Game streaming services are about to get a little more crowded as Google joins the market. Its Stadia service went live on Tuesday, and early adopters should have already taken it through its paces. Prior to its launch, video game journalists were given special access to review its performance. Majority of the feedback claim that the experience is serviceable, but not that outstanding. Hence those who primarily play on console and PC are not missing a lot. Nevertheless, the troubled launch of the new platform is reportedly pushing other gamers away in favour of Microsoft's Project xCloud.
Before the launch of Stadia, Sony was already one step ahead with its PlayStation Now cloud streaming service. Moreover, it recently slashed prices down to make it even more competitive with Google's new venture. Microsoft, on the other hand, just recently wrapped up the limited public beta for Project xCloud.
An article published by CNet illustrates one of Stadia biggest problems, which is first-party titles. For comparison, Microsoft already has a large library of games on tap for when Project xCloud launches, which is speculated to be in 2020.
Google on the other hand, only offers a small library of 22 games, most of which are probably already owned by gamers with only one first-party exclusive. This disparity is already a big factor when it comes to attracting consumers.
Then there's the issue regarding the devices supported. Stadia is currently only compatible with Google's smartphones (Pixel 2 and newer), a Chromecast Ultra, or on a PC via the Chrome browser. Moreover, some of those who apparently ordered the Premiere Edition did not even receive their packages in time for the launch.
Then there's the lag, which Google supposedly addressed last month with bold claims of negative latency technology. Some users are even complaining about the missing features and functionality promised by Google before launch. It makes it look like subscribers are paying to beta test the service. On top of it all, Stadia will not work over a mobile network data connection.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is partnering with major carriers in different territories for Project xCloud. It appears game streaming still has a long way before it can replace a PC or video game console.