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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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elmapul 22 July 2019 at 6:32 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.

for microsoft, the key advantage is that they will be able to sell games for android users, wich is a huge user base and keep directx as the standard for gaming and improve windows share on servers, or at least enjoy the fact that they have more servers than most companies so they will be among the few ones on this market.

for google, its good that they will be able to enter the desktop operating system market with chromeOS (since games will not be an issue anymore) and enter the hardcore gaming market.

for the players, they will be able to play anywhere, not worry anyore if their system can play the game or worry about hardware upgrades.
Nevertheless 22 July 2019 at 6:33 am UTC
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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.

so what? they will know that i'm a bad player? who cares.
when it comes to voice patterns, video patterns or knowing who i'm friend with, i can see how this could be used for evil purposes.

but spying on me while i play? why is that an issue? how can this be used for "evil" purposes?

Like I said before, because you're feeding proprietary AIs, training them manipulating people.
Would you think watching human problem solving, or even human responses to enotional dilemmas might be useful for that?
EagleDelta 22 July 2019 at 6:33 am 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.

The average gamer will enjoy the fact that the Chromecast Ultra is a much lower barrier to entry than a $200-$500 game system.... and theoretically they don't have to worry about starting over with games. Basically, from a general consumer standpoint, it tries to roll some of the best aspects of PC and Console gaming into one. The average gamer doesn't care about the FPS drop that the Hardcore gamers do. Custom built PCs aren't going anywhere for a while, but it will become a much smaller market if streaming ends up being successful (and doesn't get killed by the ISPs)
bird_or_cage 22 July 2019 at 12:13 pm UTC
Nevertheless
elmapul
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.

so what? they will know that i'm a bad player? who cares.
when it comes to voice patterns, video patterns or knowing who i'm friend with, i can see how this could be used for evil purposes.

but spying on me while i play? why is that an issue? how can this be used for "evil" purposes?

Like I said before, because you're feeding proprietary AIs, training them manipulating people.
Would you think watching human problem solving, or even human responses to enotional dilemmas might be useful for that?
It is just crazy when one entity can examine most of your life, they know where you are (maps), what are you speaking about with which people (messages, allo, gmail), what do you think is important (calendar, keep, drive, docs), what are you interested in (search, youtube) and now also - what and how do you play. Surely there are some things I forgot to mention.

Are you comfortable with someone knowing you better that your wife, mother and physiologist together and keeping your full profile in "mind" at all times? I am definitely not.
I do use some google services, an Android phone, and maybe I will play one or two games with Stadia, but I am definitely keeping most data outside such companies.
If they want my data, I am open to a commercial proposal (which I will most likely decline, it`s just weird that they (edit: Google) expect everyone to give them everything for free... on the other side, people expect an email service to be free these days, so I guess they are even).


Last edited by bird_or_cage at 22 July 2019 at 1:17 pm UTC
Nevertheless 22 July 2019 at 1:12 pm UTC
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bird_or_cage
Nevertheless
elmapul
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.

so what? they will know that i'm a bad player? who cares.
when it comes to voice patterns, video patterns or knowing who i'm friend with, i can see how this could be used for evil purposes.

but spying on me while i play? why is that an issue? how can this be used for "evil" purposes?

Like I said before, because you're feeding proprietary AIs, training them manipulating people.
Would you think watching human problem solving, or even human responses to enotional dilemmas might be useful for that?
It is just crazy when one entity can examine most of your life, they know where you are (maps), what are you speaking about with which people (messages, allo, gmail), what do you think is important (calendar, keep, drive, docs), what are you interested in (search, youtube) and now also - what and how do you play. Surely there are some things I forgot to mention.

Are you comfortable with someone knowing you better that your wife, mother and physiologist together and keeping your full profile in "mind" at all times? I am definitely not.
I do use some google services, an Android phone, and maybe I will play one or two games with Stadia, but I am definitely keeping most data outside such companies.
If they want my data, I am open to a commercial proposal (which I will most likely decline, it`s just weird that they expect everyone to give them everything for free... on the other side, people expect an email service to be free these days, so I guess they are even).

You're right. Nothing even could be free with Google!
kaiman 22 July 2019 at 6:28 pm UTC
NeverthelessLike I said before, because you're feeding proprietary AIs, training them manipulating people.
Not too unlikely. A lot more is to be gained from harvesting lengthy game play sessions than from occasionally being forced to solve one of Google's stupid captchas.

elmapulwhat scary me the most is that Stadia is powered by Linux, and if we ever enter an world where the standartd is gaming without preservation of old games, gaming without the freedom of mods to makew your own maps, characters etc. it will be google and linux fault that we were able to reach that world.
That came up in my mind as well, but I quickly decided to not pursue that train of thought. As with a lot of technologies, there's the potential for abuse, but that's not to say that the technology in question isn't doing more good than evil overall. And with Linux, there's no doubt about that.

But perhaps that's pointing to the issue with the (current) GPL losing its edge in a world of cloud-computing. It's not unheard of developers to move to more restrictive licenses because of cloud companies reaping the benefits of some open source product or other without giving anything back in return.

TBH, right now I'm fairly skeptical whether anything Google does to enable Stadia will make its way back to improve gaming on the Linux desktop. But hey, I don't mind being proven wrong :-).


Last edited by kaiman at 22 July 2019 at 6:29 pm UTC
sarmad 22 July 2019 at 11:57 pm UTC
I guess with modern day's trend of hating real life friends and preaching for everyone to lock down their doors and play online alone with no option of split screen, Stadia will give those people who still have real friends a chance to once again play together on the same couch. I'm pretty sure there will be A LOT of people who would prefer to play Fortnite on Stadia rather than any other platform despite the possible latency. Sony and Microsoft will feel the pain now for not paying attention to the importance of split screen.
Modanung 24 July 2019 at 11:11 pm UTC
Don't let them into your head.
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