The Playstation Now was a revolutionary new piece of software that would pave the way for later cloud gaming experiments and projects. Indeed, it seems safe to say that Google Stadia—and its precursor, Project Stream—were both likely to be inspired by the potential that the PS Now offered. However, in terms of overall reception, the Playstation Now was met with a lukewarm response at best from the gaming community.
So, where did the Playstation Now go so wrong? And how has Google taken note of these mistakes and developed its own exciting and highly anticipated cloud gaming platform from the ashes of Sony’s failings.
Where The Playstation Now Went Wrong: How Google Stadia Is In An Entirely Different Class Of Cloud Gaming
One of the most common and biggest criticisms of the Playstation Now was in relation to its games database, and it seems that Google have picked up on this particularly failure in the creation of their own platform. The Playstation Now was designed to offer users with access
to hundreds of titles instantly, and while this was a great idea, it simply didn’t work out quite as well as expected. At its initial release, the majority of these games were either titles that were available on older consoles, or the original and unmastered versions of games that simply weren’t as good as the more recent Playstation titles.
Indeed, these concerns largely revolved around the fact that the games that were made available on the server were old and not of the quality that gamers would expect from their modern gaming sessions; a large number of the Playstation Now’s offerings were little more than nostalgic games, which were hardly deemed worthy of the $19.99/month price tag that was charged for the service. In fact, as Tech Radar put it in their review of the Playstation Now:
“Sadly, not every game is worthwhile: some of the hundreds of games are clearance pile fodder, and have been for the past few years.”
Admittedly, the PS Now didn’t get everything wrong; while their subscription was expensive, gamers didn’t have to actually buy the individual games as well. But how has Google learned from the aforementioned failings in the creation of their Google Stadia gaming platform?
How Google Has Learned From The PS Now’s Mistakes
Unlike the Playstation Now, the Google Stadia platform has been designed to offer gamers with a new way to play their favorite modern games, which has been key to its success thus far in regards to building up a hype for its release.
With the very first game ever featured on the Stadia platform being Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey (way back in March!) it has always been clear that the Stadia platform would be offering something entirely different to the Playstation Now. This belief was only further backed up by the overall success of Google’s beta of Project Stream, which surprised fans worldwide and showed that ultra high definition cloud gaming was not only real, but was also very possible with the existing technology of the time. This would serve to be instrumental later on in regards to securing the faith of gamers around the world.
Google has always been incredibly proud of the features that it is offering with its cloud gaming platform, and have taken any opportunity possible to remind people of these impressive statistics and capabilities. Such an approach does make it seem quite likely that Google took inspiration for the direction in which they wanted to take the Google Stadia gaming platform from the misfortunes of the PS Now.
Now—nearly five months after the original announcement of the Google Stadia gaming platform back at the GDC—we are finally being rewarded for our patience with semi-frequent updates on a number of different games that will be available on the Stadia platform. Indeed, when these titles are compared to the decade old offerings on the original release of the Playstation Now (which admittedly still have their place, but perhaps not as the only available games), the Stadia games database should be phenomenal.
Of course, one of the best changes that Google have implemented is that of the cost of the platform. For a long while, the gaming community could only theorize on the cost of the platform; the best estimates could only conclude that Stadia would be offered at a price similar to that of the PS Now, making it both competitive and better value for money (due to the nature of the games on offer). However, in one of many surprising information reveals, Google made the announcement at their first ever Stadia Connect event that they would be offering access to Stadia for free, and their ‘Google Stadia Pro’ subscription is a mere $9.99 per month—half that of the Playstation Now’s subscriber fee!
Evidently, Google have put a great deal of time and energy into ensuring that their platform doesn’t meet the same somewhat uninspiring end of the PS Now, and with some of the titles that have been announced recently, we think there could be great potential for the success of Stadia as a whole. With new titles expected to be announced at the next Stadia Connect event as well, we can’t help but feel excited for what the coming days and weeks will bring.