You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Google Stadia Reviews: Game-Streaming Service Not Ready for Primetime

The first takes on Google Stadia, the internet giant’s new game-streaming service that debuts Nov. 19, are out. And the consensus is that Stadia is needed more time in the oven before it was served up to the gaming crowd.

Google’s big promise with Stadia is that players can access top-tier game titles without a console and without having to download them. The service includes 22 games at launch (after originally planning to go out with 12), including “Red Dead Redemption 2,” “Mortal Kombat 11,” “Destiny 2: The Collection,” “Kine,” “NBA 2K20,” “Final Fantasy XV” and “Rage 2.” The service costs $10 per month (after a three-month free trial) and is accessible on multiple devices, including TVs, PCs, and select tablets and phones.

To use Google Stadia on TVs, users must buy the Stadia game controller and a Chromecast Ultra adapter to play games on their TV screen. Both products are available in a $129 bundle. Google recommends a minimum 10 megabit per second broadband and 35 Mbps to access it in 4K.

The problems with Stadia? According to the early reviews, the service’s selection of games are still limited; many of the features Google promised aren’t in the initial version; and some found stability or performance issues with the service. Moreover, users must still pay for the games they access on Stadia — it’s not a “Netflix of games” subscription service like Sony’s PlayStation Now or Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass.

Popular on Variety

“There is no reason anyone should buy into Stadia right now,” The Verge’s Sean Hollister wrote in a review. He called it “effectively a beta that Google is charging real money for, and you should wait until 2020 for that to change” but added, though, that it’s “more reliable than any [game-streaming] service I’ve tested in a decade covering the technology.”

As noted by reviewers, features that are missing from Stadia include the ability to: start a group party in a game; live-stream gameplay to YouTube; or share purchased games with a subsidiary family account.

Right now, Google Stadia is “too limited and too unreliable, for too little benefit,” Ars Technica’s Kyle Orland wrote in his review.

Google’s “experimental” service also is expensive for what’s included, CNET’s Scott Stein wrote: “It all seems like a lot to pay for a ‘consoleless console.'”

Engadget’s Jessica Conditt encountered performance issues in playing “Destiny 2” on Stadia, with problems including stutter and input. “I wouldn’t play any of these titles competitively on Stadia, but the service is fine enough for a relaxing evening,” she wrote, adding “I barely expected Stadia to work.”

The main challenge for Google Stadia is that it will have “pull gamers away from three platforms they’ve grown up using: PCs, the Xbox and PlayStation,” CNBC’s Todd Haselton wrote in a review.

“Google has the foundation in place. There’s enough here for it to be really successful,” Haselton wrote. “Google Stadia is a look at the future of how we’ll game. I’m just not totally convinced it will be the service everyone pays for.”

More Digital

  • Cenk Uygur

    Bernie Sanders Retracts Endorsement of Young Turks Founder Cenk Uygur After Backlash

    Bernie Sanders pulled his support for Cenk Uygur’s congressional bid, with the Vermont independent in part acknowledging that Sanders’ supporters were “frustrated” about the endorsement. Sanders, who’s running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, cited Uygur’s announcement Friday that he would not be accepting any endorsements. In a statement, Sanders alluded to sexist and other [...]

  • Tana MongeauStreamy Awards, Arrivals, The Beverly

    Streamy Awards 2019: The Complete Winners List

    The 9th Annual Streamy Awards — honoring the best from YouTube and online video — were held Friday night in Beverly Hills. Tana Mongeau (pictured above) was named Creator of the Year and Rhett & Link’s “Good Mythical Morning” won Show of the Year in the two fan-voted Audience Choice categories. David Dobrik picked up [...]

  • NBC News - Quibi

    NBC News Digital Workers Form New Union

    A group of approximately 150 editorial workers who help produce some of NBC News digital content have formed a union, citing a desire to push their employer to work more seriously through such issues as equal pay and the recent handling of sensitive stories. Editorial employees of NBC News Digital won certification of their union [...]

  • Fox Nation Tests Holiday Programming

    Fox Nation Tests Holiday Programming

    The Fox Nation streaming-video service has long been touted as a new option for super-fans of the Fox News Channel. But some of the broadband hub’s new programming choices suggest adherents of “Fox & Friends” and Sean Hannity aren’t looking solely for chatter about politics and interviews with members of the Trump administration. Subscribers to [...]

  • Facebook

    FTC May Stop Facebook From Integrating Whatsapp, Instagram

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is weighing whether it should seek an injunction against Facebook to prevent the social media giant from integrating services like Whatsapp, Messenger and Instagram with its core app, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Regulators fear that Facebook’s app integration plans could make [...]

  • Ivanka Trump

    Ivanka Trump Reportedly Set to Speak at CES 2020

    Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter and an adviser to the president, is scheduled to appear on a panel at CES 2020 in January, according to a published report. Ivanka Trump will appear on a panel set for Jan. 8 at 3 p.m. at the Las Vegas confab with Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content