Google Stadia launches with users largely unable to play
Google’s foray into cloud gaming appears to have hit another snag as the tech company launches its newest platform with users largely unable to use the service.
Why? Well, the invitation code to get in simply has not arrived for many, including those who ordered on June 6th, the very first day you could order.
Rejoice Stadia gamers, you’re getting another triple A-game.
According to the Google Stadia community blog, Darksiders Genesis will available for all Stadia players at 12 pm EST. The game will be available for $39.99, matching the price of the Microsoft Windows store.
“For the first time in the franchise, you can play in two-player co-op! So grab a buddy and tear through hordes of demons, angels and everything in between. Or play solo and switch between War and Strife, with guns blazing and swords swinging. Take part in an immersive story of intrigue and suspense set against a fantastic, post-apocalyptic backdrop of otherworldly powers. Darksiders Genesis will be available starting today for $39.99.”
This will be the first game to launch on Stadia on the same day as its official launch.
Get ready Stadia gamers, you now have access to two more free games as a part of your Stadia Pro membership.
Stadia Founder and Premiere users now have access to Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition and Farming Simulator 19 Platinum edition for free.
If you previously purchased either game before the claiming period, you can request a refund.
The December addition doubles Stadia’s current Pro benefits from just Destiny 2 and Samurai Showdown.
Google Stadia was launched at a price of $169(CAD) and an additional $10 per month charge through PRO subscription to play the games in 4K resolution.
All Stadia’s currently sold, including both the Premiere and Founders’ editions include three months of Stadia Pro as a part of the purchase.
Google’s foray into gaming has arrived, not with a bang, but a series of clear screw-ups. This is unexpected from the international company many consider to be the standard-bearer for industry disruption.
From pre-launch to launch, just about everything that could go wrong did.
Products failed to ship on time, with founders receiving their codes or controllers later than the November 19th arrival time promised. Users had to wait for their controller before playing, in effect ensuring the Stadia functioned like a console, by requiring the actual product to be in the hands of players, before being able to play.
Advertising clearly oversold the current capacity of the product including the inclusion of base services such as Google Assistant or social features.
Perhaps more worrying for many, most if not all games did not stream in native 4K, instead being upscaled from an inferior quality product to a 4K output.
The problems continued. Instead of the standard 20-30 games on launch, Stadia would begin with roughly a dozen, thankfully that number was raised after intense public outcry from the gaming base.
That outcry though doesn’t seem to have fixed the Stadia store where bundles seem to actually cost more than purchasing the products separately.
While these problems are serious and show a definite lack of understanding from Google when it comes to the gaming industry and perhaps even its own product, the mistakes did not decimate the product, at least for myself.
Once in my hand, and Red Dead purchased, I found myself seamlessly playing on my phone, computer, and TV in a seamless fashion. I could then switch to Assasins Creed a 70 GB + download within seconds.
I paid roughly $200 Canadian dollars to have access in theory to a permanently upgraded rig, alongside a $10 monthly fee.
For a PC gamer who normally spends thousands on a computer, the cost savings where serious. The flexibility though of being able to play virtually anywhere in my house including my bed and my girlfriend’s home was perhaps the most satisfying.
While certainly not as detailed as the Xbox One Pro, PS5, or high-end PC, there’s no denying that Google has put forward a product that can disrupt the entire industry, especially as updates continue to roll out and internet speeds continue to rapidly increase especially with the coming addition of 5G networks.
This is perhaps why the overall failure of Google to roll out its product properly is most disappointing.
Google had in its hand a truly revolutionary product that could take a serious share of the gaming market from the big four standard devices and it chose to rush it out instead of waiting a few extra weeks and calming down its marketing in order to keep expectations in line with reality.
Will that mistake harm the product long-term?
For now, I’d venture that the product can grow, but only if Google actively focuses on improving it by reaching the promised 4K native stream and bringing on far more games before competitors from Nvidia or Microsoft make it on the broader market.
Google’s new streaming-based gaming console appears to be off to a solid start with the Stadia Founder’s Edition officially selling out everywhere.
According to Google Stadia’s Twitter account, the Founder’s Edition sales have now followed Europe’s pattern and ran out. Not to worry for those interested in purchasing a Stadia as a Premiere edition with fewer perks is now available for sale.
While increased sales are a good sign for Google and its parent company Alphabet, many buyers have found out that their orders will not arrive by launch date, instead they will be arriving later in November.
Outside of delivery lag, Stadia has also faced recent controversy for the rather high level of latency which can cause fairly large problems in high-intensity games such as shooters.
According to one PC Gamer article, “latency is clearly present. During an intense fight in Doom, moving and aiming and shooting with the mouse and keyboard just feels sluggish, especially compared to playing on a high-end PC.
“Playing the first level of Doom… I died… I never die on the first level these days when playing at home, at least on the default difficulty”
In response to latency, Google has said they will be investing in AI which will focus on predicting which buttons the player will press before they do, creating a situation of “negative latency.”