass, it is nearly pointless to have a Google Stadia subscription. YouTuber YongYea has stated that, unless Google overhauls or changes their business model, Stadia is doomed now that XCloud has been released.