Google Stadia: A Gamer’s Perspective

Contribution Article by: James Moore Host of Moore Than a Podcast

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June 22 of this year, was my birthday. I didn’t do anything special. I went in to my home office and got my laptop running. Thumbing through different sites and checking my mail, I finally began doing what I initially came to do. I typed in the search bar, “Buy Google Stadia”. I was greeted with an elaborate page full of galactic warfare and resident Destiny hero and quest giver Cayde looking awesome as always. I scrolled through the multiple range of ways a gamer could potentially play, showcasing Destiny 2 projected onto televisions, laptops, cell phones and tablets. Even showing their commitment from a vast amount of gaming producers. The page was articulated to show the full range and benefit of becoming what they have dubbed a “Founding Member”. The initial experience is awesome. When you first get a look at the Google Stadia controller, the feeling is like if you walked onto a Porsche car lot. All of the beautiful high resolution photos of the controllers smacking me right in my face with the words “Preorder” right above it. I clicked with no hesitation.

google-stadia-multiple-devices-gdcGoogle Stadia is a no-brainer for the gamer who wants accessibility and ease of use. There is nothing that they pitch where I couldn’t find a need or a reason to have it. No downloading games? Check. 60 frames per second gaming? Absolutely. 4k Resolution (founder’s members only)? I’ll be ready.HDR support? Sure! And 5.1 surround sound? Why not! Not to mention the amazingly designed controllers, which come in a variety of colors. Midnight blue for founders, the flagship white controller, the black controller, and the dark horse but wildly popular wasabi. With a membership that is $9.99 (US) and the overall package being only $129.00 (US), the only question that came to mind was, what’s the problem?

Over the past couple of months, I have been able to see the full effect of the Google Stadia announcement and how it affected most gamers. As normal things I viewed a very big divide between those who enjoyed the prospect of Stadia and those who absolutely would not have it. Gaming is always like this. It took me back to when Xbox was announced and people’s reaction was, “They make windows! How can they make games!” The negative flack that the Google Stadia is getting is unfortunate, it is not being given a fair chance to come into the market and make a worthy impression on gamers.

Stadia Cloud-Based Streaming Gaming PlatformOur current culture is controlled by social media. Whether it’s photos on Instagram, comments and stories on Facebook or Twitter, or even videos on Youtube, people find themselves guided by these “influencers” who are self proclaimed journalist, who are tasked with navigating their personal rhetoric upon their legion of followers. I just want to understand what is so different within the climate of the Stadia news being revealed that allows these “journalist” to be so biased. These online personalities employ very poor tactics in swaying opinions. A tactic of manipulating social leverage to speak without facts and being found credible because it’s the popular thing to do. Their titles to their videos are laughable. Type in Google Stadia and you will run into videos with titles like, “It’s a Joke.” and “There’s no Point to Google Stadia” and “Stadia is Trash”. All while looking perplexed and absolutely childish on their cover arts. I wonder how they build up such an opinion about a gaming platform that doesn’t officially launch until 2020. Did they extensively play test it? Did google send them dev access to their servers? How could they make such a gross opinion? Aside from being click-bait, all of these social media entities are insecure in their ability to speak without bias. Most of them have to take a negative connotation in order to even be relevant online.

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I am not an influencer (nor am I attempting to be). My only direction is to let people know that they have a choice. Many of us value informed decisions over weighing the balance and options for ourselves. Too many times people log into these gaming sites and look at these videos of some knucklehead telling them what they should or shouldn’t be doing with their money. People need to remember (because they certainly aren’t told) that their opinion matters. I believe that is the thing that upset me the most about these influencers and their opinions is that they were one sided and didn’t give any perspective to the positive side of Google Stadia existing. It pains me to think that people could be so invested in these bushwack journalist who only sway hard left or hard right and have no inbetween when it comes to formulating a worthy opinion. How is this valuable to anyone? There has to be pros and cons to everything and these idiots aren’t showing it. I took my time through my company social media and went on a mission. I went to listen to those who felt a certain way about the Stadia and speak about it with them in an open and cordial manner. Not attempting to sway their feelings or decision, but allowing them to see the entire spectrum of why Google Stadia is worth the time in my opinion.

Google Stadia Team Vice President

One of the most difficult hurdles that I have encountered when speaking about the Stadia to people, is the perception of Google overall. Not so much that it’s a bad company, but that Google has a tendency to “kill off” certain products and services. I totally understand this view, as over the years, I have observed the cancellation of hundreds of acquisitions and creations on the part of Google. Some of my favorite Google products like Google+, Google Wave, Google Buzz, and even Google Glass were all given a moment to shine but ultimately hacked out of existence. Taking a look at all that Google has cancelled, I feel like there was a Thanos snap involved somewhere. Some people will say that many of these creations were over ambitious or didn’t hit the mark and I would totally agree. The difference with Google Stadia, is that Google is not setting a foundation, as that has already been laid by gaming culture as a whole. All that they want to do is build on to the existing structure that is gaming. This is nothing new in gaming. There isn’t really any gamble in place that is going to allow them to pull the plug if they do all of the key things that a gaming company needs to do in the interim. The only way that this gets cancelled, is if the gaming industry fails altogether, or if nobody, and I mean absolutely NOBODY buys into the Stadia.

Many gamers feel that they don’t want change because they want to continue having their physical games, and that the Stadia is unjustified in its effort to make Digital gaming a primary way to play games. I still break this down to choice. Physical gaming is not something that is going away any time soon. Game companies like Sony and Microsoft have come out and said as much. While both have also taken steps to explore game streaming. Sony has taken the biggest misstep in Playstation Now and Microsoft is taking the careful approach in ramping up for X Cloud gaming. There will be an eventual leap towards the future. Are the same people who are upset that the Stadia is digital are upset that VCR’s, Memorex Cassettes, and Newspapers are no longer a thing?

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Lastly, one of the arguments that has really lit a fire under me is the fact that people say if they go digital, that they won’t own their games. That if Google decided to flip this imaginary switch and kill off the Stadia, that all would be lost with no compensation. This is completely ignorant on the part of the people who believe this. Its Google! They will have a contingency plan in place in order to make sure that people aren’t left in the dust. I am sure that if this all hit the fan, Google wouldn’t just leave fans high and dry. The fact can’t just be made that a gamer won’t own their games if they leave. The same can be said about digital purchases made on other consoles that exist. Streaming is no different than buying digital. I take more security in Google’s ability to let me play high end games at any given time with no sacrifice on my part then to think about the if factor of them giving up on a multi-billion dollar industry that has only upside so long as they make the right connections and innovate progressively. Google didn’t just cook up the idea of getting into gaming just so they can fail. They didn’t invest in the idea of streaming gaming as half cocked as some other services in the past were. Google is making the point to invest in something that is established and would benefit from the innovation of Google’s forward thinking and progressive nature of innovation.

Google Stadia: A Gamer's Perspective 1There is no basis when people say Google isn’t a gaming company. All of this, while not realizing that Microsoft started making computer software, Sony was making our Walkmans, and Nintendo used to make playing cards. Everyone has to start somewhere, so why blame Google for taking the approach they are taking? Google is not going to invest all of these relationships, growing user base, and innovative chances that they can use to establish themselves in this market. So long as they stay loyal to their commitment to create, listen to the gaming community and deliver on their needs, I don’t see any reason that Google would set themselves up for failure with this strategy in place. I am looking forward to controlling my gaming future. I foresee that happening in a nice cool wasabi color.

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James Moore

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