Google Stadia launched this week, and a number of western tech media have had some time with the service. It’s not coming to Malaysia anytime soon, but you may be curious about what those familiar with it think anyway. The reception is mixed, but there’s one thing that they all have it common – your experience will differ.
Ultimately, the quality of your Google Stadia experience heavily depends on the quality of your internet connection to Google’s servers. This one factor alone will determine if you’ll be able to use Stadia the way Google wants you to, or if you’ll be confined to a single spot like a traditional console or gaming PC.
Mixed reactions abroad
A good illustration of this is the different tone of the Google Stadia reviews by Eurogamer and GamesRadar+. The former has a very detailed breakdown of their tests, and it looks like the experience is generally pleasant.
But the latter paints quite a different picture. Sure, the argument of convenience is still made here, but the experience is pretty much limited to in the writer’s apartment. And even then, playing with a wired connection to the router still resulted in a better experience.
It’s important to note that both these outlets are based in the UK. One could argue that, because they’re not in the US, their connection to Google’s servers will require more jumps, and this will inherently result in more lag and latency. But if that’s the Stadia experience of those in the UK, it doesn’t paint a pretty picture for those living further away from the US.
Same scenario back home
You’d think that the experience would generally be better in the States. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, with mixed verdicts there as well. VentureBeat has written a relatively positive experience, even on games that are very sensitive to connection dips like Destiny 2. That said, the writer claims that Google Stadia has other issues to worry about that’s unrelated to internet connection.
The most scathing review of Google Stadia, though, comes from the Washington Post’s video on YouTube. It shows that when there’s input lag, the timing for it is varied, meaning you can’t realistically compensate for it. And this is running on a connection with 2ms ping and download speeds of over 700Mbps.
One could argue that the level of tolerable lag differs from one individual to another. But if the Washington Post’s video is anything to go by, it’s difficult to imagine any serious gamer would find that sort of lag tolerable, let alone acceptable.
It’s also important to note that these are all reviews of Google Stadia before its launch. But even now that it has launched, the number of features that are only coming later may deter people from being early adopters. But when more people decide to give Google Stadia a go , it remains to be seen if the service can take the load.