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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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Purple Library Guy 20 July 2019 at 7:22 pm UTC
chancho_zombie
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.

You are right about your arguments, gamers tend to spend a lot of money building a pc, but it's also true that in undeveloped countries buying a pc is really expensive, so IMO this makes sense in countries like China or India, there this could have a huge market.
Except they also don't have the bandwidth for it there. I don't see this replacing those internet cafe things they use, the PC-bangs or what.
Purple Library Guy 20 July 2019 at 7:36 pm UTC
DuncI can't put it any better than Shamus Young at the Escapist:
QuoteFive years of Stadia will set you back $700, at bare minimum. (That’s the cost of the Founder’s Edition — which comes with three free months of premium access — and the monthly fee over the next 57 months.)

Who is this service for? It’s supposedly for people who want to play AAA games but don’t have access to AAA hardware. It’s for people who are into hardcore games but don’t mind an unavoidable baseline of input lag. It’s for people who can’t afford a $400 console but can afford to buy games at full price and pay an additional $120 every single year. It’s for people who have lots of devices who somehow don’t own any dedicated gaming hardware. (...)

Stadia is for casual gamers who are into hardcore titles and poor people with lots of disposable income. This is a service for nobody, and it makes no sense.
I like Shamus. And he's a smart guy; his arguments tend to be solid, and some of the thing other people here have said doubting this thing will work are persuasive. But arguments in the other direction have had merit too. Frankly, this is a new thing and a complicated situation. I think it's very hard to know just how successful Stadia is going to be at this point. There are quite a few reasons it might succeed and quite a few it might fail.
I don't think it's going to totally take over though. There are too many people who either can't use it effectively at all or have strong reasons for preferences against it. But that still leaves anything from "total failure" up to "market share similar to Playstation" and the more I see what people say, the less sure I am where it might end up in that range.
Purple Library Guy 20 July 2019 at 7:38 pm UTC
It occurs to me that one group who should be very wary of Stadia, not that they can do much about it, is game developers. Streaming music services sucked a ton of money out of the hands of musicians. Mind you, the payment model here is different, so maybe it's not a valid comparison.


Last edited by Purple Library Guy on 20 July 2019 at 7:39 pm UTC
chancho_zombie 20 July 2019 at 8:14 pm UTC
Purple Library Guy
chancho_zombie
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.

You are right about your arguments, gamers tend to spend a lot of money building a pc, but it's also true that in undeveloped countries buying a pc is really expensive, so IMO this makes sense in countries like China or India, there this could have a huge market.
Except they also don't have the bandwidth for it there. I don't see this replacing those internet cafe things they use, the PC-bangs or what.

of course this is not going to be done on a supermassive scale for the 1 billion Chinese, because the infrastructure is not yet there, but still google has the resources to make it massive in selected cities like Shangai, Beijing, New Dehli, etc, where the connection speed doesn't suck that much.

BTW I tried a similar service here where I live (Buenos Aires) and I have a 20 mb connection, and as long as the server is near it works, granted I had to stream at 720p but it worked quite well.
The bandwidth is not that crucial a 50mb connection will suffice for 1080p, the problem is the server location.

EDIT: Now that I think it over, google doesn't do business in China, but anyway it has potential in India or maybe in some parts of Latin America as well.


Last edited by chancho_zombie on 20 July 2019 at 8:32 pm UTC
Nevertheless 20 July 2019 at 8:26 pm UTC
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Jaromir
ixnari
JaromirIt is always funny to read the random comments.

The team at Google Stadia mentioned that privacy will be “at the user's control".

Oh
, I'm sure.

It is good that you are so wary about privacy. But let's face it, which secrets can Google steal when you play Assassin's Creed Odyssey?

And that link with regard to the "gmail data" is not entirely applicable to Stadia:

"The account you use for Stadia is built on top of your Google account, but of course you'll be able to have an online persona that is distinct and different from your Google persona. We're committed to protecting and respecting users' privacy every step of the way. "

There are several things you can do with spied data.
The spying out of private data for the purpose of personalized advertising is usually the only thing that is thought of. For this reason one can usually only set which data may not be used for it.
Companies working on artificial intelligence such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, IBM, etc. are even more interested in data to feed their algorithms. For that they do bot need names. These AIs calculate the behavior of road users, voters, patients, or whatever their proprietors like. There is no public control over it and no one can prevent in any way that their own data is used for this purpose.
Ketil 20 July 2019 at 9:00 pm UTC
I have a lot of games installed that I have launched once or twice, but never touched again. I tend to forget to turn off auto-update for these games as well. It would have been better if I had streamed those games. I think Stadia would really shine for concepts like free weekends or get the first hours cheap. For games I play a lot, I definitely prefer to run them locally though.
TheRiddick 21 July 2019 at 1:29 am UTC
So let me get this straight, you pay $50-60usd for a game on Stadia, can play it while having a subscription only, and if they shut the thing down or remove that title from the store you get your save-games so you can then go over to GOG or Steam to buy the game again on your actual PC..... yeah no thanks, how people can't see that scenario as being a complete scam is beyond me!


Last edited by TheRiddick on 21 July 2019 at 1:29 am UTC
x_wing 21 July 2019 at 4:19 am UTC
DuncI can't put it any better than Shamus Young at the Escapist:
QuoteFive years of Stadia will set you back $700, at bare minimum. (That’s the cost of the Founder’s Edition — which comes with three free months of premium access — and the monthly fee over the next 57 months.)

Who is this service for? It’s supposedly for people who want to play AAA games but don’t have access to AAA hardware. It’s for people who are into hardcore games but don’t mind an unavoidable baseline of input lag. It’s for people who can’t afford a $400 console but can afford to buy games at full price and pay an additional $120 every single year. It’s for people who have lots of devices who somehow don’t own any dedicated gaming hardware. (...)

Stadia is for casual gamers who are into hardcore titles and poor people with lots of disposable income. This is a service for nobody, and it makes no sense.

That argument is valid based on people that wants to play in 4k (you are only forced to pay if and only if you want that service). So, I can think in a lot of poor people that will find this service useful, not to mention that there are several online games that even having a local copy on your disk will have the same future as any Stadia game once the publisher decides to shutdown all the running servers.

Stadia doesn't seems to be a replacement of every game we know, but it's probably the future for all the games that heavily depends on massive multiplayer online.
Salvatos 21 July 2019 at 5:33 am UTC
x_wingStadia doesn't seems to be a replacement of every game we know, but it's probably the future for all the games that heavily depends on massive multiplayer online.
I'll be honest, if I could play Guild Wars 2 at more than 10 FPS with a one-time repurchase instead of having to upgrade my CPU for that one game because it's so oddly optimized, Stadia might actually be attractive for me in that case. So yeah, MMOs on Stadia might have a future.
mylka 21 July 2019 at 11:52 am 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 ist like F2P games. ANNO ONLINE comes in my mind. a lot of people spend a lot of money and now it is gone forever
or BATTLEFIELD HEROES... it was ahead of its time, but now it is gone with all ingame purchases

i kinda like the idea of streaming all games whenever i want to, without installing first
that is why i hope valve brings out a streaming service
i want both. downloading games i play often, streaming games i play once in a while
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