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My Requiem for Stadia: the death of the cloud gaming platform that wanted to annihilate the hardware and ended up overwhelmed in the attempt

I am an active player of Google Stadia. I have said it about a thousand times to my colleagues at Esports Extras and at least a dozen I have written it down. What’s more, since Google started this adventure I’ve always been a Stadia Pro subscriber. I don’t play as much as I wanted to, but I have an impressive library of games there. If I add those of the service are 171 Video Games, nothing less. On January 18, 2023, all those titles, like the great moments and progress made in them, will vanish like tears in the rain. The sentence is pronounced: Google Stadia Chapa.

The feeling I have is one of genuine sorrow. I know that I should feel anger or rage for losing what I have achieved and bought, but it is that most of the games that I have been playing (The Elders Scrolls Online, Overcooked! All You Can Eat, Control Ultimate Edition or Moonlighter) I have them one way or another on Xbox Series X or Nintendo Switch. Within days Superhot, which I first tried on Stadia, is added to PS Plus.

I can get back on my feet and my own milestones in Resident Evil 7 biohazard Gold Edition and Metro Exodus simply by purchasing their respective DLCs elsewhere. Because, for one thing or another, they are games that I dedicated their good hours to Stadia, I also ended up playing on other systems. And the disbursement will not be a problem: except for the price of the Stadia Pro subscription (optional to play) Google will return everything I paid.

And yet, losing my game of Celeste or Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night devastates me.

I sincerely hope that GYLT finds a new home: barring a surprise announcement, once Stadia shuts down servers, the Tequila Works game will be gone forever. It was his first exclusive! This year the people of Madrid have yet to release Song of Nunu, so sooner or later we’ll hear from them.

However, the news does not catch us new nor is it a jug of cold water: the Stadia project began to falter and put nails in its own coffin since the closure of Stadia Games and Entertainment. That the new Chromecast models were not compatible a year after their launch was also an unmistakable sign.

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Which, added, leaves me with another clear reading: the consequences of the server blackout are devastating, but it is paradoxical that that revolutionary cloud gaming platform that wanted to annihilate the hardware was overwhelmed by an even more bizarre reality: the absolute shortage of graphics cards and the absurd distribution of new generation consoles due to high demand and manufacturing and distribution problems.

What an irony, right?

The big difference between the closure of Stadia and other well-known falls in the video game industry is how Google wants to close things. Whoever had big plans for Ouya will now have a very exclusive paperweight, while the online titan will allow me to face the January slope and the 2023 releases with more ease than expected. But that does not mean that the closure is a sad ending for an initiative that wanted to be revolutionary.

Playing Stadia from an Xbox: this has been my experience after testing it thoroughly

The cloud gaming platform that wanted to annihilate the hardware and was overwhelmed in the attempt

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Everything goes back to March 19, 2019. Interestingly, a year before the pandemic that hit the whole world, including the manufacture of the new PlayStation and Xbox consoles. After a very positive reaction to cloud gaming tests and with technology in its favor, Google made its own cloud gaming alternative official. “A video game platform for everyone” who wanted to break the chains of hardware. He confessed that after the presentation he was genuinely fascinated by that idea.

The premise of Stadia: play what you want where you want. Buy the video game and use it on your computer, on your television, on your mobile or on any device with an internet connection where Google is present in one way or another. Use the controls you already have at home, forget about the installations and spend the money on new games instead of expensive graphics cards and hard drive upgrades.

Cyberpunk Stadia

If you want to play Cyberpunk 2077 or FIFA like on the new generation consoles or with the quality of very expensive gaming desktops you just need an internet connection. You buy the game and nothing else. Do you want to play in 4K quality? Subscribe to Stadia Pro. The idea was that simple. And so it has been until now.

The other reality came just before the launch of Stadia, and that is that everything was to be done: Functions announced as jumping to a multiplayer game in progress on the fly or resuming a video game from a specific moment created by another player through a simple click were notorious absences of that revolution.

But it is that things as simple as achievements or direct messages between players were not enabled either; or as necessary as it could be used on any phone: only users of models Esports Extras 2, 2XL, 3, 3XL, 3a, 3a XL, 4 and 4XL they were able to play Stadia in the cloud in 2019. The arrival of improvements and innovations by Google was dropper and always at the wrong time but, at least, the quality of the gaming experience always played in its favor compared to other alternatives.

And it still is.

The uncertainty with Stadia was always there, things as they are. Google has the resources to keep the projects it deems interesting afloat, but it is also known to nip in the bud those that it does not see a future for. It is in sight. But the problem with Stadia was always communication: it did not come from the first or the last, but Stadia came with too many promises to keep and as it was added, it had less relevance as a platform.

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Today, what made it stand out from other alternatives such as Xbox Cloud Gaming or GeForce Now was the quality of the gaming experience and its universal nature on practically any device capable of connecting to the internet, including the Xbox Series X web browser. Because when it comes to its catalog of games, and as I already mentioned, there is only one title that I will miss GYLT the last stronghold of exclusivity of the Stadia video game division.

Which does not mean that its closure of servers is a task for an undetermined number of video game enthusiasts. A number of active players or buyers who, seen what has been seen, it wasn’t profitable enough to support Stadia.

Steam Deck vs Logitech G Cloud, comparison.  What is the best option for you?

The server blackout and the death of a revolutionary gaming platform. And now that?

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I don’t consider myself a early adopter nor do I identify myself with those who have the urgent need to have technology or services as soon as they are available unless I am very clear about what I am buying and why. My perspective of Google Stadia has not changedbut today I have mixed feelings: thanks to its cloud gaming format I tried games that I would not have done otherwise, just as it happens with Xbox Game Pass, but I have the terrible feeling that in those in which I have advanced more I have wasted my time.

Because it’s not the server outage that worries me, but the way in which my games and my games will vanish overnight. My idea of ​​playing on any gadget with a screen and internet connection from my account.

How much is that?

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Despite all the shortcomings that Stadia had as a service, which I jumped into as soon as the reservations opened, I do not regret at all for betting on a system in which I can play where I want and how I want to whatever I want. With mouse and keyboard from the PC from which I write to you or using the mobile as a remote control on a friend’s TV.

I do not regret having paid from day one and every month for the Stadia Pro subscription. He didn’t have to do it to play the games he owned., but every month at least one game was added to the Google selection that justified those ten euros and that, in one way or another, I amortized in my spare time or away from home. With Stadia I wrote off my Razer Kishi and celebrated the iOS update that added support for Xbox Wireless Controllers. As I mentioned, I have played every week. If I haven’t played more it’s because I didn’t want to.

Nor do I leave anyone behind. To, at least, no friends with whom to improvise games. Originally a handful of braves from this house, including José Y Yubal from Xataka, we got on the car excited and little by little I was left alone. Great games like Dirt 5 I only went through the offline modes and titles like The Elders Scrolls Online Y Overcook! All You Can Eat with whoever was there.

I don’t even want to think about the consequences of whoever has bet to play the newly released FIFA 23 on Stadia, but at least I know that the money will be refunded.

Because I have no idea how many games will have been sold on Stadia between deals (much better and more attractive than the console ones) and launches, but the disbursement that Google will make to liquidate Stadia can be an astronomical amount: Refunds will be offered for all Stadia hardware purchases (including Founders Edition and Google TV bundles) made through the Google Store and all additional game and content purchases.

And despite the fact that Stadia may not have caught up with Nintendo, PlayStation or Xbox, the fall of this minor agent in the world of the videogame it will suppose a colossal cost for Google.

Stadia wasn’t the hardware alternative it could have been. But I can’t blame him for anything. The service I paid for I enjoyed and what I bought will be returned to me. I keep much more than my controller and a ChromeCast as a memento of the experience. Maybe I can even get my parachute back from PUBG.

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And despite the fact that time gave the deserved reason to all those who thought differently from me regarding Stadia (regards Reubenwho is never wrong), I know myself and I positively know that I will bet again on those initiatives in which I have faith. Because if we don’t support the future of gaming that we genuinely believe in, how will we get there?

That said, and if you’ll excuse me, I only have until January 18, 2023 to catch up on my 171 Stadia games that will vanish. This crazy idea of ​​​​Google to make us play video games with any gadget that we have at hand has its days numbered: Let’s have a good time until then!

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