How Is Google Stadia Considered A Console? And What Is It’s Purpose? Let’s Take A Look!

I play a lot of games and own a lot of consoles, and am a serious gamer. So you know, I’m part of the target audience for Stadia, right? Maybe? Truthfully I’m not sure. Maybe it’s for more casual gamers who don’t really own any consoles?

I remember when Google first announced their plans to create a streaming console. They said something along the lines of “stream all the new big games, no console, no discs, just instant access to whatever you want to play, for nothing more than a monthly payment.” All Stadia would be is a controller that connects to your TV or what-have-you, and away you’ll play.

I was immediately turned off to the idea of a console that requires you to have a steady internet connection just to play it. So I stopped paying attention to it.

Well, thanks to the collector in me, and a very good deal, I found myself with a free controller and one month subscription (also for free) for Stadia and here’s what I’ve got to say.

So either they falsely marketed it, or did a very bad job communicating their vision, or in the years up to it’s release they changed what it’s all about. I never read anything about it after it’s initial announcement so I can’t really say what went on.

So firstly, the “console” isn’t based off the controller. The console is a Google Chrome-only accessible…website basically, that is more or less an online store like epicgames.com. The convenient thing about this is you can access this literally on any device you have Chrome and a Google account on. So you can game anywhere where there’s an internet connection, so gaming on the go on your phone is out.

The controller can be used to connect to your computer, TV, phone, whatever, by inputting button codes telling the controller what to connect to. This works very well. After you download a couple apps on your phone needed to connect to all of them. Oh, and you’ll also need a Chromecast Ultra if you want to play on your TV, which does come with the Stadia Premium Edition, which it’s cost has been lowered to $99, probably due to lack of interest. You can play straight away on PC though, no apps, controllers or other accessories required.

So as I said, Stadia is an online store. Except it’s a very, very small store. You can browse through it’s entirety in about two minutes, if that.

So when they announced it, it sounded like all you had to do is pay for the subscription and unlimited access to every game on the store is yours.

Well, I hate to inform you that this is not the case. What you have “free” access to is an ever-growing handful of games that are given to subscribers, much like Amazon, Sony, and Xbox subscribers receive each month. But unlike those consoles, the Stadia games seem to stay up forever, instead of only giving you a month to claim them. The subscription fee is $10 dollars by the way, which is pretty gosh-darn reasonable.

Once claimed, you can play these games as long as you’re subscribed. Once you unsubscribe, they will still stick to your account, but you will be unable to play them until you subscribe again.

This would be okay, but there are only like 20-30 games (though it’s always growing), and most of them are indie games, and the low amount of big name games are several years old.

As for the brand new big name games they boasted about being able to play when first announced, there’s a few. Not many, and most of them are UbiSoft games, because they seem to have some type of deal with the popular gaming company, and you can even link your Stadia account to your UPlay account.

How do you play these new games, and the small selection of other games on the store? Well you have to buy them of course! At full price? You bet! Though they do run some pretty good sales by the looks of it, and subscribers get even bigger discounts.

Games you buy are at least playable whether you subscribe or not. But there’s a small catch. If you are not subscribed, you cannot play your games in 4K or use the best sound quality. Drats…No big deal to a lot of people I imagine.

I did try out one game, the latest Hitman (maybe?) and played it for about five-ten minutes. It ran fairly well, only hiccuping a couple times for like a second, which happens plenty of times in games that aren’t being streamed, so at least it works.

And that is all the details about Stadia.

So let’s break down Google’s “console.”

If you want the Chromecast and controller to be able to play anywhere but your PC, you have to pay $100. If you want to just play on PC, all you need to do is subscribe on their website/store for $10/month.

Once done, you can play a handful of free games you don’t want as long as you subscribe, and have to pay for games you do want to play, but in worse quality if unsubscribed.

Where is the console part here? This is basically Steam, UPlay, EA Origin, like all the other DRM’s out there, except you have to pay for it, so it’s more like UbiSoft and EA’s versions that you can subscribe to, but you seem to get a whole lot more with them.

Steam has a controller. It’s not called a console. I just don’t get why it’s considered a console. And I don’t get why anyone would ever subscribe to Stadia. There’s literally no reason to. And if you don’t have a great connection, then what’s the point? There’s too much competition, and not only in just the gaming market. There’s just entirely too many streaming services in general, and Stadia just isn’t worth yet another monthly subscription to add to Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, and the other 2000 streaming services out there. So I really don’t get it, and I imagine most people are on the same side as me, as it appears to be flopping pretty hard.

So basically, I wouldn’t be surprised if the store shut down thus all the games you bought are lost. That’s pretty infuriating even just to think about, and will be even more so, like 100fold, when it inevitably happens.

If You Can Work From Home Now, Then You Should Work From Home Always

One thing coronavirus has shown us is that a crap ton of people can work from home. As a result, traffic has been cut way down, thus lightening the daily stress and push towards insanity for those who are not so fortunate.

More and more people are returning to work nowadays (at least where I live), and for the the past 5 months or so, traffic has been getting steadily worse every day.

So if it’s possible to do your job from home in it’s full capacity, then why in the heck is that not always the case?

Cut down on the road traffic, and more importantly, the amount of pollution from car exhaust and all that.

Less cars on the road means less accidents.

But let’s face it, the government would never allow this to happen, because with less accidents, insurance companies, car dealers, and repair shops would take a large hit. Not to mention all the fuel sales the government would miss out on.

Plus corporations that employ these people would never allow that, because they always make pointless unnecessary decisions to over-complicate virtually everything, but that’s a whole other issue.

Whatever the reason, whether government greed, or corporate dumbassery, we absolutely have the technology for many, many people to work from home all year round.

Virtual Reality Gaming

With the release of the first two virtual reality gaming headsets, the HTC Vive for Steam and the Oculus Rift, and with the Playstation VR fast approaching, gaming has finally reached the technology and abilities we always talked and dreamed about as kids. But from what I can tell, this dream is more of a nightmare than anything.

Now, I am a firm believer in the whole “don’t knock it until you try it” saying, so I am saying straight away that these are just the views of someone who has not seen or tried any form of these virtual reality headsets, so I really have no basis or intention to say if they are actually good products or not.

Instead, I am speaking to you as someone who loves video games, especially companies not afraid to innovate and try something new, which is exactly why Nintendo is my favorite game company, always seemingly focused on the gameplay and experience, rather than pretty graphics, which is why we all play video games…to play them…not to look at them (or so I hope). So when I heard about virtual reality becoming a reality, I was pumped. Something new for gamers to sink their teeth into! I eagerly awaited any type of footage for some games and when the day came that footage started being shown, with more and more revealed all the time, I found myself extremely disappointed.

The games, again I have not played any of these, look terribly boring. Many of them are just walking and looking around. I realize this is the advantage of virtual reality, to make you feel like you are in the game, but there should really be a game involved in the looking around. Something immersive and amazing at the same time. I imagine like some amazing Call of Duty or God of War in first person action game, not looking around a forest and fighting some creature. Plus many of the games have the option of using regular controllers, which looks like it takes away from the experience completely, though the option is nice I suppose. There are new controllers as well, for example the Oculus Rift uses two circular controllers with buttons to allow for a much more immersive time while in the headset, though any footage I have seen from them just looks boring as well. New and innovative for sure, but completely uninteresting.

They also look like they would be more fun playing with other people, but as far as I can tell, you can only play solo, no one else can see what you see, and you can’t see them. But if you were to both have headsets, then it would be cool to look over at your friend and see his virtual self standing next to you in some game, where you can frolic through wastelands killing all sorts of bad guys and the like.

But here’s the biggest turn off to the virtual reality headsets. I just mentioned buying two of them to play with other people. If some siblings wanted to buy 2-4 of them so they can all play together, their parents might as well sell their house to pay for it.

The Playstation VR is $400, just as expensive as the PS4, the Vive is doubled that at $800. and the Occulus is $1500!

Many people would struggle to buy one of these things, so multiplayer in one household is out of the question. Even if the games looked super fun, these prices would not justify the purchase.

The only awesome game I saw was the player wielding a lightsaber and blocking lasers, though that too seemed like it would get boring rather quickly and admittedly, I probably only took interest in it because I love Star Wars so much. And this turned out to just be a tech demo and not an actual game, so there you go.

If the headsets were cheaper and the quality of games increased, I would definitely check out this new innovation in the gaming industry, but right now, I want to stay far, far away from it. Heck, even Nintendo said they have no interest in VR because it is not fun, though they might just be bitter about it because of the Virtual Boy. I wouldn’t be surprised if VR takes off that they would come out with the “New Virtual Boy.”

But I don’t really see this taking off, so I don’t think we will have to worry about that. I mean, people complained about the inability to sit on the couch and not move when they had to use motion controls for the Wii, and even about some of the motion and looking around using the gamepad on Wii U, so how in the world will people be okay with turning there head all around, moving their arms (for certain VR systems) and actually standing up!? Another thing I have heard many complaints about the Wii is those more self conscious worrying that they looked stupid while playing with motion controls. Well then how will they ever handle these new headsets and controllers?

To me, I feel like the first few times playing it will be a wonderful marvel, but once people get used to it and it no longer feels new, it will be abandoned in the corner of a closet somewhere. But odds are, it will be the most expensive thing buried in said closet.

Also, I feel like many things will get broken, household objects and bones from people banging into stuff or tripping and the what not. People were breaking stuff with the Wii Remotes, and they could fully see! Imagine that chaos while being blinded by a headset that transports your vision into a different world! Lawsuits ho!