Google Stadia can replace gaming hardware but several concerns remain

Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2019 gave hardware manufacturers a lot to think about with the advent of cloud-based gaming. Services like Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud aren’t far from their final phase of development. And, the concept of cloud gaming has gone from future to near-future, with Google’s Stadia set for release later this year.

At GDC 2019, Google showcased Stadia’s impressive capabilities without providing details on several questions.

Data Caps

One of the biggest unanswered questions during Google’s keynote was how it would cope with data caps. Hardcore gamers often spend hours on a game, and we already know that Stadia requires a pretty fast Internet connection, 25 Mbps for 60 FPS gaming at FHD resolution. So, even if you got the speed, you’ll also need an uncapped connection, which isn’t going to come cheap.

Mobile Networks

Google claims that Stadia is the perfect way to transition from one platform to another. You can start a game on the PC and seamlessly continue from exactly where you left off on your phone. While this is an excellent feature to have, getting a stable connection during any commute is close to impossible. The demo Google displayed was done in a controlled environment not out in the real world.

No Pricing Information

And, then the final concern: “How much is this going to cost after getting an uncapped, super-fast data plan and fixing any latency or input lag issues?” At the moment, Stadia is likely to feature a subscription model, but Google hasn’t provided any details on that front too. No pricing information like will you have to pay separately for AAA titles, can you buy game bundles or the most likely scenario which could feature different levels of membership (Premium, Standard, etc.).

Lack of Titles

Except for a few demos, Google also failed to announce any major gaming titles or games in general coming to platform. For a service releasing this year that’s pretty surprising.

Google’s primary objective for Stadia seems to be a hardware replacement rather than a supplement. But it is clear that a vast majority of people on the planet simply aren’t ready for a cloud-based game streaming service.