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With Google's game streaming service Stadia inching closer, we have some more information to share about it. Part of this, is thanks to a recent AMA (Ask Me Anything) they did on Reddit. I've gone over what questions they answered, to give you a little overview.

Firstly, a few points about the Stadia Pro subscription: The Pro subscription is not meant to be like a "Netflix for Games", something people seem to think Stadia will end up as. Google said to think of it more like Xbox Live Gold or Playstation Plus. They're aiming to give Pro subscribers one free game a month "give or take". If you cancel Stadia Pro, you will lose access to free games claimed. However, you will get the previously claimed games back when you re-subscribe but not any you missed while not subscribed.

As for Stadia Base, as expected there will be no free games included. As already confirmed, both will let you buy games as normal.

We've still not seen what the UI will look like, but they did say it will be shown off before launch in November. As for features, it's launching with a basic set like being able to "play games across screens, no waiting for downloads or patches, social, store, etc". For social features at launch, you can "manage your friends list, create parties and use platform-level voice chat". However, Achievements will not be enabled at launch but they will come "a little bit later".

Stadia supports standard HID gamepads so Xbox Controller, DualShock 4 and likely many more. This shouldn't be too surprising, since Stadia is apparently using SDL (source). If you want to play on your TV, it will require a Stadia Controller and a Chromecast Ultra.

One thing I've seen people worry about (and I do share this worry), is what happens to games if Google decided to shut down Stadia? Google do have a history of starting things, going a few years and then stopping. Answering that, they said they will support "Takeout", so you can download "your game metadata, including saves if you want to". However, they said nothing about getting an actual download of your game in that case.

Modding support is something else people have been curious about and Google have confirmed Stadia does not support mods. However, they would like to and said they're "working with developers now to find the best way to do this".

As for cross-platform play, they said "cross-play and cross-progression are big priorities for us" and so it should be. Locking multiplayer behind closed doors just isn't what people want, where it makes sense for the type of game, it should be allowed and be possible so I'm happy that Google are well aware of this.

In regards to a question about Linux support, they said "Stadia will run in full desktop or laptop Chrome browsers.". They've been clearly steering away from mentioning any specific operating system, only that you simply need a Chrome browser and that's all across desktops and laptops. Project Stream (which Stadia was built upon), worked fine on Linux so I expect no issues there. Especially since the person from Google answering the questions, said they're most proud of "playing Assassin’s Creed on my son’s dirt-cheap Chromebook" so there's absolutely no reason why it won't work on a normal Linux distribution.

Since it will work on Linux and it's powered by Vulkan and Debian Linux, it's going to be interesting to try. I'm not sold on it personally but as a tech enthusiast I want to give it a go. For online-only games, that don't work on Linux and will likely never run on Linux, Stadia could be a pretty great option for us.

As an additional note, one not from the Reddit AMA, Ubisoft had some positive words to say about Stadia. Including that it doesn't cost them much extra to support it. We already knew they were planning to get their Uplay+ subscription library on Stadia, so that's not too surprising. The difference between supporting Stadia and the Linux desktop, is of course Stadia being one set configuration and a bigger market share.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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58 comments
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dubigrasu 20 July 2019 at 3:19 pm UTC
While I'm aware about the arguments people have against Stadia, I'm also extremely curious to see it in action.
At least for me the tech behind it (Linux/Debian/Vulkan) makes it fascinating.
AFAIK there's gonna be a "free" version of it (still need to buy the games) so there's no excuse for me to not try it, at least once.
fagnerln 20 July 2019 at 3:28 pm UTC
I hope that in the future, Google releases a desktop OS with this Stadia ecosystem running locally.
Kimyrielle 20 July 2019 at 3:30 pm UTC
I do understand streaming music and videos. I don't understand streaming games. In contrast to music and movies, people generally play only a very small selection of games at the same time, so having access to a huge library has not a lot of appeal in the case of games.
Also, hardcore gamers don't care about spending money for a good machine, while they DO care about any sort of FPS drops or ping lag, either of which is unavoidable when streaming. On the other hand, casual gamers don't need to stream either, because their office PC or standard gaming console can run their handful of no-so performance hungry games well enough, and doing so is considerably cheaper in the long run than paying a Stadia sub.

I don't get it, I just don't. It's a bigger hype than Star Citizen, but call me unconvinced that it will succeed.
dubigrasu 20 July 2019 at 3:43 pm UTC
KimyrielleI do understand streaming music and videos. I don't understand streaming games. In contrast to music and movies, people generally play only a very small selection of games at the same time, so having access to a huge library has not a lot of appeal in the case of games.
Also, hardcore gamers don't care about spending money for a good machine, while they DO care about any sort of FPS drops or ping lag, either of which is unavoidable when streaming. On the other hand, casual gamers don't need to stream either, because their office PC or standard gaming console can run their handful of no-so performance hungry games well enough, and doing so is considerably cheaper in the long run than paying a Stadia sub.

I don't get it, I just don't. It's a bigger hype than Star Citizen, but call me unconvinced that it will succeed.
I don't know if Stadia will succeed, or if Sony/Microsoft/whatever equivalent will do. Maybe is not gonna be one of these, but some other future service not born yet.
But whether we like it or not (I'm not actually) I think the future gaming will be predominantly like this, and local stored games will be a thing of the past.
I think we're dinosaurs and we don't know it yet.
Kimyrielle 20 July 2019 at 3:50 pm UTC
dubigrasuI think the future gaming will be predominantly like this, and local stored games will be a thing of the past.
I think we're dinosaurs and we don't know it yet.

Well, that's more or less my point. There doesn't seem to be a compelling use-case for game streaming, so the question remains, why would it succeed? Literally everyone goes "It will replace traditional gaming!", yet nobody could ever explain to me why people would even prefer it over locally installed games. It's pretty much like a few years back a lot of people went "VR will take over gaming!!!", which made me giggle in a similar way, because I failed to understand why it would become anything but the niche product it actually became.
Whitewolfe80 20 July 2019 at 3:52 pm UTC
Too many variables for me broadband speed in the states some people cannot get more than 4mb connection in rural places here in the uk if you dont live in a fibre area you are limited to asdl broadband and those are two of the richest countries in the world. So imagine what this thing is going to be like in Mexico or India


Last edited by Whitewolfe80 on 20 July 2019 at 3:53 pm UTC
dubigrasu 20 July 2019 at 4:00 pm UTC
Kimyrielle
dubigrasuI think the future gaming will be predominantly like this, and local stored games will be a thing of the past.
I think we're dinosaurs and we don't know it yet.

Well, that's more or less my point. There doesn't seem to be a compelling use-case for game streaming, so the question remains, why would it succeed? Literally everyone goes "It will replace traditional gaming!", yet nobody could ever explain to me why people would even prefer it over locally installed games. It's pretty much like a few years back a lot of people went "VR will take over gaming!!!", which made me giggle in a similar way, because I failed to understand why it would become anything but the niche product it actually became.

Well, convenience I suppose.
I personally never thought (not many years ago) that I will prefer watching movies and listening music online, yet, despite my rather extensive physical collection of music and films, now I couldn't care less about it, because convenience.
And (while I try to resist to it) I can see myself few years from now playing through streaming because of the same reason.

Edit: Oh, and another thing about what you said about VR vs Streaming. Is definitely not the same thing.
VR doesn't make gaming easier, if anything it makes it more cumbersome and harder, you need a proper place and very expensive equipment, that's not a small feat for the user's wallet and again, convenience.


Last edited by dubigrasu on 20 July 2019 at 4:52 pm UTC
Jaromir 20 July 2019 at 4:06 pm UTC
KimyrielleI do understand streaming music and videos. I don't understand streaming games. In contrast to music and movies, people generally play only a very small selection of games at the same time, so having access to a huge library has not a lot of appeal in the case of games.
Also, hardcore gamers don't care about spending money for a good machine, while they DO care about any sort of FPS drops or ping lag, either of which is unavoidable when streaming. On the other hand, casual gamers don't need to stream either, because their office PC or standard gaming console can run their handful of no-so performance hungry games well enough, and doing so is considerably cheaper in the long run than paying a Stadia sub.

I don't get it, I just don't. It's a bigger hype than Star Citizen, but call me unconvinced that it will succeed.

It is indeed difficult to predict whether it will be a success or not. But I don't understand why you are so unconvinced.

Casual users do not necessarily have access to an office PC when they want to play games. Most people play games on the weekend or in the evening to relax.

And many people don't even have a console, and if they already have it, it's often an old one, while Stadia can handle the latest AAA games.

And don't forget that consoles cannot run exclusive PC games. Is Total War: Three Kingdoms not a very popular game? What similar game does the PS4 have?

If you want to play a PC game now you have to navigate through your preferred storefront of choice and locate the game - be it on Steam or the Epic Store, Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network - before then purchasing the game for $ 60 and waiting for it to download, install and then, invariably, patch.

Google is positioning Stadia as the antidote, letting you play what you want to play within five seconds of clicking a 'Play Now' button overlapping onto the YouTube video, thrusting you straight into the action. It's as simple as that - no downloads, no patches. This is a great asset anyway.

It is also fairly easy for Google to make Stadia cheaper than any other (legal) alternative.

And maybe we will see games on Stadia that could not be built on traditional platforms and that's where things get really, really interesting.

In short, there are many reasons why Google Stadia can be a huge success.
Egonaut 20 July 2019 at 4:13 pm UTC
Everyone should be alarmed before buying games at Stadia, as the games are in Stadia only and google has a tendency to cancel projects very often. The other reason why I'm not interested in using Stadia is the spying of Google. Usually you would think that they don't use your data, as you are paying, but everything Stadia is connected to their other services, which all spy on you.
The_Aquabat 20 July 2019 at 4:19 pm UTC
this comes late for us, it could fill the gap of the games that didn't run on wine, I tried a service like this for a few games that didn't run on wine, but that was before Proton, back then it sure had some use, but now with Proton getting better and better everyday I find it pointless, unless you want to play on a TV or Chrome device and you don't have a host steam linux install to stream from (that's when it could have some use)-.


Last edited by The_Aquabat on 20 July 2019 at 4:25 pm UTC
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