Google Stadia sounds like a bad idea

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/19/google-stadia-sounds-like-a-ba.html

4 Likes

#2

So many bets on the immediate future of technology are predicated on extremely reliable, extremely fast internet connections. Meanwhile there isn’t any indication current networks are improving at the rate needed to meet those bandwidth needs, either via home broadband or in the wireless spectrum.

So, yeah, cool you’re making leaps and bounds in the AR space and VR is closer than 10 years away finally and maybe driverless cars are about to be a thing but how the heck are any of these going to happen if the ISP’s keep digging in their heels?

12 Likes

#3

Yeah. I don’t enjoy the latency streaming games from point A to B on my local network.

I am not going to enjoy streaming a game over the internet.

7 Likes

#4

for the ignorant like me, how os this different from Steam?

1 Like

#5

“is” :slight_smile:

Steam downloads the game to your computer. This is going to stream it to your computer.

5 Likes

#6

Steam installs the game on your computer. Small amounts of data are then exchanged between clients to facilitate multiplayer.

Stadia installs the game on a google server and you VNC into that instance, remotely controlling the video game like a streaming movie. The overhead for stadia is massive. Essentially the same as netflix. Except you can’t buffer and lockup means you lose.

5 Likes

#7

So you haven’t tested it, and you have no practical reason to bash it. If it performs as claimed, it would be a revolutionary way to do gaming that doesn’t require specific controls or 1600 gaming computers. Input latency will be lower than most games on revising platforms today because they are adjusted server side to the lowest performer. This renders every player simultaneously and keeps everyone in perfect sync.

3 Likes

#8

I have an NVIDIA Shield TV and I’ve played games like Borderlands 2, GTA V and Bulletstorm on it using NVIDIA’s game streaming platform. It worked fine, so I’m willing to accept that game-streaming can work for more than Hearts if you have a fast enough Internet connection. (I have one of the higher-end TELUS plans). But boy oh boy does it chew up data. Your connection has to not just be fast, but uncapped.

13 Likes

#9

It seems Google is going down the same path as Microsoft. They’ve gotten so far removed from the reality of the world (that’s you and me) that they think their dream world is real and they know what the masses want. It comes down to testing in the field and getting user input but, as stated in the article, your normal internet connection is not capable of handling the throughput which will be required for smooth MMO play. However, they have enough money to rewire an entire city if that’s what it takes to prove they’ve been ‘successful’.

3 Likes

#10

If this ushers in a new golden age of single-player adventure games and turn-based strategy titles, I’m super okay with it. Games that reward reflexes over puzzle solving or strategy can die in a fire.

11 Likes

#11

Beyond what LDoBe said, steam does have streaming. You can download a game onto your desktop and then stream it to your laptop, or to a steam link (a tiny box you hook up to your TV to play your PC games on.) The difference is that the steam link is streaming inside of your house: you have to pipe the data a few hundred feet in total. With this, you’re streaming it from Google’s data center which is tens to hundreds of miles away. The lag even streaming over a local network is noticeable so this is going to be a hard pass from me.

6 Likes

#12

Spades is much more fun than Hearts. It’s almost Bridge!

4 Likes

#13

Steam can stream from your PC to your TV with the dedicated streaming boxes (or they have a streaming app now too–I hear the boxes work better though). Big difference is Cloud > TV instead of Room A (PC) to Room B (TV).

I’m sure it’s fine and dandy for strategy games, and casual platformers, whatever. Anything PVP is right out because

PVP is bad enough with network congestion, crappy internet and intentional lag switchers.

ETA: @tekk beat me to it.

2 Likes

#14

Counterpoint - I live in a city with reasonably fast cable internet, and I tried the Assassin’s Creed streaming demo for about three hours in total over the course of a few weeks, and it was great! Zero lag, graphics looked good.

3 Likes

#15
1 Like

#16

My first reaction is the same. But then I thought that on demand streaming SD TV could never go mainstream because of the bandwidth, too, So my track record on what is possible is a bit spotty.

2 Likes

#17

This is very different – and its not forever impossible, but it is today’s network deployment unlikely to work well.

2 Likes

#18

while I do share your optimism that it might be a revolutionary new platform, it is unlikely to work that smoothly mostly due to the constraints of ISP’s/network-load/latency issues.

I certainly hope it does work as advertised, but I’m not holding my breath.

1 Like

#19

Oh, I do realize that latency is a different issue for gaming than streaming video, but it sounds more like all we can say of Stadia is that it may be pre-mature rather than a bad idea in general.

Regardless, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so we’ll have to wait and see. I’m skeptical, but I’m also skeptical of my own skepticism since I’ve been wrong many times when it comes to predicting limits on technology. :thinking:

So here’s the question. Did Google just do this on a wing an a prayer? Or did they do this based on metrics that show it is possible? Google knows networking very well and has lots of data on latency. But they also have a spotty track record. So, I dunno,

3 Likes

#20

Say what you will about google, but they’re really good at sending bits from their data center to your computer, so who knows? Maybe it’ll work.

2 Likes