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Google Stadia is out now for early adopters, well a few anyway

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Today, the Google Stadia streaming service officially launched for those who picked up the Founder or Premier Edition.

Well, sort of anyway. Some people have it, a lot of people don't, we certainly don't and it appears the team at Stadia give different answers to different people on when you will actually be able to access it. I've also seen plenty of people whose orders have been cancelled without warning or explanation. Even worse still, some people have been sent their hardware without an access code. Google have, so far, done a terrible job at communicating on Stadia and so the initial launch doesn't seem to have gone down well at all.

Oh, they also have the most ridiculous launch trailer I've ever seen:

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The more I think about it, the more amazed I am at just how badly this has been managed. Take a look at the actual proper Stadia website for example, there's not a contact or support link in sight.

So they originally had a tiny lineup, then did a Reddit AMA where they said a bunch of the hooks they used to get people in weren't actually ready at all and hastily announced a few more games just before release. Nothing about it has so far looked like they've been in any way prepared to launch a gaming service.

One thing that I've seen confirmed now, as many suspected, is that input lag does seem to be a real problem. Google talked big about their powerful hardware and everything they were doing to bring it down, but it seems they haven't solved anything at all so far. Looking at the Eurogamer article, the input lag table included was quite impressive. This video from The Post also makes it look pretty awful.

From what Jason Schreier of Kotaku said on Twitter from "one person involved" that "preorders were below expectations". I really can't get my head around that. Somehow, they didn't get as many preorders as they had hoped and simultaneously failed to get them into the hands of people who did buy into it early. Words are honestly failing me right now. Incredible.

Eventually, at some point we will get access to it to report on how it works when played on a Linux desktop. When that is, I can't tell you, Google can't either. We're playing delivery bingo right now.

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DarthJarjar 20 November 2019 at 5:21 pm UTC
You can check the Wikipedia page on sound latency to have an interesting discussion on that subject. It seems that musicians and sound engineers have studied this for a long time.
For instance, each meters adds a 3ms sound latency; and, when earing your own voice, a 15ms latency is noticeable.
That gives you a little more respect for the work of musicians when they try to work together onstage.
thoughtfulhippo 20 November 2019 at 5:33 pm UTC
I pre-ordered, and have been conflicted over the value of the service, but yesterday decided to cancel.

Originally I (probably very naively) wanted to support Stadia because it runs on Linux, and hoped the long term effect would be more Linux native games. I also thought Stadia might be the most legitimate way to play Borderlands 3 and Cyberpunk 2077. But neither of those games are available on Stadia yet, and will likely be on Steam at the same time they hit Stadia, making me wonder why I would get them on Stadia.

However, yesterday I went to the pub and didn't cancel; my Stadia kit is arriving tomorrow!

I do get a Chromecast which I wanted anyway (especially since Amazon Prime now supports it), my partner has a Pixel 3 so I'll 'borrow' that for testing, and it might be a solution for the kids wanting to replace an aging gaming laptop.

But the lack of included (free) and interesting (to me) games, means this might just end up being a tech demo for now.
kaiman 20 November 2019 at 5:55 pm UTC
Liam DawePeople got both the hardware and code yesterday, who ordered months after the first lot did after they went up. Google messed up badly.
So someone confused a FIFO with a LIFO queue? Come on, that could have happened to the best of us! And it's not like Google has a strong standing in software development :‑D.
Liam Dawe 20 November 2019 at 8:08 pm UTC
Liam DawePeople got both the hardware and code yesterday, who ordered months after the first lot did after they went up. Google messed up badly.
So someone confused a FIFO with a LIFO queue? Come on, that could have happened to the best of us! And it's not like Google has a strong standing in software development :‑D.
Yup. My hardware comes tomorrow, yet I ordered start of October. There's people who ordered in June, who won't get it until December.

As for the Stadia team, they've now decided to just repeat this line to everyone who hasn't been given a code to even access the service (even after delivery of the hardware):
QuoteHi there, we're sorry for the delay. We're aware that some users may not have received their invite codes in the expected time frame. We've now continued to roll out codes in the sequence in which we received your pre-order. Thanks for bearing with us.
sypher7 20 November 2019 at 9:37 pm UTC
I think the order in which people are getting their orders might come down to local supply. I ordered on June 6 and got both my physical order and code yesterday; however, it shipped out from a warehouse near me so maybe that is why I got it so quickly?

Hard to say, but definitely isn't as straightforward as the ordering getting reversed.
SuperTux 21 November 2019 at 12:02 am UTC
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My hardware shipped today, ETA within next two days. Not sure when I will see the code though, but it's an improvement over the December estimate.

I wonder how many canceled pre-orders?
edo 21 November 2019 at 1:42 am UTC
If your internet is fast enough for stedia, you can afford downloads
Eike 21 November 2019 at 8:27 am UTC
edoIf your internet is fast enough for stedia, you can afford downloads

With a data rate suitable for Stadia, it can take you hours before you have finished a download and can start playing.
Ehvis 21 November 2019 at 11:07 am UTC
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Finally saw some screens in PNG format. Didn't help much. I thought the screenshots of Shadow of the Tomb Raider were especially disappointing. Since I've been playing that recently, I know what to expect if everything is on full settings. But detail seems low. Even scaling the 4k screenshots down to 1080p didn't make it better. It still looks bland and washed out. I think the main problem is that the compression removes all the texture from the textures. This reduces a 4k picture to something with less fidelity than a 1080p screenshot. I suppose it could acceptable in a couch/tv setup, but on a PC with a monitor it's just bad. And it seems like the whole 4k thing red herring since none of the detail that you would expect from it survives the transmission (if rendered at all).

So for now it looks like the only people that will probably be happy with it are casual console gamers that don't want to get rid of their dedicated device. But with a very good internet connection without data cap of course. And can connect their chromecast to an ethernet cable because apparently wifi causes bad lag spikes (not too surprising).
Skipperro 21 November 2019 at 11:48 am UTC
Just FYI - I've just tested it with some co-workers on a company's network (fiber optic 1 Gbit, in Germany) using just an office-PC, Chrome browser, mouse and keyboard (controller is still in transit).

If looks FANTASTIC. We were able to spot some input lag on Destiny 2 if we looked closely, but it was very small. The game was perfectly playable.
Image quality was also satisfying. No compression artifacts, no resolution drops ect. Everything sharp and in HDR. Don't know what resolution it was, but my monitor was FullHD and it looked like FullHD.

I will test it at home later (got 50 Mbit) too see if it's still as smooth as now. But overall - I'm surprised. I was optimistic, but didn't thought it would run so well.

Last edited by Skipperro on 21 November 2019 at 11:50 am UTC
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