on cloud games coincide in all probability with the future of video games, though so far various attempts to make a transversely functional service available have failed. Google is looking for a new way to make cloud gamers accessible to everyone, taking advantage of its powerful connectivity capabilities. with stadiumshe also wants to become one of the owners of the video game ecosystem platform, and has shown this by participating as a protagonist in events such as E3 and GamesCom where gamers are used to watching Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.
On the eve of the international presentation of "Stadia", we managed to try the service at the headquarters of Google Italy, which is next to the icon Vertical forest of Milan. In the presence of a link from 1 gigabit, Google Stadia works very well and practically it can't be different from the experience of playing games processed locally. During the test we were able to play some of the titles available at Stadium's start, ie. Destiny 2 Shadows from the Deep, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Gilt, Mortal Comat 11, Kine and Just Dance 2020. Too bad we couldn't try Red Dead Redemption 2, which will in any case be available for launch tomorrow, offering what promises to be the highest quality image flow, and 4K and a 60 fps, locally driven only with very expensive hardware.
Bandwidth consumption varied depending on the game, from about 15 Mb / s during a game of Gilt, a pleasantly entertaining adventure game exclusive to the Google platform, to 40 Mb / s in the case of Destiny 2. The connection is a registered ping of 10/20 ms approx, always guaranteeing a very fluid game with no compromises and artifacts in 4K or delays. The image flow remained at 60 frames per second, but the performance of the individual games depended on the specific settings of each.
The Stadia games have a menu of graphical options similar to their console counterparts. So, in the case of Shadow of the Tomb Raider, we can choose between two settings: 'High Resolution' and 'High frame rate'. In the first case, larger graphics details, but the game is transmitted domestically to a remote server a 30fps. In the second, instead, we can enjoy the pictures a 60fps, but with slightly lower graphic details. The bandwidth consumption is similar and there are no graphics options specific to the PC version, such as Ray Tracing.
Hardware on servers dedicated to the Stadia project
In the past we learned about the configuration of systems assigned by Google to their servers dedicated to the Stadia project. These are AMD architecture based solutions, equipped with 56 PC units and HBM2 memory, with architecture AMD GCN 1.5or one used in some video cards in the series Vega. Note, in this case, how it is possible to compile the Shadow of the Tomb Raider console version, but the rationale applies to many other games to run on a computer. Those used by Google are real computers with a proprietary operating system.
We asked Google who data center refer to the service and this was the answer: "Like other Google services, Stadia goes through different data centers based on the person's position to provide the best experience.". We do not create a data center located in Italy, but certainly in Europe.
That said, if it is related to Chromecast Ultra Google Stadia lets you take full advantage of the latest generation of Smart TVs from the standpoint ofHDR, 4K and 60 Hz resolution. The Chromecast Ultra serves only in the case of TV games, while playing with a smarthpone or computer screen is not required. In the last two cases, you can play with any gaming device so that, for example, the Xbox controller or controller, depending on the game settings, provided it is connected to a computer via cable.
At first, you should physically connect the pad to the smartphone with the USB-C cable. Then, connect the pad to your Chromecast, with up to 4 controllers that can be operated simultaneously. The controller has a light that can be colored differently depending on the connection conditions. Blinking white tells you that the pairing process with Chromecast is ongoing, while solid white indicates that the game board is connected to one of the devices. Orange and white flashing light indicates that software updates are in progress. If the orange light is solid, the game board is in charge.
Also on the right game, on the right, is the button that lets you take screenshots or capture game shots, a feature now used by console players. All content is automatically uploaded to the cloud, but can be downloaded locally at any time. Next to the share button, we have the one to call Google Assistant, which allows you to manage the voice commands in the Stadia system thanks to the presence of a microphone integrated into the controller. The Google Assistant will not be available immediately upon startup, but only later with software updates. The part between the two croissants, then, is the headphone jack.
We're talking about a controller WiFi with connection Dual band at frequencies of 2.4 and 5 GHz. It can connect to Bluetooth as per standard Low Power Bluetooth 4.2 (BLE), which is very useful for connecting to smartphones. His weight on 268g and the dimensions of 163mm x 105mm x 65mm. The controller can be purchased separately from the package Founder's edition that we see later, a 69 euros.
Google Stadia: download the available app
To access Stadia, you must download itdedicated apartment and connect to the specific account Stadia. This is a very basic application that is very easy to consult. It hosts a dedicated gaming section and library of accessible games, along with this section "Explore" where tabs have been found that lead to YouTube and other content that will be populated in the coming months. The key Home in the middle of the gaming keyboard immediately returns to the Stadia main menu If the controller gives a sense of simplicity, a very intuitive and functional interface, even if the Google service launcher does not have a multitude of features.
One of the most interesting prerogatives is the ability to instantly switch from one device to another. If you play on TV and for some reason need to move, just press the button Game in the Stadia app on your smartphone to keep up with mobility. Very interesting is the fact that it is being restored just when the experience was interrupted on the main screen. Obviously, the case in which you disconnect from Stadium and continue playing later is different: in this case it starts again at the last checkpoint depending on your own game saving structure.
Note that the Stadia application can be installed on all devices with at least Android 6.0. It can also be installed on an iPhone with an operating system iOS 11.0 or later. Because if you want to take advantage of the streaming experience on your smartphone, you need a device pixels. Apart from the above mentioned Pixels 3, 3 XL, Pixel 3a and 3a XL, at launch you can play Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, while support for other smartphones, hopefully not Pixel, will come later.
You cannot play on two devices at the same time and at the moment of the switch the experience is interrupted in the first system. Of course, Stadia does offer all the typical benefits of cloud games: it's not necessary to wait for the game to download and install and doesn't take up space on the local storage system.
As for me games, deserves mention Gylt. Developed by Study Tequila (Deadlight, Rime), a game that offers a simple and accessible type of covert action for everyone. A young protagonist armed with a torch, which she can use to deter enemies and unlock some mechanisms. However, it is almost always wise to try to rally enemies by making use of the covers that are present around the game or distracting. Set in a disturbing and melancholic world, Gild is a story that mixes fantasy and reality into a surrealistic place where nightmares become reality.
Also the version of Only Dance 2020 for the Stadium deserves attention. In fact, he uses his smartphone and his camera to track his movements and calculate his score.
From tomorrow Google Stadia available in the package Founded by the founder of Stadia at the cost of 129 euros and including the white controller, Chromecast Ultra and a quarterly subscription to Stadium Pro. The second, which can also be purchased separately a 9.99 euros per month, lets you play up to 4K, 60fps and 5.1R HDR. Series of games included in the subscription free of charge, while registered members can access discounts if they buy other games. Furthermore, the Stadia Pro offers full access to Destiny 2, including Deep Expansion Shadows, all previous enhancements and the content of the annual add-on, as well as the basic gameplay. The Stadia Base crossover will be available during 2020, which will allow you to play at 1080p / 60fps and stereo surround sound for a lower price.
Day 1 staging titles will include:
- Assassin & # 39; s Creed Odyssey
- Attack on Titan: Final Battle 2
- Destiny 2: Collection (available with Stadia Pro)
- Agricultural simulator 2019
- Final Fantasy XV
- Football Manager 2020
- Network 2019
- Just Dance 2020
- Metro Exodus
- Mortal Comat 11
- NBA 2K20
- Rage 2
- Rise of the Tider Raider
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Shodown Samurai (available with Stadia Pro)
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Tomb Raider 2013
- The trial is on the rise
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood
A list of extra games will be available at Stadia by the end of the year, including Borderlands 3, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, Dragon Ball: Xenoverse and Darksiders Genesis. Others have already announced their arrival to the Stadium in 2020, among them Doom: Eternal, WatchDogs: Legion, Gods & Monsters and Cyberpunk 2077.
Basically difference between the Stadia Pro and the Stadia Base in terms of the list of available games you get in the first case of free play per month, starting with Destiny 2. it's just been announced that the free game in November will be Samurai Shodown, together with Destiny 2: The Collection.
Google specified that "Stadia Pro won't be Netflix for video games" and is more like services like Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. Only in the coming weeks will you have a clearer idea of how big this list is and how often it will be updated. At the time of writing, it is not possible to subscribe to the Stadia Pro subscription, except by purchasing The Founder Edition, but in all likelihood it will be possible tomorrow.
After all, Stadia certainly has enormous potential, thanks to the ability to take advantage of Google's data center and endless connectivity as well as the Mountain View home advertising opportunities. Certainly Google, at this stage, is at the core of the public's interest in such a platform. As the setup at the beginning testified, it will be addressed to a transversal audience and mainly to the family, while those who purchased a 144 or 240 Hz monitor may not be among the ideal customers for the service. Google Stadia, under very favorable connectivity, has proven to be very robust and responsive, a locally developed experience. At the same time, it is felt that the initial offer is very basic, with a stylized and very simple application and a list of reduced launch features that will surely be expanded if the service succeeds. What is finally the right time for cloud games?
The Premiere Stadium edition can be purchased here