It’s been a year since Google Stadia was first made available to the public, and in that time the service has shown itself to many despite the fact that there are still some issues. While cloud streaming still has challenges to solve, Stadia has proven itself as something that can change the way people play games for the better. In the past year, however, many myths and misconceptions about Stadia have run rampant. Here’s why a lot of what you’ve heard about Stadia is wrong.
Myth: Dig have to pay monthly to use Stadia
This is by far the biggest myth about Stadia – that it is expensive and that you have to pay monthly on top of the price of games. Truly, nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, this is how Google Stadium pricing actually works. The platform itself ̵
Alternatively, there is the Stadia Pro. The $ 9.99 monthly subscription opens up additional features such as 4K HDR streams, 5.1 Surround Sound and most importantly a collection of redeemable games that you can play at no extra cost as long as your subscription continues. On average, 4-5 games are added to Pro each month, and as long as your subscription is active, those games will remain in your library. They do not rotate out, and if you leave the Pro and then come back, the games are ready right where you left off. This subscription is by no means necessary, but it is easily the best way to experience Stadia.
The real “mythical” status of this widespread misconception is that Destiny 2 is now completely free to play at Stadia. No subscription, no game purchase and no hardware required. Just grab the laptop or smartphone you already own and go for it. In addition, there will be more free games.
Myth: Stages close
Stadia is a long-term game. Could it shut down finally? Yes, absolutely. But any new project or business has that risk! Should Stadia prove it monumental failed years from now, Google may have to make a hard call, but if they ever get to it, the odds are in the player’s favor that Google will compensate for it with a refund or even a replacement product.
However, there are some important things to note. First, Google is currently offering incentives to developers to bring games to Stadia, and the company is especially looking for titles that can help bring the public in 2023 and beyond. While three years is not exactly a long time, it also shows that Google is looking to the future. Also this week, an unfortunate ransomware leak from Capcom hit the internet and revealed, among other things, that Google had apparently paid million dollars to bring Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil 8 to Stadia. While Google is an absolutely massive company with absurd amounts of money, it is still an amount of cash that is nothing to spot two games.
See, I can not say that Stadia will hold on forever and that you can sit down with confidence that the platform will exist the rest of the time. But what I can say is, In most cases, when Google pulls the plug on a product, it’s either because 1) they have something “better” to replace it with or 2) they have given it a fair chance and killed it because it turned out to be a failure (RIP Google+) .
Myth: Stadia has ‘terrible’ input delay
Okay, let’s talk delay. Since Stadia’s announcement, people have been making cracks about waiting time and delay, and how streaming from the cloud will never be as good as a local machine. Yes, latency has been added when streaming, but as the vast majority of people who actually try Stadia at the recommended connection strength will tell you, latency is basically indistinguishable from a local machine. Input delay is a non-issue at Stadia – in fact, it’s a bit of a miracle.
While we’re at it, let’s talk about this damn GIF. This clip from Washington Post has been floating around on the internet for a year, which is proof that Stadia has terrible input delay.
What GIF does not tell you is that Stadia was played in a corporate office on an Enterprise network, something Google explicitly stated Stages were not suitable at that time because the congested network added latency to the power. It’s a terrible example of Stadia’s performance and not at all a picture of what the vast majority of the platform’s customers will experience. Do not believe me? Sign up for the free trial (or “buy” Crayta for zero price) and try it for yourself! I highly doubt you will see the same results as this awful example.
Myth: You have to pay full price for every game at Stadia
This is one of the most common misconceptions I have seen about Stadia, and also one that is easy to explain. Yes, at Stadia you often pay the full price for a game, but it’s the same price you pay for the digital version of a game on any other platform. Of course, the argument can be made that physical games are often more affordable, but in recent years, countless gamers have switched to digital games only, and console manufacturers are pushing it harder with more affordable consoles that lack disk drives.
But beyond that, some also claim that Stadia does not sell games. While we have yet to see a sale on the order of anything that Steam occasionally does, Stadia has regular sales. Every week there is a new set of discounts and then some random sales on top of what often matches other platforms. In particular, Borderlands 3 is currently massively discounted to $ 20, a sale no other platform sees. Plus, the $ 20 price tag is lower than Steam has ever seen before. Stadia Pro subscribers also get access to larger sales that can sometimes take up to 80% off the price of a game, and you keep those games even if you lose your Pro subscription!
Myth: You do not own your games at Stadia
Given the nature of cloud streaming, people automatically assume that you do not “own” your games on Stadia. Here’s why.
At Stadia, your purchase of a game is a license to play this game at Stadia. You can compare it to buying a game on Steam or a digital purchase on PlayStation or Xbox. The only difference is that you do not actively download the game using this license. For the average person, there is absolutely no difference in ownership between buying a game from Stadia versus Steam, PlayStation or Xbox – at least when you buy the digital versions. In addition, game stores will eventually close. The Wii Shop died in 2019, 13 years after the console’s launch, as just one example.
In contrast, Stadia really is only real cloud gaming platform where you have a sense of ownership over your games. On Xbox Game Pass, a title can leave the subscription service at any time, leaving you without access if you do not own a console to play it on. At Amazon Luna, you can not buy your games either. If you stop the subscription, the game is gone.
Myth: Stadia Pro is not worth it – there are not enough games
When comparing cloud services, Google Stadia may not work so well when you consider that Stadia Pro only offers a few games each month, far from the dozens or hundreds that Luna and Game Pass bring to the table. While the “all you can eat” model of the Netflix is what many people want, it’s not really that far away from what you get with the Stadia Pro.
As of November 2020, Google currently offers more than 30 games for free as part of the Stadia Pro subscription, and all of these titles will be permanently added to your library as long as you remain a subscriber. Some games participate in December and some games leave, but what is important to talk about here is the total number of games that have been offered to date.
If you signed up for Stadia Pro back at launch, November 2019, you have been able to redeem more than 50 games in the last year, almost half of Stadia’s entire library. This list has included massive titles like Destiny 2: The Collection, PUBG, SuperHot, Sniper Elite 4 and the Tomb Raider collection too! It’s a really difficult value to argue against if you ask me, especially since these games stay in your library as long as the subscription lasts.
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