Google Stadia is going live tomorrow for the first users, but today embargoes have been lifted from dozens of outlets on reviews of the new service. So far, critics say Google Stadia’s tech is good, but there’s a lack of games and features, which means most people might just have to wait.
The most important part of early Stadia reviews is how well the service’s actual streaming feature actually works, and the good news is it does. Our Android Police friends are discussing their experience with the stream:
The service is not without its issues, however. Destiny 2 was a popular choice to check the service and it unfortunately revealed some lag problems. For example, Engadget immediately noticed a lag but saw things begin to smooth out soon after the start.
WIRED also caught up with the quality of the stream itself on an interesting issue. We explain that while the game is made in high quality, it doesn’t just look like it comes from a local console. Additionally, there is a lack of depth or sharpness in all games.
The Verge further articulated this point by comparing gameplay pictures on the new Tomb Raider game from a PC and Stadia as shown below. Ironically, the publication also pointed out in its Stadia analysis, despite Google saying otherwise, that the available version of Destiny 2 is only an upscaled version of 1080p.
Stadia (left) vs PC (right)
The use of data will also be a major concern for many users. Android Authority found that over 7 GB of data per hour was used on 720p by the service That’s a lot of info, but for most people who want to use the service at home, it’s probably not going to be a deal breaker.
Looking past how the service actually works, however, its lack of features and games turns Stadia into a source of lost points. The service is launching with 22 games and they’re all good options, but many reviews from Google Stadia say there’s no one killer title that should be interested in potential buyers. Since Stadia is currently limited only to the packages of its Founder and Premiere, there is no way to exploit its possible free tier or many of its features. Polygon states the following:
Also heavily criticized the platform by the people at Review Geek for its lack of release features. Wireless connectivity that does not work with the Stadia Controller on smartphones and computers, compatibility with Google Assistant, live stream sharing, and many other apps previously announced by Google simply does not work yet. We also illustrated an interesting issue on smartphones with game scaling.
So what about the console for the Stadia? Google Stadia’s only new piece of hardware is the Stadia Controller, and it’s a key part of the early adopters service. He’s also a very good master, luckily. Google Stadia’s almost every review states that the controller is easy and quick to hold.
Nonetheless, as The Verge describes, disabled buttons, the aforementioned wired requirement and other bugs take away somewhat from the experience.
So what does Stadia mean by all this? Based on these early Google Stadia reviews, this means you’re likely to have to wait. A lack of games and apps along with the not – so-small $130 investment required will not make the service to the vast majority of consumers worthwhile.
Perhaps this recommendation will improve as Stadia continues to mature over the next few months. There are also many service reviews which end on this stage. Stadia has enormous potential, but it’s not ready for everyone right now. Factors like the forthcoming features of Google, cross-play, and especially the free tier will be huge points to decide and impact whether or not Stadia is going to be a success.