After I spent more hours gaming on Stadia the past few days than I did in the past 5 years playing games, I am convinced gaming through the cloud is indeed the future and here is why.
Though Google still has ways to go to make Stadia the gaming system that can truly compete with XBOX and Playstation, a few things I found myself enjoying about cloud gaming that made it more appealing. One of the things I enjoyed was not needing a box. For someone like me who prefers a minimalist look with as little boxes and components around the TV as possible, this is ideal. Having a giant box on the tv stand just provides clutter. To be able to play a game through the cloud via a Chromcast tucked behind the TV speaks modern-day tech.
The other thing that is appealing is the ability to take the game with you. We are living in an age where people catch up on shows and movies via the phone or tablet. This is also true for playing video games. With 5G on the horizon, we may soon be able to play high-quality games on the go. That means whether you are on the road, at the in-laws for the holidays, or away on a business trip you can still break out a controller and get to work catching up with your favorite game. This means whether you’re playing Call of Duty, Destiny 2, Red Dead, or any of your favorite high-quality games, you can do this despite not having to lug around a box everywhere you go.
Little loading times and updates.
A few years ago I picked up a PS4 on Black Friday and ended up taking it back a few days later. After spending hours updating the system then downloading the games, only to have to then update the games, I just felt like too much of my (very little) free time was spent waiting for everything to update. What I loved about the Stadia is that there was none of that. Once you set up your Chromecast and install the Stadia app you are all set. From the Chromecast screen, you just press the button combination, select your game, and it is literally game time. This means if you are someone like me who is always on the go and has little time to game, when you do game you can actually spend that time gaming and not watching your system go through series of updates.
There are a few drawbacks to cloud gaming though and the obvious involve bandwidth and data caps. If you live in a rural area where internet speeds and bandwidth are low then you will not be able to truly gain the most out of a cloud-based gaming system. The other problem will be if your ISP has data caps. According to the Stadia app, a person can burn through 20 GB of data an hour. So it will not take much to reach those caps and this could mean either slow down or having to pay expensive overtures. And the last drawback would be if you happen to experience a network outage. Since all of the games and gameplay (for Stadia) is done through Google’s servers that means those servers have to be operational. But if those servers happen to go down, this means no gaming for customers. This will also be the case if Google decided to fold up camp and shut everything down. If Sony or Microsoft decided to shut the doors customers still have a physical game and gaming system to continue playing their games. But for those who placed their gaming in the sky, they would have nothing to play if those servers were shut down permanently.
I see cloud gaming as the future and see the potential that can come from this. Yeah, there are some inherent risks. But if for the customers the rewards truly outweigh the risks then we will see people willing to jump on board. And this will happen if customers trust that the companies can provide a consistent level of high-level play through the cloud. This will mean little to no latency and the titles that people want to play. Plus the ISPs relaxing data caps to allow for the demand that high-resolution gaming will have over the cloud.