Change is inevitable. In gaming, its a necessity. Technology, creativity and ambition are permanently aligned in transitional furtherance, rarely composed into sedate neutral territory. Keeping up with the insatiable expectancy of gamers is a contemptuously unyielding difficulty. For years consoles have attempted to surpass and at times belittle their contemporaries, goading one another with corporate marketing campaigns that espouse the superiority of a brand. The “POWER” and prevailing content that makes them the preferred choice for the distinguished and “Cool” gamer is still the method of choice in publicizing their marginally different hardware, from the competitors similarly produced games console. The fabricated bickering promoted by all parties only generates further interest and a benign division between friends that choose a different option from yourself. Fans loved it of course, still do. Mocking the others failure as if it were somehow a victory for themselves. The advent of social gaming has only intensified the erratic scrutiny piled on to console creaters, searching for new, innovative ways for people to play games. The newest console to the market is Googles marquee abomination: The Stadia. A console not even released yet, but I already hate!
At first I had mistakingly concluded that this was some pathological fear, influenced by some irrational prudence against something new and foreign. That the dearth of physical games was an omission detrimental to the preservation of game ownership. In actual fact I just think the Stadia is a shallow perversion of what a games console does, not what it is. The Stadia is detached, insipid service, without a trace of individuality or discernable identity. A vapid creation of function and supported by the analytical perogatives of money men. The Stadia is devoid of character, existing as a means of monopolising games, not sharing them. Endorsing the licencing of digital products via a subscription service, propagated to swindle those acclimated to such disreputable business practices. The Stadia is that guy that would rather take selfies with illustrious works of Art rather than admire them. The same individual that believes new equates to better.
Its like Google researched the history and legacy of gaming and concluded that what the next generation of consoles needs is limitations. That consumers need controlling. That progression requires regulating how people interact with games. That streaming them via intermittent WiFi connections is far more glamorous to prospective buyers. “You know what gamers love more than owning, trading and collecting games? Binary code!”. Yeah, sexy!
With the Stadia attempting to infiltrate the gaming firmament, I shudder to think where the industry is going. There’s nothing the Stadia offers that makes it progressive. If anything this charlatan is symbolic of the predatory nature of rapacious corporations, looking to exploit a popular form of entertainment. The Stadia isn’t a platform for gaming, it’s a costly loan for a service you’ll never truly own.
And if this is the intended future of gaming, I don’t think I can be a part of it.
What do you guys think of the Stadia? Is this really the future of games consoles? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.
Get your tin foil hats and pitchforks at the ready, as Google have announced their first foray into gaming with a digital only gaming platform that looks to usher in the end of traditional gaming consoles. This is what one might file under ambitious. The “Stadia” as Google have curiously christened it is a rather unique device in the sense that the only hardware you need is Google’s hideously mutated PlayStation/Xbox controller. Instead of downloading content to your external device, the games themselves operate on internal units at Google, allowing for quicker accessibility to the games you want to play. Featuring a Google Assistant and a YouTube sharing function, the Stadia can connect to your television, laptop or even your mobile phone for instant recreational play. Boasting support of 4K quality resolution and 60 fps, with a desire to double those figures in the future, the Stadia certainly means business. But can it really supplant the current status of gaming consoles and perhaps even your PC?
Google certainly sound confident that the Stadia is the natural successor, perhaps even usurper to console gaming but I’m a little dubious. For me there are as of now a number of variables that need to be addressed before I’d even vaguely consider the Stadia to be a viable alternative. First and perhaps most significantly is price, particularly the cost of subscription. Will everyone have access to the same content? Or will an inflated subsidy yield greater admission, perhaps a premium pass service for the more discerning? What games will actually be available on such an experimental device? Without content then it’s already a non starter. Also rather critically, how will the Stadia realistically deal with lag? Persistent latency could still be a huge problem, despite confident claims that such issues shouldn’t arise with the Stadia. With my listless Internet connection there’s no guarantee that the device will perform to an acceptable function. Even with high-speed broadband, how well it copes with latency is redundant if your Internet is down.
Google’s heavy association with YouTube also gives me pause, considering the latter’s obtuse fair use policies and vitriolic approach to anything that could be deemed offensive to a toddler. Especially as it’s a feature that’s presumably going to be such a prominent integration. It just seems less like gaming and more about leveraging YouTube to encourage the community to keep uploading and watching. A gaming platform that’s really designed for the YouTube community, rather than gamer’s. Another concern I have can be applied to all streaming services: the lack of ownership. Technically you’ve never truly owned a game, but rather purchased the rights to the licensing in a semi permanent capacity. Though its less likely that a game you purchased physically decades ago, that has now been censored due to licensing or some other form of prohibition will lead to lawyers breaking into your home and forcibly confiscating said content. But relying solely on a subscription for games, and possessing no personal storage for them is very discomforting to me.
Personally I’m not entirely convinced by, nor completely opposed to the Stadia. I’ve not seen enough to suggest this is as my statutory gaming console and that it will bury the next generation of consoles into deep, bottomless hole. I see this more as an accessory to a more prominent gaming console. More details are required before I’d even consider purchasing yet. It certainly has my curiosity though, if not my attention.
What do you think of the Stadia? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.