Streaming games isn't new. Some companies have had better luck with the idea than others, with juggernauts like Microsoft and Sony having their own troubles getting the idea to catch on. Which is admittedly strange, because the idea is pretty solid! Being able to start a game at home, jump into the experience on your smartphone while you're out and about, and then finishing up when you get back home is pretty cool.
That ability to save the progress made is crucial, though. Just turning on a game from one device to another is a very different experience, and, unsurprisingly, not something that most people who play video games want. For example, if someone playing Destiny 2 starts at home, they don't want to just rehash the same content while they're out in the world, only to have to do it all over yet again when they get back home.
Google Stadia has an answer to that and more, and it looks like a genuinely worthwhile service. Especially considering it only costs $10 per month, and supports 4K HDR gaming at 60fps (as long as your internet connection is solid enough to handle it). Google is going big with the idea of streaming games, with a launch in November that may actually pick up quite a few subscribers right out of the gate. Especially since it has so many games coming to the platform, including Bungie's aforementioned Destiny 2 and the brand new Baldur's Gate 3, among other titles.
I'm not entirely sure that it's something I'm going to pony up the cash for, though.
Streaming video games is something that I think is a cool idea in theory, on paper even, but when I get out into the real world I know that it's not something I've ever actually wanted to do. This mostly comes down to the fact that the games I do find time to play at home are titles like Destiny 2 or Apex Legends, both of which I want to experience on my TV and with a controller in hand.
Of course, Google Stadia is primarily meant to be used at home, and for that reason alone it's probably going to be a solid choice for a lot of people. Especially with the low monthly cost, the supported games, and compared to the price of, say, the Xbox One X or the PlayStation 4 Pro to the Chromecast Ultra.
But that support for playing games on a tablet, or within the Chrome web browser, or even on your Pixel 3 XL is where things get interesting. Google wants to use its knowledge of the cloud to offer as much availability for these games as possible, and it honestly looks like it's moving in the right direction. Stadia is an attractive option for people who want to play video games.
Even the streaming options aside, I don't think I'd give up my extensive years with Xbox Live (or even my off-and-on relationship with the PlayStation Network). I imagine a lot of folks who have built up their friends lists and circles of fellow gamers won't abandon those efforts, either. But for new gamers? Or those who just want another option? Stadia sounds like it could be worthwhile.
How do you feel about Google's new video gaming effort? Is Stadia something you're looking forward to, and planning on signing up for immediately once the service goes live in November? Or will you be sticking with Sony, Microsoft, and/or Nintendo? Let me know!