Google Stadia has already launched to mixed reviews, and the same can be said about Pixel 4 and the 4 XL Google’s flagship Android smartphone.
Stadia is Google’s answer to online streaming, but for games.
It’s not a subscription service like Netflix and Apple TV in that you pay a monthly fee for full access to a library of original content.
Nope, with this streaming service, you are paying full price for each title.
The benefit is that rendering takes place on Google’s servers instead of a physical console.
You can play on your TV and pick up on your smartphone right where you left off.
Now, I do have to commend the big G, for taking a bold step into the online gaming world.
More companies are making a shift towards cloud gaming.
Microsoft’s xCloud allows users to stream Xbox games on their Android devices.
Sony’s PlayStation Now allows users to stream games on either a PlayStation 4 or a PC.
The latter is not without its fair share of issues and customer complaints.
But as a new entrant into the streaming gaming wars, Stadia isn’t without some challenges.
For instance, the Chromecast Ultra bundle is causing some issues.
Here’s how one user describes their experience thus far on the Stadia Reddit page.
I was in the middle of a fight in Destiny 2 when suddenly my Chromecast died and lost connectivity to the network. I went to unplug it from the power and it was extremely hot. Has anyone else experienced overheating with the new Chromecast Ultras that come with the Founder’s Edition? I hadn’t seen other posts about that.
Other users are complaining about the graphical quality of specific titles.
Red Dead Redemption 2, is one such title that users feel doesn’t look particularly appealing in 4K.
To be fair though, Red Dead Redemption 2 doesn’t even run that great on modern gaming PCs, and in some cases, the game fails to run at all on the highest settings.
Games like Destiny 2 isn’t even rendered in 4K like Google promised, but at 1080p, according to The Verge.
Stadia also requires a reliable Internet connection to run smoothly.
And because that’s the case, you can expect to run up your Internet data usage if you are planning long gaming sessions.
We’ve seen some reports of data usage at 100MB/minute.
There are issues with latency.
It seems like every year, there are issues with Google’s flagship smartphones.
I remember how the Nexus line of phones was once what Android purists revered as the best OS.
It represented Android the way Google intended it, devoid of bloat and nonsense gimmicks.
Smartphone manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung, and Huawei all took turns in creating Nexus-branded hardware.
It was a platform that helped showcase what Google was all about.
It was a free and open-source platform that any manufacturer could take advantage of.
But when Google decided to step into the hardware game, things started to change.
Ever since the first Pixel smartphone until now, users have complained about crashes, screen burn-in, screen quality issues, terrible battery life, and inferior hardware design.
This year, Pixel 4 is plagued with a slew of problems.
From Wi-Fi issues, miserable battery life, to Bluetooth connectivity drops, it looks like the folks at Google aren’t taking things all that seriously.
Heck, users can face-unlock a Pixel 4 with their eyes closed.
You don’t expect these issues from a $1,000 flagship.
For a company that generated 40.3 billion dollars in the third quarter of 2019, you’d expect better hardware launches.
The hardware business isn’t an easy one to crack.
It’s a super-competitive landscape, with only a handful of dominant players.
We’ve seen companies like BlackBerry and Nokia rise and fall.
Google’s true strength still, in my opinion, resides in software.
Look at how it showed the world what it could do with computational photography in their smartphones.
Software is what helps the company generate such healthy profit margins.
Android is still a great OS and has come a long way since its inception.
It’s no longer the laggy, buggy operating system of yesterday, but instead, it has turned itself into a true powerhouse.
It might be time for Google to give up on the smartphone game and bring back the Nexus program.
Let other manufacturers worry about the hardware game Google, and do what you do best.
Yes, Stadia is in its infancy, and I’d say its fair to give it another year or two at the max.
But if Google can’t get things in order, then I think it’s time to call it quits.