A reader who admits to having terrible luck buying failed consoles describes what he thinks is the future of Stadia and why you should care.
Let me preface this with a confession. I’m a serial bad console buyer. I owned an N-Gage, I had OnLive, and now I am in the middle of a troublesome relationship with Stadia. I’m a pariah of purchasing, a magnate of microchip misdemeanours, but yet I have no intention of trading up to a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X yet, not even the budget naughtiness of the Xbox Series S will budge me on this. This generation is so, well… tomorrow’s business.
I’ll put this all in context, before you judge me as someone who can’t be trusted on games machines. I own a lot of consoles. A spending spree in the naughties has left me with such oddities as the Amstrad GX4000 and the Jaguar ‘toilet seat’ CD.
This lot, I bought with the knowledge that these already failed consoles would be worth a lot more than I paid for the. The GX4000, for example, cost me around 30 quid each (I have three) and are worth over £100 now. The Stadia and co. however represent something different, I bought these during the car crash and love it more because of it.
Both the N-Gage and OnLive were always destined to fail. I knew that, and I kinda like the idea of feeling like the patron saint of lost causes, and that is part of the charm. The Stadia, however, I never wanted, and through a series of quirks and bizarrely awful customer service from Google I now own two premiere edition Stadias.
Everything about the Stadia is frankly hateful. From the need to use the app to search for games to the insultingly overpriced games on the gated store, to the bizarre selection of games on the Pro roster.
Annoyingly though, the damn thing works, and that is where I have a problem. Despite Google’s best efforts to destroy something good in the most spectacularly insulting ways the whole thing works better than pretty much any other streaming service out there, from market leader xCloud to the apathetic effort from Sony. The only one that has a similar level of quality is Nvidia’s GeForce Now, but really that is playing in a different game.
What Google should have done right from the start, is ironically what it is doing now in the meltdown that is the shuttering, like Amazon, of its first party studios. They never were going to be able to fashion a Sony/Nintendo/Xbox competitor with the reputation they have, even with the smoothest of launches and all of the money in the world.
The new approach, of offering a white label service to the likes of Ubisoft or EA, will likely cement the service for years. This and the hailstorm project which is likely to see Stadia added to any Google-faced Android TV service, and probably even something like the Switch.
It won’t be called Stadia though, heavens no. It will be YouTube Games, and will be force-fed as part of the YouTube premium service, which again will see it become a success – long after people rang its death knell.
So why am I writing this? We’ll put it this way, over the next few months Google will try and chuck at you its Stadia premiere set with controller, Chromecast 4K, and probably a couple of free games. And I urge you to buy it. For one of two reasons. You could flog the constituent parts for a profit or hang onto them and make bigger money down the line for an unopened console to collectors who never intend to actually play it.
Or you can even just use the premium tech that will one day be very useful to you. The controllers are Wi-Fi not Bluetooth, so there is little to no lag.
But honestly? Try it. It’s better than it should be, and as you aren’t likely to get one of the super-consoles for a while, where else are you going to play an actual working version of Cyberpunk 2077?
By reader Slappymac
The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
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