Will Google Stadia flop?
It hasn’t had the best of launches.
UPDATE 9/29/2022 3:26 PM ET: Well, it’s official. After almost three years, Google has decided to shut down Google Stadia on January 18, 2023. The original story continues below.
The Google Stadia game streaming service has had a rocky time since launching in November, with Google taking flak for not meeting some of its launch promises. Now, however, 4K streaming has arrived for some games, new games have been added to the service, and more Android devices have been added to the supported device list.
With public sentiment being divided, can Google rescue Stadia and turn it into a powerhouse of gaming? Is it too late for the service now that competitors are rolling out their game streaming offerings?
Is Google Stadia doomed?
Short answer: It’s too early to tell
Look, we all know that Google is fond of killing off its services with untimely ends, but maybe it’s playing the long game with Stadia. I mean, analysts are saying this is a $360 billion market. That’s a lot of cash for the frontrunner, and Google has the infrastructure and the cash to make it work eventually.
The current business model needs to be tweaked though, with Google strong-arming the publishers so games purchased on other platforms can be streamed via Stadia’s subscription, in a similar way to how a GeForce Now subscription works.
The real issue here isn’t even which game streaming service you’ll use – it’s one of internet connectivity infrastructure. Stadia uses up to 16 GB of data per hour to stream at 4K. That’s a lot when you consider many gamers have usage caps on their home internet, and mobile data is expensive. That 4K stream also needs a 30 Mbps connection, and the average American only has a 26 Mbps broadband speed.
- Can you play your Stadia games once the Pro subscription runs out?
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- GeForce Now, Nvidia’s game streaming service, is now out of beta