It may not have been the best premiere of the year. Google Stadia arrived last November 2019 making a lot of noise, promising to change the way we would enjoy video games and, above all, wanting to revolutionize the market. While the ideas behind Google Stadia are quite enticing - no need to buy a console, be able to play anywhere, and the absence of updates and other downloads - its execution hasn't been the brightest.
Too soon. This is our summary after having been able to test Google Stadia. A not very large catalog, the obligation to pay a pro subscription and above all the feeling that the platform is still a little green if we compare it with the brands already established in the video game market.
However, we are aware that we are faced with a young service with ample room for maneuver. This is why 2020 should be the year in which Google "gets carried away" and demonstrates that its video game platform is an alternative to the big brands in the sector. For this, of course, you will have to work a lot and improve some aspects, will you do it?
Things to improve on Google Stadia in 2020
More devices you can play on
Google Stadia allows us to play on a TV with Chromecast Ultra, a computer using the Google Chrome browser or a Pixel phone. That is, no Smart TV or Android TV, no other Android or iOS phones, not even tablets.
While we'll be using Stadia on my living room TV or computer most of the time, what if I want to play it on my iPad? Or why can't I enjoy Stadia while traveling on the train thanks to a data connection? Google is selling us a service with the slogan "play wherever and whenever you want", but the reality is that I can't enjoy it on my Android tablet or iPad, on my Samsung phone or on a smart TV that doesn't have a Chromecast Ultra. Google points out: we want more devices where we can play Stadia.
Control via Wi-Fi? Where is the bluetooth?
It's understandable that Google wants us to play Stadia with its official controller instead of devices like the Dual Shock 4 or the Xbox controller. What doesn't make sense is that the official remote can only connect via Wi-Fi or USB cable. Hi Google, we are now in 2020 and for years there is a technology called bluetooth.
To get to work. The Stadia remote allows us to play on television with the Chromecast thanks to Wi-Fi connectivity. If you are using a computer or a Pixel phone, we need to connect it with a USB cable. On the other hand, while we can't play with a PlayStation 4 controller on television (because it can't be paired with Chromecast Ultra), we can play via bluetooth on the computer. Where is the meaning?
That is, if I want to play Tomb Raider on Stadia on my computer with the official controller, I have to use a cable because the bluetooth function is not enabled. Obviously, forget about using the Stadia Controller to play on Steam or any other game outside of Stadia. Google already has two things to improve.
General improvements in Stadia Pro and in the app
Today, in addition to buying the Premiere Edition for 129 euros, it is mandatory to pay 10 euros per month to use the platform. While it is true that they "give away" two games a month and give discounts, many users are unwilling to pay each month for this service. That's why Stadia Base will be out this year, and unlike the Pro version, games will not be given or will be allowed to play at a resolution higher than 1080, while the paid version theoretically reaches 4K.
But the truth is that Stadia Pro needs to improve a lot. 4K stands out for its absence, "free" games should be more attractive and obviously should have much more incentives than the future base version. More aggressive discounts, the ability to enjoy the titles before others, exclusive gifts… whatever.
And we can't forget the Stadia app either. There is an urgent need for improvement and much more content to be added. Unlocking achievements was the last to arrive, but if Google wants its service to rival that of the PlayStation 4 or Xbox, it needs to refine a lot of details.
Fortunately, 2020 has just begun and there is a lot of room for improvement for Stadia. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have done their homework. For this reason, if Google wants to sit at the same table as the greats, it cannot waste time.