Irrespective of whether you are a casual or hardcore gamer, you must have heard of Stadia - the latest innovation in cloud gaming which allows gamers to play their favorite game titles wherever they are, on any device. With massive performance upgrades over what's possible on a local machine, Google stadia gives players access to a ton of games that can be played using the Chrome browser, Chromecast devices, gaming consoles and Android games app.
In this article, let's look at what Stadia is and how it is changing the gaming world.
What is cloud gaming?
To put it simply, cloud gaming basically involves gaming over remote servers. This means that you don't need to physically own the game or a gaming console like a PlayStation or Xbox to play the game. Also, you don't even need to own a gaming PC or a powerful smartphone as all the heavy work is done by Google's servers. Not only can that save you a ton of money, you also get access to a wide range of games as and when they are released and you can play then whenever you want to.
Another major advantage is the fact that cloud gaming allows you to play on any platform of your choice. You can play these games on your PC, a mobile device, tablet or even a traditional gaming console. This can be great if you don't like to put down a ton of cash to buy gaming hardware or even if you travel a lot cause your games travel with you to anyplace you go.
The only thing you need is a fast internet connection and with technologies like 5G on the rise, this really won't be a problem going forward.
What is Stadia?
In short, Stadia is the latest innovation in cloud gaming which allows gamers to play their favorite game titles wherever they are, on any device. The technology is developed and marketed by Google.
The thing that sets Stadia apart is the fact that its technology is based on multiple computing components, which combine to enable low-latency gaming experience. Plus, the computations required to make sense of the game data are distributed across multiple nodes in a data center, rather than being carried by the computing device. This means that the game data is refreshed in real-time, which eliminates any lag in responsiveness and improves game performance.
What is Stadia's pricing?
The best part about Stadia is that it comes with a free tier. So all you need to do is sign-up to start playing games. Of-course, you will need to purchase the game once before you can play it on Stadia for free. This means, you don't have to buy into a subscription to use Stadia which is amazing.
Although Stadia does have an optional subscription plan (Stadia Pro) that allows you to play games in higher resolution and gives you access to free games and many other amazing features. The Stadia Pro is currently priced at $9.99/month which definitely sounds very affordable as compared to the other options available. By the way, you get two months free trial of Stadia Pro with the free sign-up so you can check it out and make an informed decision.
Plus, Stadia doesn't require any extra hardware to start gaming. All you need is a phone or a tablet with internet connectivity. You do have the option to buy the custom Stadia controller to enhance your gaming experience.
What are Stadia's requirements?
One of the primary requirements of using Stadia is a high speed internet connection. Google recommends an internet connection speed of 10 megabits per second (Mbps) or greater as the minimum recommended to use Stadia. To play in 4K resolution, you'll need an active Stadia Pro subscription and a network speed of 35 Mbps or greater. Want to know what your current internet speed is and if or not you can use Stadia? You can use a service like SpeedCheck to easily find out your internet speed.
As long as you take care of the internet connection, you can play Stadia on your computer using the latest Chrome browser. All you need is a keyboard and mouse on your computer to start playing.
The Android version requires a mobile device running Android 6.0 or greater. The iOS version requires a mobile device running iOS 11.0 or greater.
Are there any downsides to Stadia?
The only possible downside to Stadia is that you get locked to the system. In other words, the games you purchase on Stadia can only be played within Stadia. Yes, you can play them on multiple devices of your choice, but you still have to have Stadia to play them.
Another downside to Stadia is internet connectivity. You really need to spend some upfront cash to get good connectivity and preferably unlimited bandwidth to enjoy playing games on Stadia. If you don't have an unlimited connection, you really wouldn't benefit from Stadia.
What games are available on Stadia?
Stadia has a ton of games. Some popular games include, CuberPunk, Destiny 2, FIFA 21, Outriders, Red Dead Redemption, Assassin's Creed, Far Cry 5 & 6, The Elder Scrolls, Judgment, Borderlands 3, NBA 2K21 and Terraria.
What are the alternatives to Stadia?
There are many free and paid alternatives to Stadia. Some of them include GeForce Now (Free), Steam Link (Paid), Playstation Now (Paid), Parsec (Free), Moonlight (Free and open source service but needs NVidia GPU), Xcloud (Paid), Shadow (Paid) and Amazon Luna (Paid). But none of these services live up to what Stadia has to offer in terms of the number of games and the technology itself.
The cloud gaming market is on the rise and Google Stadia definitely looks like its here to stay. Even though not every gamer will find it attractive, Cloud Gaming and services like Stadia definitely have a unique consumer base which will only grow as technology and internet connectivity gets better and faster.