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First thoughts on Stadia

December 1, 2019

I bought a Stadia Founder’s Edition because I was curious to try the final version. I’d been skeptical that they’d be able to make the service responsive enough for games to be playable, but I got a chance to try an internal dogfood version and was thoroughly impressed by the quality of the experience. Plus I figured that even if I didn’t stick with Stadia, I could use the game controller for games on my Mac, and we could use the Chromecast Ultra to push content to our TV (which we’ve already done).

In some ways I figure I’m the perfect audience for Stadia. I like playing computer games, but I don’t play that many or that often, and I’m typically a year or two behind the curve when I finally get around to trying a game. And I’ve never bothered to purchase a high-end game console, because I’ll never use it enough to justify the investment in it. But a game platform where I don’t need to invest in a console but can still play console games? That sounds promising.

So far my Stadia experience has been good; high-quality streaming and low-latency input. I’ve mostly played Destiny 2 (access is included in the initial 3 month subscription), but I did take advantage of the initial games sale. My biggest complaint so far, in fact, has been around Destiny’s 2 gameplay: they give you almost zero instruction when you first get into the game, and in fact the story campaign content is essentially hidden (I had to search the Internet to figure out how to start it). Apparently they’ve decided that anyone buying the game at this point is doing so for the multiplayer experiences, but they’ve gone so far in that direction that they’re arguably making the game less fun for new players (they start all new players off with high-powered equipment, and there’s no more need to grow your character by unlocking abilities or subclasses). Since it’s included with the subscription I don’t mind too much, but if I’d actually bought the game I’d feel disappointed.

From → Software, Technology

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