Google Stadia review round-up: Google’s console killer works but not there yet
Google Stadia has gone official. But is it better than playing on the traditional consoles? Here’s what reviewers have to say.
Is the era of consoles fading? Google earlier this year showcased 'Google Stadia', a new way of gaming where users don't need discs or dedicated hardware to play graphic-intensive games. The cloud-based gaming platform rolls out today in select regions with as many as 22 games such as Assassins Creed Odyssey, Destiny 2: The Collection, GYLT, Just Dance 2020, Kine, and Mortal Kombat 11.
Now that, Google Stadia is here, does it live up to the expectations? Well, based on early reviews it seems Google Stadia won't steal Sony or Nintendo's thunder just yet but does show immense potential. Let's check out what the reviewers are saying about Google's new gaming platform.
The Verge in its detailed review says that Google Stadia actually "works" and delivers seamless transitions between PCs and smartphones. IGN in its review says Google Stadia successfully delivered highest fidelity graphics for a streaming platform. It also pointed out that the service can also stream 60fps streaming making it on par with playing a game on console or top-end gaming PC.
Describing Google Stadia as a "pleasant surprise", Engadget also says the platform loaded games quickly and were free from "game-breaking issues."
"The Stadia nailed the impossible, and then failed the possible. The single most important challenge facing Google - getting video game streaming on a par with local play - has been passed with flying colours," wrote The Guardian.
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Not complete, yet
While Google Stadia works, it's not up to the mark, not yet. The Verge in its review pointed out that a lot of features showcased at Google's March event are yet to make its way to the platform. The catalogue is also not big enough. Some features such as ability to live-stream to YouTube in 4K when you're playing in 4K, cross-platform multiplayer are supposed to roll out in the future.
There appears to be an input lag on the platform as well, pointed out by both IGN and Engadget. "The same goes for Mortal Kombat 11 on the phone and Gylt on the laptop. In my time with each title, resolution dipped every now and then, and some button presses would trail behind the on-screen action, but overall, they performed like console-quality video games," said the Endgadget review.
The Guardian took a more critical approach to Google Stadia. Calling some aspects of the platform as "rushed launch", it said, "lackadaisical approach to quality is concerning, and we can only review what we've already got."
"A more fundamental concern is that it doesn't seem clear who it's for. Streaming is a technical wonder, but if it doesn't bring material advantages, what's the point? It's slightly cheaper than a home console - £119 for the Founders' edition, compared to an Xbox One S starting at £200 or a PS4 at £220. But pick up a few backlist games at used prices, and the savings soon disappear. They go a bit faster still if you compare the £6.99 PS+ or Xbox Live Gold to Stadia Pro," it added.
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