I tried Stadia: A few weeks ago Google gave two months of Stadia Pro, I immediately rushed to try again the cloud gaming service after a good few months from its launch. My curiosity was linked not only to the number of titles added but also to the technical improvements, to the estate in a particularly stressful period for the network infrastructure that even forced the giants of the web to reduce the video quality on their platforms.
I tried Stadia
The emergency wanted me to be without the official Stadia joypad, I had to fall back on a makeshift mess found in the maze of the house. I approached Stadia again not in the best of conditions, without the official controller and in a period of network stress. I was a little healthy, I redeemed the two-month trial, put Destiny 2 on the list, and started the game. From that moment on it was pure pleasure.
The first ten minutes of gameplay were enough to make me notice how much the service had improved, how pleasant it was to play Destiny 2 in streaming . For the record, Destiny 2 is not exactly the most peaceful of titles, speed, frenzy and precision are on the agenda. It makes no sense here to talk again about what Google Stadia is, how it works and how much it costs, you can read our study of a few months ago . Between these lines you will find the improvements and news that Google has developed for Stadia, you will find my gaming experience in a fairly significant period.
I start from the conditions of my set up, I played mainly on the PC (wired) and on a small, cheap Windows 10 tablet (Wi-Fi) with a download speed of about 150 Mb / s. I have always used Stadia via Chrome and here I immediately noticed the first novelty, support for 4K at 60 fps from a web browser. Google promised that 4K at 60 fps on Chrome would arrive in 2020 and kept its promise. With a stable connection, playing Stadia at full resolution is definitely a pleasure and could surprise even the most skeptical.
I am referring above all to the hours I spent in the company of Lara Croft in Tomb Raider Definitive Edition which lends itself particularly well to showing the enormous qualities of Stadia. the level of detail and graphic effects achieved by Stadia with Tomb Raider is absolutely comparable to the physical consoles, the gameplay goes on without problems and I admit that I never had the feeling of input lag that a streaming service like Stadia could suggest for plus, I add, I played with a painful controller.
If with Tomb Raider I found myself great, I return to Destiny 2, a title that I consider even more difficult for Stadia. Thanks to Destiny 2 I also found myself struggling with a hardware limitation, I also tried Stadia on a very very old pc, with a dated Intel processor and I could not reach the maximum quality even under a wired connection (over 100 Mb / s ). The problem was the lack of hardware support to the VP9 codec to access 4K resolution. A tip, if you are playing Stadia via Chrome and you cannot go beyond FullHD even with a good connection, check the VP9 codec support by following these small steps:
Type in the browser’s address bar: chrome: // gpu
Go to the entry: video acceleration information
Look for the entry: VP9 decode
If absent, only FullHD affects you. It’s not a Stadia problem but it’s the hardware base that is too obsolete to handle a stable 4K data stream.
Returning to us, solved the arcane mystery, I moved to the main station to play Destiny 2 with the highest quality available. Compared to Tomb Raider, Destiny 2 shows more artifacts, there is a higher compression rate. I think it was intended to improve the gameplay itself but it is something that I noticed only by comparing Destiny 2 available on other platforms.
The point is this, I am not a pro gamer and to find small artifacts derived from compression I had to make a direct comparison. If you are not a hardened player, Stadia will seem perfect from a graphic point of view and beyond. I have not even been able to notice delays resulting from latency, I have not noticed anything at all, Destiny 2 went as smooth as oil.
To be honest some small delay I noticed it with Grid, another title that Stadia gives with the two months of Pro subscription. During a Grid session of about an hour or so, I caught two showy lag of about half a second that I they made the curve wrong (Grid is a car game).
I did not understand if the fault lies with Stadia, Grid, or my connection, but the point is that I have not given us so much importance. The pleasantness of the gameplay, the amazement of being able to play on hardware that can barely start, made me forget that I made a wrong turn because I don’t know what. The reason is simple with Stadia you have fun. And how if you are having fun, I would like to show you my expression in front of the umpteenth transformation of Goku in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2.
You see, my hours spent playing with Stadia made me feel part of a new community of cloud gaming enthusiasts. I have followed with pleasure the experiments of many Reddit users who have enabled the on-screen controls via smartphone (even if they don’t work so well) or who have previewed the 5.1 Surround sound via Chrome thanks to Google’s soft releases. Still others are helping users who are unable to download clips and screenshots from Stadia pointing out that for some strange reason it is possible to do it only from the web and not from a smartphone.
The reality is that Google is working well with Stadia , perhaps it is sinning in communication or perhaps it will have done so at an early stage. Stadia is not the cloud gaming service for pro gamers but even the semi pro will never think they can face a game classified in streaming. Those who say otherwise obviously do not know that for a pro gamer 1 ms of delay is almost unacceptable, the pro gamers point to keyboards optimized for various titles , they point to mice capable of being extremely precise even when the mouse is not perfectly adherent to the mat during a movement of the wrist.
Google Stadia is for all people like me, obviously, we are starting to be many. People who don’t have much time to play, who don’t want to take a next-gen console but who occasionally want to play some titles in peace. With Stadia you can do it with extreme pleasure and in the future, very future perspective, Stadia will be the vanguard. Physical competitors will have to constantly update the hardware, the user will have to shell out money for the hardware. With Stadia the hardware is put by Google, the consumer only has to buy the latest available title. Among other things, stocks are rising, slowly but rising.
There won’t be a flood of titles all at once, the war on licenses has started, several market players want to keep their exclusives and it will be increasingly hard to find an agreement. But if there is a brand that can easily close the agreements, that is Google. If Google wants, Stadia will be a leader in the future in the cloud gaming world because in fact it is already and Google in the gaming field more than Chrome’s eastern egg had not done. Impressive.