The Verge - Google Stadia hands-on: near-flawless Doom Eternal running on a Chromebook

The Albatross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,899
I'm a gaming enthusiast who doesn't have a lot of time to play these days, so streaming is something I'm interested in from an ease-of-use perspective.

The price point (Free) is attractive to more casual gamers for sure.

To answer that other person' question about who it's attracting... I think the early adopters will be enthusiasts like me who are interested in technology for technology's sake. I'm the kind of person who spends more time chatting about games than actually playing them, and I have enough disposable income for my gaming hobby that I'll buy an Xbox One X or PS4 Pro even if I never really make use of all of the bells and whistles. I'm bullish on streaming, though I'm not convinced it'll capture the enthusiast or casual market.
 

cnorwood

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,241
Stadia will be, for the people with the internet speed and data allowance to allow it, more than serviceable. I'm confident in that.

However, there will be a TON of people who will swear up and down, no matter how good the experience is, that it's not good enough. Google will need to do blind Pepsi Taste Tests with this thing, to prove to people that they don't care about the minuscule concessions the way they think they do.
I doubt the average consumer would notice input lag. I know plenty of people who put motion smoothing on their TVs for videogames because they think it looks better even though it feels like a half a second of input lag.
 

RowdyReverb

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,103
Texas
It’s interesting to me that they would bundle the Founder’s Edition with a WiFi-only streaming device. You’d think it would at least come with an adapter since a wired connection should give you the best connection
 

SoaringDive

Member
Feb 3, 2019
107
So who are these streaming services aiming?
People who want to play games without wasting hundreds of dollars on dedicated gaming hardware. People who want to play co-op games like Monster Hunter without having to buy 4 consoles between the 4 of you. Students who gave up buying a next-gen console to afford a note-taking laptop.

Lots of people aren't gamers but would enjoy playing games. Much like how not everybody who listens to music is an audiophile ready to throw thousands of dollars down a hole for a slightly better experience.
 

Skux

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,367
Bullshit. Input lag is incredibly noticable. I've tried both PSNow and Project Stream and it stands out like a sore thumb.

Serviceable is the operative word.
Yup. I play LoL in New Zealand and latency to Australian servers is about 45ms. Sometimes it can go up to 70-80ms and I can tell the difference, the whole game feels a little sluggish. There's no way I would deliberately choose a worse way to play a game if I had the option.
 

thebishop

Member
Nov 10, 2017
1,059
Sightly better?

I've been able to try 3 difference streaming services all works exactly the same and all are far from the local experience.

meltdowns going to be epic
I don't think anyone interested in Stadia is excited about a shitty gaming experience. The discussion presumes that latency is imperceptible to all but competitive players. If latency is bad, then the whole project is bad and nothing else matters.
 

SoaringDive

Member
Feb 3, 2019
107
Sightly better?

I've been able to try 3 difference streaming services all works exactly the same and all are far from the local experience.

meltdowns going to be epic
I was talking about audiophiles there.

The lag will improve year over year for major populations, eventually becoming the same gap between spotify with decent headphones and FLAC with audiophile equipment.
 

Delusibeta

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,109
Ultimately, the primary audience is going to be (for want of a better word) the more casual audience, for which streaming is "good enough". If Google, Microsoft or Sony can get to the stage where streaming is "good enough" for a wide variety of people, there's a definite chance that's going to start eating into console purchases and low end PC gaming.
 

LebGuns

Member
Oct 25, 2017
936
The two issues were both pretty major and to me don't make it a "near flawless" experience.
Right?!! I feel like losing input playing a game is a huge fucking deal. Imagine getting to a boss fight or playing a rougelike and all of a sudden you lose input and your whole progress vanishes.
 

Herb Alpert

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,659
Paris, France
Ultimately, the primary audience is going to be (for want of a better word) the more casual audience, for which streaming is "good enough". If Google, Microsoft or Sony can get to the stage where streaming is "good enough" for a wide variety of people, there's a definite chance that's going to start eating into console purchases and low end PC gaming.
this audience is probably far more huge than a lot of people think though
 

pikachief

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,006
I'm going to say 9/10 of you grandstanding over lag have not actually tried streaming. You can only detect so much latency even with your fineley tuned gamer fingers.

Edit: CloseTalker beat me to it
When I got my new tv at 57.5ms of input lag it looked fine and I could not see any input lag, but when I switched to game mode on my tv (18.4ms) it was night and day difference how it felt and how well I played.

If streaming cannot stay under 60ms then I will notice and it will make me not want to play.
 

thebishop

Member
Nov 10, 2017
1,059
When I got my new tv at 57.5ms of input lag it looked fine and I could not see any input lag, but when I switched to game mode on my tv (18.4ms) it was night and day difference how it felt and how well I played.

If streaming cannot stay under 60ms then I will notice and it will make me not want to play.
Nobody is Pro-Latency here.
 

Delusibeta

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,109
this audience is probably far more huge than a lot of people think though
It does still depend on the content, and that's one thing Xcloud on paper has over Stadia. Stadia requires Linux ports, while apparently Xcloud requires Xbox One ports. Far more developers are publishers are going to make Xbox One ports regardless of streaming.

However, if Stadia starts reliably getting staples such as FIFA, Call of Duty and Battlefield, they're in a strong position. (They've seemingly got Ubisoft fully committed, which is an excellent start).
 

nded

Member
Nov 14, 2017
3,726
Pros and cons, I'm sure streaming will have its place. If streaming is "the future" and completely supplants games running on a local machine, then that's probably the end of gaming as a hobby for me.
 

Delusibeta

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,109
Pros and cons, I'm sure streaming will have its place. If streaming is "the future" and completely supplants games running on a local machine, then that's probably the end of gaming as a hobby for me.
I can't imagine streaming completely surplanting local PC gaming. There is always going to be an audience for the highest quality graphics delivered at the smoothest of frame rates with the lowest of latency, and PC gaming is really the only destination if you want all three (and are willing to pay the up-front cost for the privilege). It's consoles that I'd be worried about.
 

TheZynster

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,571
No the difference is you have to own a pc or console to do that type of streaming from your own hardware

This requires no gaming hardware

You clearly have never used nvidia now, Stadia atm still requires basically a console in the beginning. The controller is the console. Later on, sure it will be more.

But the nvidia shield is literally just acting as a set top box like an apple tv to play games. I played The Division 2 the other day, no PC running, no hardware other than the nvidia shield logged right into uplay and away I went. No downloads.

I'm saying that the tech has been there and working fantastic for awhile.
 

thebishop

Member
Nov 10, 2017
1,059
Obviously, but I always see people say that the latency will be negligible or that were overblowing the latency.
Because that's the promise on offer. If Stadia and XCloud consistency have 100ms+ latency, next-gen is going to look a lot like this gen.

If latency is consistently under 50ms, and issues of macroblocking are generally solved, then we might be in a new exciting world.

The idea that cloud streaming is "imperceptibly worse" than local rendering is subjective. It would be a lie to say there's no quality tradeoff. But the point is to get the quality tradeoff down to the level where most people can't tell the difference. I have a nice record player in my house, snazzy preamp, vinyl in good condition, etc. But 99% of my music listening is Spotify. There's a quality difference but it's not noticeable enough to turn down having most of the world's music available on any device, shareable playlists, etc. If Stadia is in that kind of window, then I could see jumping into streaming immediately and never looking back. It solves a lot of problems I have with gaming right now. If not, then it's PS5 for me. Nothing wrong with that.
 

luffeN

Member
Oct 30, 2017
517
I'm going to say 9/10 of you grandstanding over lag have not actually tried streaming. You can only detect so much latency even with your fineley tuned gamer fingers.

Edit: CloseTalker beat me to it
Playing Rocket League directly on PC versus Steam link over LAN to my TV made a sizeable difference. But to be fair it was 144 fps versus 60 fps.
 

Cynn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,267
Near flawless except, ya know, the whole thing fell apart to the point I died with zero control response.

Now, there were a couple issues I encountered. At one point, my Stadia stream stopped receiving inputs from the Stadia controller, leaving my unfortunate Doom Eternal character squashed up against a wall while I got pounded on by angry demons.
Uh that’s a pretty big goddamn flaw. The core idea to have the controller connect separately to the server as the video stream is cool in theory but in practice the two getting out of sync will likely be very common.
 

thebishop

Member
Nov 10, 2017
1,059
You clearly have never used nvidia now, Stadia atm still requires basically a console in the beginning. The controller is the console. Later on, sure it will be more.
I don't agree with this metaphor at all. But anyway, Stadia will support other controllers at launch via Chrome on a laptop. It's via the chromecast where you need the google controller.
 

The Albatross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,899
Obviously, but I always see people say that the latency will be negligible or that were overblowing the latency.
Google is doing something very interesting with connecting your controller directly to the instance of your game running in the cloud. Rather than having latency between the controller and the console/TV, and then passing the input up to the server, then passing it back down, then waiting for a new response from your controller, they're skipping the middle man and connecting both independently.

I think that's a really novel feature that could make a big impact with how streaming feels. If it feels laggy, then enthusiasts like us who can tell the difference between 58ms and 18ms will just not be into it in most instances; but if they can normalize that down to a lower level, then I think it could work for even enthusiasts for most games.
 

Mars

Member
Oct 25, 2017
789
I don't get the negativity from some people about this.

I am always excited to try new technology and the promise of being able to truly play almost anywhere is pretty exciting to me.

If it sucks it sucks, but it sounds extremely promised and I am definitely going to give it a try on my average ass internet.
Maybe folks just don't want to take someone else's word for it? Read some bullet points and now I'm suppose to be convinced? ...this is one of those things that requires real world 'scenarios' to really see how it all plays out. I'm not keen on potentially paying for something that doesn't work out as it should, nor does anyone owe any of these companies the benefit of the doubt, especially since this is just the beginning of a very big thing moving forward.

This is the future, I'd just rather join in on it when it past its infancy but I hope it happens sooner than later because I do believe this is the future of gaming.
 

pikachief

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,006
Because that's the promise on offer. If Stadia and XCloud consistency have 100ms+ latency, next-gen is going to look a lot like this gen.

If latency is consistently under 50ms, and issues of macroblocking are generally solved, then we might be in a new exciting world.

The idea that cloud streaming is "imperceptibly worse" than local rendering is subjective. It would be a lie to say there's no quality tradeoff. But the point is to get the quality tradeoff down to the level where most people can't tell the difference. I have a nice record player in my house, snazzy preamp, vinyl in good condition, etc. But 99% of my music listening is Spotify. There's a quality difference but it's not noticeable enough to turn down having most of the world's music available on any device, shareable playlists, etc. If Stadia is in that kind of window, then I could see jumping into streaming immediately and never looking back. It solves a lot of problems I have with gaming right now. If not, then it's PS5 for me. Nothing wrong with that.
Yea streaming is not for me as a hardcore enthusiast, but I really like the concept of streaming. If XCloud let me stream a game I purchase when it needs and update or I have not downloaded yet so it can download the game while I sleep and play when im home that would be fantastic.

In the end I hope its a success for those who aren’t looking for the highest quality gameplay or just cant really tell or be bothered by it, beacuse I’d like to see the technology evolve.

Edit:

Google is doing something very interesting with connecting your controller directly to the instance of your game running in the cloud. Rather than having latency between the controller and the console/TV, and then passing the input up to the server, then passing it back down, then waiting for a new response from your controller, they're skipping the middle man and connecting both independently.

I think that's a really novel feature that could make a big impact with how streaming feels. If it feels laggy, then enthusiasts like us who can tell the difference between 58ms and 18ms will just not be into it in most instances; but if they can normalize that down to a lower level, then I think it could work for even enthusiasts for most games.
I actually just read about their controller. Seems very cool! That and the xbox one becoming a server seem interesting and I really like how they are trying new things to bypass the inevitable latency and it makes me hopeful that as the tech evolves it’ll get a lot better.
 

The Albatross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,899
I don't get the negativity from some people about this.

I am always excited to try new technology and the promise of being able to truly play almost anywhere is pretty exciting to me.

If it sucks it sucks, but it sounds extremely promised and I am definitely going to give it a try on my average ass internet.
Exactly. I think a lot of the negativity is people feel very threatened by:
  1. A company that they're not comfortable with in their gaming space (e.g., that they don't have a tribalistic affinity for, ala Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft)
  2. A method of playing games that is very different from the method they've had in the past. No plastic box in their living room, what?
  3. Legitimate questions/concerns/anxiety about license ownership on a platform that's fully hosted, as opposed to "having the box" or "owning the bytes" or more importantly the perception of "owning the bytes." I think this is a bigger perception problem than actual problem, but anxiety is anxiety.
THis manifests itself into a desire to just shit on anything.
 

zerocalories

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,169
Exactly. I think a lot of the negativity is people feel very threatened by:
  1. A company that they're not comfortable with in their gaming space (e.g., that they don't have a tribalistic affinity for, ala Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft)
  2. A method of playing games that is very different from the method they've had in the past. No plastic box in their living room, what?
  3. Legitimate questions/concerns/anxiety about license ownership on a platform that's fully hosted, as opposed to "having the box" or "owning the bytes" or more importantly the perception of "owning the bytes." I think this is a bigger perception problem than actual problem, but anxiety is anxiety.
THis manifests itself into a desire to just shit on anything.
This site as a whole is just negative toward mostly everything, I’m excited by new technologies. I have an better computer than 90% of people here, yet I’m still looking forward to it

Everyone likes to shoot holes in shit and it’s annoying
 

OrdinaryPrime

Member
Oct 27, 2017
10,550
This site as a whole is just negative toward mostly everything, I’m excited by new technologies. I have an better computer than 90% of people here, yet I’m still looking forward to it

Everyone likes to shoot holes in shit and it’s annoying
Why not actually address people's criticisms of the tech instead of just generally shitting on their opinions? It's pretty damn lazy.
 

BlueManifest

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,722
You clearly have never used nvidia now, Stadia atm still requires basically a console in the beginning. The controller is the console. Later on, sure it will be more.

But the nvidia shield is literally just acting as a set top box like an apple tv to play games. I played The Division 2 the other day, no PC running, no hardware other than the nvidia shield logged right into uplay and away I went. No downloads.

I'm saying that the tech has been there and working fantastic for awhile.
A 40$ chromecast is not the same as a 1,000$ pc or 400$ console is what I meant by you don’t need gaming hardware to stream stadia

Of course you need a controller

And yea I have GeForce now
 

thebishop

Member
Nov 10, 2017
1,059
Yea streaming is not for me as a hardcore enthusiast, but I really like the concept of streaming. If XCloud let me stream a game I purchase when it needs and update or I have not downloaded yet so it can download the game while I sleep and play when im home that would be fantastic.

In the end I hope its a success for those who aren’t looking for the highest quality gameplay or just cant really tell or be bothered by it, beacuse I’d like to see the technology evolve.
The thing is, Stadia could be a lot better quality in terms of visual fidelity than like 90%+ of gamers' experiences. So you're making a tradeoff (hopefully a small one) in latency, but you're getting visuals on par with a $2000 PC... regardless of the device. It's gonna be really stark in the buffer year when Stadia is out before the next-gen consoles. Cyberpunk 2077 could conceivably launch on Stadia (not confirmed afaik) at 4k ultra settings (maybe even ray tracing) at a time when a lot of 'hardcore gamers' are getting a lot less on PS4.

I don't think it's useful to be like only people with 2080s are actually gamers. That kind of hardware is just not available to most people.
 

UltraMagnus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,708
The future is coming fast.

Sure for some they will want physical hardware, but there's also a group of people who insist on buying 4K Blu-Rays too and don't like Netflix streaming.
 

hikarutilmitt

Member
Dec 16, 2017
2,376
Could be the case, but why not have the best setup for demo purposes?
1) it literally might not be possible and make it look worse
2) they're probably still working on some pieces and having it be less than ideal for a 4K presentation wouldn't be a good look after all the promises. We're ~5 months away from the actual product release and who knows what may still need ironing out, but pushing a 4K60 presentation for demo purposes over an exhibit hall connection might be a pipe dream. Honestly, given what is going on and what E3 is, I'm amazed the 1080p stream didn't give them issues. That actually kind of speaks well for it, imo, including the warts they had while demoing it/
 

thebishop

Member
Nov 10, 2017
1,059
Google is doing something very interesting with connecting your controller directly to the instance of your game running in the cloud. Rather than having latency between the controller and the console/TV, and then passing the input up to the server, then passing it back down, then waiting for a new response from your controller, they're skipping the middle man and connecting both independently.

I think that's a really novel feature that could make a big impact with how streaming feels. If it feels laggy, then enthusiasts like us who can tell the difference between 58ms and 18ms will just not be into it in most instances; but if they can normalize that down to a lower level, then I think it could work for even enthusiasts for most games.
I'd like to hear a serious technical deep dive on this. At first blush it doesn't make sense to me that the Stadia controller connecting to my router over wifi is going to have less latency than a dualshock4 connected to my laptop over usb. Google says "connecting directly to your game instance", but there's still an over-air hop to the router at least. 802.11AC is a great breakthrough, but I don't see how it's faster than a wired connection. Maybe they're assuming a lot of latency in the OS/driver stack? That's what I'd like to hear more details about.
 

The Albatross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,899
I'd like to hear a serious technical deep dive on this. At first blush it doesn't make sense to me that the Stadia controller connecting to my router over wifi is going to have less latency than a dualshock4 connected to my laptop over usb. Google says "connecting directly to your game instance", but there's still an over-air hop to the router at least. 802.11AC is a great breakthrough, but I don't see how it's faster than a wired connection. Maybe they're assuming a lot of latency in the OS/driver stack? That's what I'd like to hear more details about.
Yeah, that's true, I think we'll have to see developer documentation before really understanding it.

My impression was that they'd be comparing connecting to a streaming device via some wireless connection (RF, Bluetooth, ad hoc wifi, etc), and not with a wire. It'll be interesting to see the real specs.
 

The Albatross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,899
Sure it does. Healthy skepticism and asking questions is how people learn. Why not engage people on the specifics of the tech?
~90% of "healthy skepticism" on this topic actually manifests itself in concern trolling or sarcastic mocking. I don't think anybody takes issue with healthy skepticism, it's when people are trolling a new service or people interested in a new service and then pretending that "They're just asking questions!" or something.

It's pretty easy to tell when "concern" is coming from a place of malicious intent, and when it's an actual technical interest in learning more about something.
 

NoUse4AName

Member
Feb 5, 2019
143
My criticism is that people are negative more than positive and it doesn’t help anyone

we need to end that "negativity " argument there are valid concerns about this technology from people that actually tested in real-world scenarios. So we should keep quiet and just take for granted everything that Company/Media even when our experiences don't match with the expressed in the article.

Been Positive or Negative about Gaming Streaming service doesn't going to make it better or worst.

Companies invest million to know the positive and negative about their services and for some reason here is something that users label as "negativity " and something to be criticized.

C'mon
 

Crayon

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,387
I have heard a lot of cases about people with a great connection having a bad time with the street. in my case, my connection was borderline. I had to use the speed test six or seven times to randomly pass. Response was good, stream video quality was just okay. When net traffic got bad, the stream video quality became very poor. Almost like an old YouTube video. However, response remained the same.
 

hikarutilmitt

Member
Dec 16, 2017
2,376
I'd like to hear a serious technical deep dive on this. At first blush it doesn't make sense to me that the Stadia controller connecting to my router over wifi is going to have less latency than a dualshock4 connected to my laptop over usb. Google says "connecting directly to your game instance", but there's still an over-air hop to the router at least. 802.11AC is a great breakthrough, but I don't see how it's faster than a wired connection. Maybe they're assuming a lot of latency in the OS/driver stack? That's what I'd like to hear more details about.
It's removing the client you're connecting through from the loop. Each and every device that has to connect to it has some degree of latency depending on certain factors, mainly the controller polling rate. Since the Stadia controller isn't connecting via USB or BT it goes right to wifi and sends the inputs directly, rather than through its connection means, then the device (PC, whatever) then through the browser to interpret them, then to the server to use them while sending back the video feed. It's basically segmenting the whole process as 2 otherwise asynchronous events that meet in the middle with the server sending the data. I'm actually fascinated by them taking this route and have to wonder if using a controller other than the Stadia controller has caveats or if this will be a "best played by using the Stadia controller" situation where they can use other controllers but cannot guarantee performance beyond a certain metric.
 

thebishop

Member
Nov 10, 2017
1,059
Yeah, that's true, I think we'll have to see developer documentation before really understanding it.

My impression was that they'd be comparing connecting to a streaming device via some wireless connection (RF, Bluetooth, ad hoc wifi, etc), and not with a wire. It'll be interesting to see the real specs.
Could be. On Windows, I've had major issues with bluetooth latency. Using the Xbox One S pad on Windows is noticeably bad for me. But bluetooth on PS4 is fine. I feel like the benefit of the wireless controller is more about taking uncertainly out of the equation. So input processing isn't affected by what the CPU is doing, or what thread is getting priority from the OS at a given moment. In an ideal scenario, I don't think wifi would be less laggy than USB, but most scenarios are not ideal.
 

TheZynster

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,571
I don't agree with this metaphor at all. But anyway, Stadia will support other controllers at launch via Chrome on a laptop. It's via the chromecast where you need the google controller.
A 40$ chromecast is not the same as a 1,000$ pc or 400$ console is what I meant by you don’t need gaming hardware to stream stadia

Of course you need a controller

And yea I have GeForce now
You don't need a $1000 pc or a $400 console either to stream GeForce Now...…….
 

thebishop

Member
Nov 10, 2017
1,059
It's removing the client you're connecting through from the loop. Each and every device that has to connect to it has some degree of latency depending on certain factors, mainly the controller polling rate. Since the Stadia controller isn't connecting via USB or BT it goes right to wifi and sends the inputs directly, rather than through its connection means, then the device (PC, whatever) then through the browser to interpret them, then to the server to use them while sending back the video feed. It's basically segmenting the whole process as 2 otherwise asynchronous events that meet in the middle with the server sending the data. I'm actually fascinated by them taking this route and have to wonder if using a controller other than the Stadia controller has caveats or if this will be a "best played by using the Stadia controller" situation where they can use other controllers but cannot guarantee performance beyond a certain metric.
This is presumably an area where Linux is a big advantage. Not because Linux necessarily is way snappier than Windows, but because Google will have what they need to observe, profile and improve it. If they went with Windows, they'd be at MS' mercy to solve these kinds of issues.