Question If stadia (or other streaming) takes off does this mean it's more likely to see all games on pc?

t99

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Jul 16, 2014
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Sorry if this is a stupid question.. Not sure if they are using computers to do this, but I figured they were. If so, then it seems more likely we see all games come out on pc if devs need to make games to run on pc in order to stream, right? Or is google making what is essentially crazy powerful "consoles" that will be able to stream so how the game is developed doesn't change much.
 

Gam3r01

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I dont see much changing in the near future in regards to game "streaming".
You are likely going to need a fairly robust system and internet connection to get a playable experience out of it, so people that dont have those are going to remain on console/PC games.

Exclusives are exclusives, they will follow their own trend.
I also dont see these streaming plans going well.
 
Stadia doesn't work like that. Stadia literally IS the platform. AMD built a custom GPU just for it that will have over 10 TFLOPS of compute power. That's more than the TFLOPS of Xbox One X and PS4 combined. Furthermore those GPUs will only be used in the Stadia data centers (7500 globally).

Stadia will not require a gaming system at all to play, just a display. It won't even require hardware acceleration. It can literally be used on a cell phone, tablet, netbook, laptop, desktop, or PC. If anything, Stadia should somewhat bring different platforms together.

They spoke in the stage demo announcement that they expect it to revitalize split screen gaming because it would no longer be a performance issue for the end user. And since they spoke of both gamepad and KB/M support, a lot of games made for Stadia should work well on both. That however will be somewhat up to the game developer.

Think of it this way though, developing just for the Stadia Data Center systems means a huge chunk of the time and money spent developing and testing for different platforms previously (especially PC), would mean now most developers can easily afford to have dedicated control schemes for both gamepads and KB/M.

There's a lot of pluses to Stadia, especially instant access, with no lengthy downloads, installs, etc. They're also saying mp especially will be vastly improved in performance. So much so they are talking the possibility of a 1000 players vs a max of 32 or 64. And playing with friends you could literally go well beyond just split screen, and have several small inset windows onscreen showing those playing with you, all being able to interact with one another.

They're saying Stadia will be streamed through Chrome, or any Chromecast equipped device. There's also a Stadia Gamepad as an option that has two extra buttons, one for capturing screenshots, the other, Google Assistant, for help in games when you're stuck trying to figure you're way through.

Games for Stadia will be on Linux though, and they didn't really clarify whether that means special versions of the games developed on Linux, or Windows games ported to Linux, which is what Valve tried for Steam Box and found they were not performing as well as the Windows versions. Ideally Stadia will grow in popularity enough that the games will be developed on Linux for it, vs ported over from Windows. One big plus though is they are using the Vulkan API, which works quite well with AMD GPUs too. Stadia could put AMD back on the map more so than Ryzen has.

I DO however have some skepticism, and from more than just technical standpoints.

(Stage demo starts at the 1:35 mark)

1. While I know game streaming services have existed and struggled through latency problems for a while, and that no one has better infrastructure than Google to support it, there were at least two points in the stream that showed severe image breakup. So you have to wonder if this catches on like wildfire if more and more people will suffer the same problem while playing games once the gaming audience grows.

2. This service will no doubt require uninterrupted FO lines from source to your home to work well, and a lot of places in the US still don't have FO. Even in the case where your service provider has FO, that doesn't necessarily mean the apt building one may live in does. So this could potentially become a have to be financially stable enough to be an owner not a renter thing.

3. There was literally NO info given on speculated game prices and required ISP speed, and in my searching I can't find ANY FAQ on Stadia. I've seen various services tack on a "free" Google Play trial as a selling point, only to find it's just a link that takes you to nothing but various movies and games Google is trying to sell you, so excuse me if I'm skeptical about what this will cost.

4. They claim you will be more secure playing strictly within the Stadia network vs the "public internet", yet they're quick to use the phrase "all over the internet" when referencing places to buy Stadia supported titles. I've 2 years back to back during holidays had the common Google Redirect bug, where the links it generates take you to sites that have zero to do with what you're searching for.

5. It's common knowledge the most used platform for alternative browsers is Chromium, but many don't know the most popular of them that is a secure browser, Epic Privacy Browser, also doesn't use Google, or Chrome's tracking your URL inputs, or even Google's servers. Why, because they are not exactly secure. So I have to be very skeptical about this claimed gaming security.

6. What about overly awkward security measures? One thing I can't stand about Google is it's the LEAST VPN friendly search engine out there, and the only way around those oft used bot checks is to either spend several minutes clicking this and that picture with a car or street light, or temporarily disable your VPN to access their search engine, which compromises your security.

7. If it works as well as advertised, this could in a short period of time put most gaming hardware manufacturers out of business, and become a monopoly in the process. That's a HELL a lot of power to give one company whom could then pretty much charge whatever they want for the service. Out of work HW manufacturers could form a coalition to hack this service.

8. Google has non existent customer service. Good luck getting a hold of anyone, or receiving anything but a vague email response of "we'll look into this", IF you get a response at all. And good luck getting help from the game devs, as they'll likely refer you to Google. I used to have respect for Jade Raymond (54:00), but since working at Ubi she's sold out to corporate gaming.

9. Image quality is one of my biggest concerns. You can't just toss out "1080p" and "4K" and expect everyone to ooh and ahh. We all know services like this use compression for efficiency, so that 1080p and 4k you actually see onscreen won't likely look as good as those resolutions from direct play of the game on decent hardware. When they keep using the mantra "on any hardware", you can likely expect it to look like it would on mediocre HW and settings.

10. Perhaps the biggest concern is the games have to be ported to Linux. Since Valve, a pretty wealthy company with expert coders whom had lots of manufacturer and developer support for Steam Box, already tried that with worse performance on the ported to Linux versions than on the original Windows versions, it seems a fool hearty venture even for Google. Unless as mentioned above they can get devs to develop on Linux so they won't have to be ported.

That said, if successful, this could very well become the new streaming version of Steam. I know a lot of people rave about Steam sale prices, but in reality it's mostly only older games that go on big sales, meaning you have to be VERY patient to make use of them. Every time I look at Steam sales they are either games I already own, or obscure titles I have no interest in. Price wise I've not seen anything from Google that encourages me though. Whenever it comes to selling other people's content, they if anything have fairly high prices. And their YouTube Red and YouTube TV services are a joke. They make it sound like you get a lot of extra content with YT Red, but in reality it's only ad free. YouTube TV costs more than it should when you compare it to other TV streaming services.

If Steam was enough to make Valve so filthy rich they pretty much became lazy by it and nearly retired from game development, you can imagine what Stadia will do to the much greedier Google. They DO however have some big hurdles to overcome, not the least of which is porting to Linux. It's something that proved very time consuming and not as effective performance wise as Valve had hoped. So there's a lot of red flags here for me.

That said, I'm also very optimistic that this could be an even bigger boon to gaming than YouTube has been. One of the biggest hassles for any of us whom don't have money to burn has always been the expense of upgrading hardware. It usually involves a period of lowering settings as your current hardware gets older. This is followed by trying to decide and plan when to upgrade it, which is then followed by the annoyance of prices dropping on what you just bought, and new more powerful hardware coming out.

This will all be a thing of the past with Stadia if it grows large enough to support all games. The advance in tech will be shouldered by Google, and they will easily be able to afford and stay on top of it. This will also mean developers will no longer be restricted by console hardware limitations.
 
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Windows PCs already get most games that appear on Sony and Microsoft's consoles, although some come to the platform later than others. Any big "console exclusives" are typically due to the company paying developers to make their games exclusive to that platform, as a way to encourage people to buy their hardware. Or in some cases, the company owns the development studio outright. So, I wouldn't expect anything to change there.

As for Stadia, it's yet another game streaming service, which have been around for years, and have never really caught on, and in some cases have gone out of business, leaving their customers without their games, or even save files. The biggest issues with streaming games tend to be latency and image quality, which can both be pretty poor relative to playing games natively. Maybe google can do better than the other companies that have failed in the past, due their large number of server locations and resources, but I wouldn't count on the experience being as good as playing games on even a lower-end gaming PC. Unless you live right near an urban center where they have servers, expect input lag to be poor. Also expect 1080p gaming to probably look more like 720p in motion.
 

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