Stadia has had a rough start, to say the least. The service started with a limited game library and missing features. It also had an unclear pricing structure and a lot of miss leading information that they refused to address, but despite all that I liked stadia from the beginning. The technology was great and if you had a good internet connection it worked. To me, cloud gaming has a lot of potentials and should be a big part of gaming’s future. The tech has improved, the feature list is increasing, and the game library has grown but there is still a lot of room for stadia to grow and improve.
Unfortunately, stadia has already closed down its gaming studio so this one might be a little hard, but I have a solution. Instead of them creating their own game from scratch, they can start by signing one-year exclusive deals with independent game studios. This leaves the game-making to the people who have a real passion for it and allows google to focus on making the technology as good as it can be. They should also go to gaming companies and try to get them to make games that are only possible in the cloud. I don’t know how that would look, but maybe an online game with a crazy amount of players per server. They could also use the exclusives to bolster their subscription service, Stadia Pro. This also allows Stadia Pro to try to compete with other services like Xbox Gamepass. They may be years away from being able to compete with Sony and Microsoft, but it’s good to start trying.
Youtube TV is pretty good, Youtube music exists, and Youtube premium is a good deal. Why not create a package that includes all of that and stadia. It will give people more incentive to try out stadia plus and it gives google a competitor to Apple one. You could even do a deal with Spotify or HBO max to bundle with stadia. This we’ll get more people who weren’t going to try stadia to at least give it a look. They also should try bundling some games too. Do a Ubisoft bundle or do a sports package. Bundling can be a great benefit for people building their gaming library on Stadia. A great library builds people’s investment into a platform.
3rd Party Support
The third-party games have been steadily improving over time for stadia but there is still room for improvement. Cyberpunk 2077 for all its faults was especially great for stadia and showed the potential of cloud gaming. No downloading giant patches and being able to play at midnight with no pre-downloading was nice. It also ran well compared to the PS4 and Xbox One X versions. So far most of the 3rd party support is from Ubisoft and EA with mixed results on the quality of the ports. The indie games have been good but one of the promises of Stadia was playing AAA games on devices that can’t run them. I would like to see them get some more western and Japanese RPGs. Getting games on the same release date as the consoles have also been an issue. If stadia can get the big games on the same day as other platforms, it will be a big boost to Stadia.
Now we get into wishful thinking territory. Let’s start with the oculus browser. Imagine being able to play AAA games like cyberpunk 2077 or Resident Evil Village in VR on a big screen with virtually no lag. Using Stadia on Oculus now requires you to run it on your pc and then have it stream to your headset via BigScreenVR or Virtual Desktop. This in my opinion creates too much lag. Then there is playing VR games from the cloud. I’m a big VR fan so being able to play PC VR games in the cloud would be amazing. This would require great internet speed and other work arounds to get it to work correctly. With VR still in the early days, I don’t see this being a priority but I think it would be good for Stadia to build goodwill with VR enthusiasts.
During my time using stadia the streaming technology has been really impressive. When it works it feels magical and for me, it works most of the time with very few frame drops. To be fair my internet is around 100Mbps down, and I haven’t tried it with my 4G cell service. Stadia has some good things going for it and some bad things it needs to fix. These are the things I feel like stadia could use to boost stadia’s appeal. I’m invested in cloud gaming and I hope Stadia becomes a bigger part of the gaming industry.