It doesn’t seem like a year ago that Google rolled out Stadia, its foray into cloud gaming.
But it is: yesterday, 19th November, Stadia celebrated its first birthday. It’s just starting to walk and mumbling its first words! Cute!
Well, not quite. But Google wants to remind you that Stadia is Very Much A Thing by telling you all about its achievements so far.
Since its launch in November 2019, Google has committed to improving the platform. And in that time, over 100 improvements and features have been added. We’ve seen the addition of interesting features like Crowd Play and Crowd Choice; free play days have become a thing; Early Access games have been added to the service; and it’s now compatible with all Android phones.
It’s also hosted 15 games either exclusive to Stadia or time-exclusive, like Gylt, Get Packed, Serious Sam 4 and Super Bomberman R Online. And leading new releases are often available on Stadia at the same time as other formats, like Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Watch Dogs Legion.
If you’re yet to try Stadia, it’s worth dabbling with. It’s free to access; you can play via a Google Chrome browser window on a laptop or desktop. If you’ve got an Android phone or tablet, you can download the Stadia app, and if you’ve got Chromecast Ultra, you can enjoy it on your big TV. iOS compatibility is on its way, too.
The downside is you need to have a stable internet connection, but if you do, there’s something incredible about being able to jump into a huge game the second you’ve hit the ‘buy’ button. No waiting several hours for 80GB of content to be downloaded, and no disruptions if an update is needed. As long as you’re online, you can play – instantly and anywhere.
We’ve written several times about the experience of gaming on Stadia, and always, we come away mostly impressed. It’s just limited by your internet; losing connection or quality at a pivotal moment can hamper your experience. But if you think your connection is decent enough, it’s definitely worth trying.
Stadia may have only made small ripples in the gaming industry in its first year, but we’re interested to see where else it may go in the next year and beyond. The concept of streaming your games definitely has potential, even if it’s not been fully realised yet.