November 18, 2019
The new dawn of online gaming is upon us as Google readies the Nov. 19 launch of Stadia, the broadband-based platform affording users cloud-based access to games.
The platform promises to allow users access to major games heretofore only available on disc and playable on traditional consoles. Indeed, users will actually be playing games streamed to their PC, TV or mobile device from Google servers. Whether that ubiquitous access will actually be present at launch remains to be seen.
Online previews of the platform have been underwhelming with complaints ranging from limited titles available (about 22, but reportedly including Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, Doom Eternal and Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2, among others; poor 4K resolution, no multiple user play yet; no LTE network service, among other issues.
At the launch, the only way to use Stadia will be through the sold-out $130 Founder’s Edition, which includes a controller, 90 days of the Stadia Pro $10 monthly subscription service, and a Google Chromecast Ultra streaming media device to connect with the TV.
In a media interview last week, Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, said the next-gen Xbox Project Scarlett console coming from Microsoft next year would not be inferior to Stadia.
“I would say a learning from the Xbox One generation is we will not be out of position on power or price,” Spencer said. “If you remember the beginning of this generation we were a hundred dollars more expensive and yes, we were less powerful [than PlayStation].
“For us, the console is vital and central to our experience. A console should be designed, and built and optimized for one thing, and one thing only – gaming. This decisive moment of discovery is etched in your gaming history.”
Xbox Project Scarlett is set to launch for the winter holidays in 2020.