Will Google Stadia be Successful

Google Stadia is an entirely virtual console. Will it take off or fail?

Recently, an entirely non-physical console has been announced. For those who know what it is and are wondering if it will take off or those who don’t, I will be talking about Google Stadia.

At a recent GDC, or Game Developers Conference, Google announced Google Stadia, a console where you can play games on any device. The console itself is not in your house, or probably anywhere near you. All the servers where they store the games you play are in their own building. You can stream the games from there to any device, including phones, very easily. They also have their own Stadia controller and an attachable keyboard, so people traveling don’t have to put up with touchscreen controls on a PC game.

Google Stadia is meant to be a console experience that you can have without a big piece of hardware in your house. The servers that hold the games you have on Stadia are in a building, as said before. This can help you run large-scale games on any device, which is what makes it an interesting announcement to many people with “lower quality” computers.

Stadia will also help Google sell Chromebooks because Stadia will run on any device, you can now play large, high-quality games on a Chromebook since all the data is stored at Google. This will increase Chromebook sales and is a good call on Google’s part, but what about for game developers?

Game developers don’t need to develop for many devices if they want to support Stadia, it is the exact same no matter what you play on. This will help developers in another way. You can’t buy used games if the whole thing is digital. This might seem bad for players, but on the developer’s part, it is a good advantage to have.

So you have a console that is completely online, no lag from low CPU power, a good place for developers to make games, so there has to be a catch right? There is one small drawback, actually. You can’t access games not stored on your computer if you don’t have internet. This is fine if you have WiFi running all the time or an infinite mobile data plan, but not ideal for playing without WiFi. The console can be used on mobile devices but is not much use on a phone if you can’t use it without the internet.

After the speech, Microsoft says the only way to beat the Google Stadia is to go big, and at E3 2019, Xbox will go big. Expect to see an entirely digital console from Microsoft and even Sony in the future to compete with Stadia.

This is all good, except for the internet requirement, but there is another benefit. An online console can update for everybody. Now that consoles are being replaced every three years, like with the PS4, PS Pro, and the upcoming PS5, many are complaining about hardware updates being too frequent. No hardware updates are needed because there is no hardware involved, and software updates can be done the same as we have been doing for traditional consoles.

I think the only thing that will make Stadia unsuccessful is the release of another entirely virtual console, which is likely, seeing that Microsoft and Sony are supposedly releasing new consoles around the time of Stadia.