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Video Game» Forums » Video Game Related » General Video Gaming

Subject: With Stadia, Google Enters Streaming Video Game Market rss

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It will be interesting to see if this becomes the next Netflix or the next Google+ or something in between.

I do feel like physical media for anything beyond portable handheld consoles is in it's final generation, though Nintendo may hold on as they are always a weird outlier.

CNN

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Apple has plans for something like this, but I believe it's more in the lines of allowing games and apps in general to go on subscription payment. And even then, I recall that it's just for one app. Not a "NESflix" or Netflix type deal where you pay every month and get a library of games/videos to watch.

Oh, and yeah, similar to NES flix.


Here Google has no intentions of bothering with a console, which should save them some money, but like with many other commentators, I'm going to "wait and see" with their approach.
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I think cable companies still have too much of a chokehold and broadband is still unreliable enough that this sort of thing can't go mainstream just yet. We'll get there at some point but even near a city you can't get a reliable connection thanks to various firms that prioritize profit over performance.
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I'll probably try it out, although I have a powerful enough PC that I'm probably not really the target audience. I know somebody who tried Project Stream and was impressed with it.

I am a little worried though about the effect this could have on indie games.
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So, a few reactions to the CNN article.

CNN wrote:
For now, it only works over Wi-Fi, but Google expects it to work on 5G connections in the future.


Aw, so I can't play over Ethernet? Oh well. </snark>

Quote:
The controller also connects directly to the data center instead of locally to the device you're playing on, which Google says will translate to better performance.


Oh crap, it really does require Wi-Fi!

Quote:
The Stadia system is built to work with YouTube and includes a feature that lets players drop a pin at a favorite moment, and then share it online. Anyone can view that pin and jump right to that same exact situation in the game and start playing.


WANT.
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I can't see myself paying full price for a game that I would only stream over the internet. I'm not sure I could see myself paying 50% of what a game would cost to own it, to only be able to stream it.

As for the topic about this potentially being a Netflix for gaming type of thing, I'm torn on that idea.

I have Xbox Game Pass, and while I love the idea of having hundreds of games to choose from that I haven't individually purchased, I also find that I'm far less inclined to devote any meaningful amount of time to games in this format. As some people probably saw from my "What are you playing this week?" games a few weeks ago, I jumped around to probably 7 different games on Xbox Game Pass, and didn't invest in any of them for more than an hour or two. I even really liked a few of the games I played, but still moved on to the next game.

I do like the concept I read about in one of the articles about how you could go from watching a trailer about some game to jumping right into gameplay within about 5 seconds.

The crowd play thing sounds kind of interesting as well. I could see that being kind of fun at parties where everybody takes turns playing some scary/horror game. The crowd play thing would randomly decide who plays next.
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We did some napkin math at work yesterday. That Doom Eternal 4k 60fps thing they had on the floor? Not gonna happen any time soon unless you're next to the data center or stole a Stadia appliance for your house. Even with the most insane (and insanely fast) compression, their "you need a 30Mbps connection for 4k streaming" is... No. Just no.
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it makes me sad to see a good idea is held back because of the crap pile that is the US infrastructure.

I hope that these ideas do get some traction, I think there are plenty of innovative changes that could come out of this if there is just enough of a push. The idea of streaming games could bring a new wave of local multiplayer which I think has been lacking with the death of split screen.
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I don't like the idea of having to rely on internet in order to play, but some of the features do sound neat. I guess we'll see how it goes.
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mafman6 wrote:
it makes me sad to see a good idea is held back because of the crap pile that is the US infrastructure.

I hope that these ideas do get some traction, I think there are plenty of innovative changes that could come out of this if there is just enough of a push. The idea of streaming games could bring a new wave of local multiplayer which I think has been lacking with the death of split screen.
Back in 2011 or so, someone mentioned that the internet speeds that we have now (then) is what S. Korea had 5 years ago. It's also the internet speeds Japan had, 10 years ago.

On another note, someone did a blog of when he spent time in Korea, and marveled just how comprehensive their internet coverage is. He's on top of a mountain and STILL gets wifi! wow
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Peristarkawan wrote:

Quote:
The Stadia system is built to work with YouTube and includes a feature that lets players drop a pin at a favorite moment, and then share it online. Anyone can view that pin and jump right to that same exact situation in the game and start playing.

WANT.
Ooh, I missed that in the news. That's what I get for skimming. Streamable save states sounds pretty amazing, though I am naturally skeptical how many games they will get to allow it. Like I'm sure the technology permits it no matter what since virtualization could do that, but the publishers still have to be on board.
 
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tdphillips wrote:
We did some napkin math at work yesterday. That Doom Eternal 4k 60fps thing they had on the floor? Not gonna happen any time soon unless you're next to the data center or stole a Stadia appliance for your house. Even with the most insane (and insanely fast) compression, their "you need a 30Mbps connection for 4k streaming" is... No. Just no.
Youch. Even if that worked I could only play it for a little bit every month before I'd blow through my ISP's bandwidth cap.
 
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Pass for me. Not especially interested in Microsoft's xCloud (dog and pony show to be at E3) either. Bandwidth and quality sacrifices for streaming and all that. And I'm an old curmudgeon who doesn't need or want to game everywhere and anywhere. Wants to sits on my sofa and play. A console works just fine for me so I can have 4K and HDR and sprinkles.
Plus I loath Google. So there's that.
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Lurkfish wrote:
Pass for me. Not especially interested in Microsoft's xCloud (dog and pony show to be at E3) either. Bandwidth and quality sacrifices for streaming and all that. And I'm an old curmudgeon who doesn't need or want to game everywhere and anywhere. Wants to sits on my sofa and play. A console works just fine for me so I can have 4K and HDR and sprinkles.
Plus I loath Google. So there's that.


I think you should just tell us what you REALLY think...😉
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I'd rather have the rumored Nintendo phone that would replace the 3DS, maybe to play Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and any future games about Kirby or Pokemon or whatever. If this phone is going to exist, I also hope for Virtual Console of NES and GBA.
 
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tdphillips wrote:
We did some napkin math at work yesterday. That Doom Eternal 4k 60fps thing they had on the floor? Not gonna happen any time soon unless you're next to the data center or stole a Stadia appliance for your house. Even with the most insane (and insanely fast) compression, their "you need a 30Mbps connection for 4k streaming" is... No. Just no.


Why do you say that? The difference between 1080p and 4k is just bandwidth, not latency, so while physical location might matter for input lag, I don't see what it's got to do with resolution. Also, Amazon recommends 15 Mbps for streaming 4k, and Netflix recommends 25, so 30 seems entirely reasonable by comparison.
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Peristarkawan wrote:
... Amazon ... and Netflix


My assumption was that they were doing a more traditional 24/30 fps. This was incorrect. Mea culpa. Assuming my initial statement was correct, you would have required at least double the bandwidth. Getting to 60Mbit in my area is out of the question, at least until someone extends some fiber to the area.

As for the distance thing, that would depend on how you get your internet delivered. Being closer to a node would absolutely be better for me. I'm about as far from an AT&T node as you can get, which immediately drops the 30 that I pay for to something a bit closer to 15-20. Turns out that appears to be enough for 4k60 YouTube streaming so cheers for prompting me to test that out.
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As a tech demo, why not, but I'm beyond skeptical of any real-life use outside major cities (at least in Europe).
 
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Even in the incredibly unlikely event that the service technically works, I don't like it.

People already swallowed the always-on DRM of Steam. I like its ubiquity and single-party publisher accessibility, but my support ends there. Case in point, I refuse to purchase games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Civilization VI due to them coming from large publishing houses but enforcing always-on DRM through a digital distributor.
If Valve ever shuts down Steam or if my internet service is ever shot for an extended period of time, I will only have hope that I can find some way to access any of the games I purchased a license to play on the platform.

Now extend that idea to a streaming service: You have no access to your data at all (say goodbye to the free world of mods, if you like those); you have no privacy to play games on your own time without the all-seeing eye of the internet watching you; and if you ever lose access to the internet, lose access to your Google account, or if Google shuts down the service or goes under altogether then you can say goodbye to your games.
People have been locked out of their Google accounts before with no explanation and no recourse (their terms of service grant them the right to terminate your account at any time for any reason--which is hardly a rare stipulation among the tech giants). Why would you ever trust Google with that power?
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Peristarkawan wrote:
tdphillips wrote:
We did some napkin math at work yesterday. That Doom Eternal 4k 60fps thing they had on the floor? Not gonna happen any time soon unless you're next to the data center or stole a Stadia appliance for your house. Even with the most insane (and insanely fast) compression, their "you need a 30Mbps connection for 4k streaming" is... No. Just no.


Why do you say that? The difference between 1080p and 4k is just bandwidth, not latency, so while physical location might matter for input lag, I don't see what it's got to do with resolution. Also, Amazon recommends 15 Mbps for streaming 4k, and Netflix recommends 25, so 30 seems entirely reasonable by comparison.


The difference between 1080p and 4k does have an effect on latency, at least theoretically. It takes longer to compress a 4k image than a 1080p one. Whether the difference amounts to a fraction of a millisecond or 20 ms, I have no idea, and it makes a world of difference.

As for how 30Mbps is enough... I'm not sure. a typical movie is 24 fps while some games are only really comfortable to play if you start approaching 60fps. Add to that that you have to compress the image of games less for similar image quality: game streams will be compressed 'on-the-fly' while a movie can be carefully compressed with human optimization. So, great 4k gaming image quality at 30Mbps is maybe possible but not obvious to achieve.

And last but not least, you can get by 4k Netflix with an average bandwith of 15Mbps because movies can be buffered. In games, everything is created and streamed in real-time so you'll need stable and consistent 30Mbps.
 
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I don't think this is aimed towards every gamer, at least not yet. This seems like exploratory territory, as like others have pointed out, it's hard to imagine that the infrastructure for 4k, 60FPS games over a streaming service exists yet, even with Google's massive and impressive data centers. Assuming that there are major catches to make up for our lack of infrastructure, I'm guessing this will be aimed at more casual gamers who don't want to spend a lot on gaming consoles and are willing to sacrifice some experience for the ability to play AAA games on any device.

That said, this is absolutely the future of gaming, without a doubt, and Google wants to be known for it now and not later (they've done "later" too many times before). Gaming is demanding more and more power from computers, especially since the advent of VR gaming, and it's very expensive to keep up. Streaming may one day eliminate one very expensive component of the arms race: The computer. More importantly, streaming would lower the requirements for a gaming console to make it easier and cheaper to access for everyone. It's hard to imagine it not being the de facto future for gaming, assuming our bandwidth infrastructure can play catch up.*

I agree with some of the posts here that the idea of losing access to our games when data centers shut down is a risk, but it's not something I think the public at large is particularly concerned with. The vast majority of gamers only play recently released games (excepting popular online games, of course). When we consider other mediums, like film or music, there's a lot of films and music that aren't accessible anymore. There's plenty of classic cinema that's never been released to any home format. It's unfortunate, but it's reality. I don't think the public is particularly concerned though, as long as they have new releases ready and available to distract them.

*If one thing will force ISPs to play catch up, it's the rising popularity of video game streaming.
 
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Merely curious here: What's the ecological angle? How does that weigh against less consoles being produced and powered and less game cases and discs/cartridges being produced?

Never mind, checked Twitter for the response on that. Power consumption. Seems like a bit of a stretch though, given it trades one waste of energy for another. Reminds me of the criticism against electric cars.
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I think a more apt comparison would be the energy footprint of Bitcoin.
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JohnRayJr wrote:
I think a more apt comparison would be the energy footprint of Bitcoin.
Except without the constant drive to build out more capacity chasing that dragon. Bitcoin mining rig runners really went out of whack over time.
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