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Google Stadia: operation, games, reviews, price

Everything you need to know about this cloud gaming service.


Article By Karl Poire

November 26, 2020, 10:45 am

WHAT IS CLOUD GAMING?

Today, you drag a disk into your game console or download the files of a game to your device, and... there is also the Nintendo Switch with its cartridges. Depending on the components inside your device, your game will be more or less beautiful and fluid. With cloud gaming, this "game box" resides in a data center filled with servers, located miles from your position. You play games, such as watching a YouTube or Netflix video, as a series of compressed video images that are sent by servers to your device. Unlike videos, games respond to your input. Every time you press a button that lets your character jump, that entry is sent to a remote server, it is interpreted and the server sends you a new image. Multiply by 30, 60 or 144 frames per second and you get a video. 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CLOUD GAMING?

Now that you know how it works theoretically, here are the interests of cloud gaming:

You can play on any screen: smartphone, tablet, TV, PC... and even an old laptop that wouldn't run any games normally;
You benefit from the power of a dedicated gaming machine, without having to build one or buy one;
You do not have to maintain;
There are no waiting for download (or almost) or game updates;
Testing a game is as easy and simple as running a series on Netflix.
Loading times are generally shorter in games;
Power is self-scalable, so you don't have to buy a new graphics card to get more performance.
You can buy a one-month offer to test a game you were waiting for, then stop the subscription when you finish your game.
Some games will benefit from new features enabled by cloud gaming (as in a local network, imagine a virtual world with thousands of people connected in the same place);
Most data centers are energy efficient, in other words: energy consumption is minimized for an identical service;
The hardware used in data centers (CPU, GPU, storage, memory, cables...) is optimized and often recycled at the end of life.  Of course, these benefits differ depending on the characteristics of the offerings, data centers and platforms.

WHAT IS GOOGLE STADIA?

With Stadia, Google explained to us that players can play high definition AAA titles, without having to buy a console. Stadia is therefore above all a cloud gaming technology developed by Google combined with a gaming platform also developed by Google. And by the way, we didn't know the platform in the first place, but we knew the technology as Project Stream. All you need is a Google Chrome browser and an Internet connection. Of course, you can play the same games on any screen, be it a desktop computer, a laptop, a TV, a tablet or a mobile phone. Suppose you play Destiny 2 on your TV, but you have to get out of your house quickly. You can resume your game on your smartphone.

HOW MUCH IS STADIA?

Google has presented two Stadia offers. The first one is Stadia Base, it's free. But that doesn't mean you can play for free. You should buy your games like on Steam, PS4 or Switch, and not just anywhere: in Google's catalog. The Stadia Pro offer offers the same thing, with a catalog of a few games that is supplemented every month by new games. The difference between the two offers is mainly the quality of experience offered: Full HD definition with stereo sound on the basic offer versus 4K surround sound 5.1 on the Pro offer.

 

 

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