Streaming or data streaming, commonly seen in the forms of audio and video streaming, is when a multimedia file can be played back without being completely downloaded first. Spotify started it back in 2008 where you could stream music. Which, at the time, was mind-blowing. This was because you now did not need a couple of gigabytes of storage on your phone dedicated to music; you just needed a good internet connection. Netflix and other video streaming services then followed suit, selling to consumers the comfort of watching movies and series without ever having to go to the store and buy them. All this makes a lot of sense for music and video, simply because it fills a niche that exists. Game streaming, however, that is a different proposition.
Let us look at all the facts first. The main players in this specific playground are Google with Stadia, Microsoft with the upcoming project xCloud and Sony ‘s PlayStation Now. All of them are offering the same basic proposition; ability to stream video games on to any device at a monthly fee. This, however, will beg the question, to whom is this service being rendered? It can’t be for the new gamer who doesn’t have enough cash to buy a console but somehow has enough to pay for high-speed internet and a Stadia subscription. Maybe it is for the gamer on the move who doesn’t want to carry around a Nintendo switch or a PS Vita. This doesn’t work either cause the gamer would have to carry around a controller to play games on Stadia.
Then let us assume that all the aforementioned points are irrelevant and you just want to play google stadia just because. At launch, they have about 31 games, most of which, if you are an average gamer you will already have played. Their list will include titles such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Borderlands 3, Mortal Kombat 11, Darksiders Genesis, Tom Clancy’s The Division among other games. What you realize is that, you already have these games, or at the very least you have either played them or pre-ordered them for your current-gen console or PC. So why bother paying $10 (KSh ~1100) a month to go to Stadia’s store to buy these games again?
Some will argue that it’s all about the specs, the ability to play games at 4k and 120fps. But if you are a PC gamer, you can have your game at 4k and fps well over 120 depending on your rig, and if you’re a console gamer, 4k at 60fps is quite literally the industry standard, and even then, for you to have a gaming experience at 4k and 120fps, you need a 4k TV. It’s not like your 1080p TV will upscale graphics for you. So why choose Stadia? The only reason I can think of to buy the Stadia subscription is if Google Stadia starts churning out exclusives. What do you think?