Cloud gaming has been met with a mixed reception at present, although a study conducted not long after the Google Stadia announcement suggested that the majority of console gamers were at least interested in trying out the Google Stadia console alternative. However, concerns as to how well cloud gaming in general will actually work in the real world—not just on paper—are rife among the community. The passion that Google itself has shown for both its Google Stadia project and the precursor to Google Stadia, Project Stream, is evident to see. With that being said, we now have even more proof as to the confidence that Google feel for Stadia.
At the I/O conference, the lead engineer for Google Stadia, Guru Somadder, said:
“One out of every four bytes on the internet today is from a Google service or travels Google’s network.”
Though this was admittedly an indirect reference, it quite clearly seems to show Somadder’s confidence in Google and is a not-so-subtle reference to Google’s computing power and domination of the internet. It isn’t such a stretch to see him continuing that statement with a reference to Google’s unrivaled technology. After all, if anyone can make cloud gaming work, it’s a multi-national organisation who, in 2018, made over 136 billion dollars—compared to Microsoft’s revenue of only 110 billion dollars (although let’s be honest—that’s no small sum regardless!)
It is vital, when it comes to cloud gaming, that Google get things right. You only have to look as far as some of the more recently released console games adaptations to see how important it is that systems can cope with the demands placed upon them. Take Fallout 76, the highly anticipated sequel to Fallout 4; after the initial success of the Beta testing, the full release of the game was simply too popular for systems to handle and players suffered from latency and crashing software as a result. A great shame, considering the initial hype shown for the game itself.
At I/O, Google did also take the time to address this particular point. They mentioned The Division 2 and Apex Legends as examples of how online gaming, and by extension cloud gaming, can be done right and can be exceptional; in these cases, despite millions of players logging on concurrently for the first few days after its release, the games still ran smoothly without a distracting occurrence of latency. This is what Google is aiming for with Stadia, and there’s no reason that they can’t achieve this, assuming they’ve put enough investment into the Google Stadia servers. After all, both Apex Legends and The Division 2 were run on the Google Cloud.
If Google has indeed made the impressive preparations that is has claimed, then we see little reason that Google Stadia will be anything other than flawless in regards to quality and latency, or lack thereof. As with so many things Google Stadia related, though, only time will tell before we can truly make a decision as to whether their cloud gaming plans can be pulled off or not!