While people are still struggling with the technical effects of the Google Stadia platform, gamers have begun to ask deeper, worse questions. What do the models look like in a world of gaming streaming? What happens to saving the game? What happens if Google dwarfs play the same way as in search, browsers and advertising? And the worst of all, what happens if Google decides to withdraw from the industry later?
Immediately after announcing Google Stadia, public discourse largely focused on technical aspects. This was the part Google provided in detail, so it was natural for people to focus on broadband connections, latency and what is possible now, compared to a few years now.
with all this. What is the gaming experience when your connection is in the same room with the special servers you play? What is the potential level of accuracy when games are not limited to hardware in a console or a single computer? What experience can you have when it is possible to develop a game that takes players into multiple formats?
It's exciting to think. But there is no such thing as a free lunch, especially with a company that wants to make a big part of the game play for itself.
The biggest complaints or concerns about Stadia can be categorized into three main aspects. The first is a reaction against Google itself. Do not use the Google search engine nor the presence of a Google-sized company (or parent company, alphabet), but rather a concern about how Google works as a business.
Google has a history of launching and then abandoning products, even those that consumers really love. There's Google+, the company's alternative to Facebook-style social media that has never come out. There are suggestions like Google Reader that fans of RSS readers are still missing. Google Health, a service for expanding access to health and wellness information, was halted in 2012 after "there was no broad impact we hoped it would be." The Google Orkut social networking service has found some popularity abroad but has not come to the United States so it was killed in 2014. Google Allo's messaging application was shut down this month.
has a history of moving away from. The most damaging accusation in the company's attitude over the past week was the introduction of Google Fiber in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville became the 12th city added to the fiber optic project in 2017, and the Internet conglomerate quickly re-oriented the city's infrastructure to offer gigabit speeds to residents.
But Google significantly underestimated the technical scope of the project. It is planned to unfold a fiber using a series of shallow trenches, where the fibers were laid two inches below the road walls and later covered with asphalt. The process caused serious disturbances on the city's roads as they had to be torn apart. Worse yet, pits and asphalt were too thin, which resulted in rubber sanding and, in some cases, cable and cable exposures. Google had to restore affected areas with hot asphalt for the second time, but that was not the only problem they faced. AT & T and Spectrum have sued the conglomerate to block a city regulation that gives Google access to electric poles in the city. AT & T owns most of the poles in the area, but the trial was just an attempt to delay Google's implementation, which is confirmed by the company's refusal to challenge the judge's decision.
But the technical challenges turned out to be too much, and after all the breaches, Google announced that it had closed the Louisville project entirely, less than two years after the registration began. The experiment is not a complete failure – Google's presence forces AT & T to run gigabit services faster than usual. But for residents who watched their city pass through all the laws that Google wanted, then watched Google tear its streets and put a hot asphalt on everything to fix it just to give up the project and close services in general, this is powerlessness
Right, people are wondering what happens if Google uses the same gaming approach. Which fits into the second main concern. Konami (VG Museum)
Part of the reason why emulators are so revered is that this is the only way some older titles can be played at all. Video games are based on a long and great story of strangeness and differences – different games for different regions, titles that are censored or banned directly in some countries, and what happens to the game during the localization process.
In the modern age, this problem of preservation is less about hardware performance and more about compatibility. There are many gamers and gamers who have found ways to get titles that are used for Windows 95 or Windows 98 that play well in 2019. GOG and Night Dive Studios are great examples of making a living doing just that.
Have you ever tried to get a game that only works on Windows 3.11 will? And these are just compatibility issues. Archivists also have to deal with the degradation of physical media: cassettes that are no longer in operation after 15 or 20 years, magnetic media that are disorienting over time, essential data stored in EPROM that eventually become illegible. because gamers have access to the original files either by physical means or by the ability to download them locally in the first place.
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Cloud games eliminate this process completely. This is one of the reasons why cloud games have some kind of appeal – as you do not have to download and install dozens of concerts worth, you cut all kinds of charging and staying, which prevents you from playing a video game. 19659002] But that also means you are completely dependent on servers for this game or platform owners who offer them to be online forever. And this has never been case. Even when communities have tried to keep old games online, they may come across licensees and copyrights. But at least fans can try to keep their game alive.
With cloud games this is not possible.
Now this may not be very important for the games that are offered through traditional local media. Meanwhile, things like the next next or whatever the next AAA game will be available in this way.
But what happens when games are only designed around the cloud service idea, like the platform that Google finances?
And what happens to the future of mods? Some of the best games today exist exclusively as a result of mods: Team Fortress 2 which inspired Overwatch ; Counter-Strike on which the foundations of the western esprit were built was derived from the mod Half-Life ; and even the ways in which games have been upgraded or refurbished by the tireless work of fans as seen in Fallout and Skyrim Whether developers need to build new systems and models to make existing mods to play in the context of cloud games? Do new editors need to be created so people can access files? Or does this functionality just disappear?
the step of Google Stadia is not just about eliminating the disappointment for gamers, but also about the technical limitations of existing hardware that disappoints developers.
Take the idea of elastic calculations. Instead of relying on the power of a console, Stadia developers could design around combining multiple computers with data centers, allowing games to be played with even higher resolutions, even more fidelity, capable of filling the worlds with more people, more things to do and more.
It's tempting because the existing hardware will take you so far before you encounter productivity issues. Lower CPUs in consoles may make it difficult to calculate the movement of too many NPCs at a given stage. Or memory limitations that affect how much data can be buffered and streaming at a time.
But how do you keep a game that was never designed to be outside the data center?
can answer that. And to be precise, this is not a new problem. This is a matter that people have repeatedly posed with the rise of digital platforms like Steam, and the online nature of gaming services in general in 2019. Even without cloud-based games, the quest for subscription-based services means there will be a segment of gamers who – in all likelihood – will spend hundreds of dollars a year on a hobby without actually having anything tangible to show it.
You pay for access, not a product. If this company decides that your money is no longer useful, you can do everything about it. The same applies to pricing and access in general. Australians can access multiple gaming platforms and there is competition for cloud games on the horizon.
But in developing countries and continents where modern games fail to penetrate because of countless problems (socio-economic conditions, the internet
What happens in these places when there is no one to stop Google from higher prices? The third and fastest reaction of Stadia was the technical feasibility of whether the stadium would function at all, and much of this conversation was dominated here and now Some Australians have rightly pointed out that NBN separation means that a service such as Stadia is significant but most of the criticisms are actually coming from the Americans, Google may have all data centers, cloud platforms, and internal infrastructure across the continent, but the quality of Internet-based services from a country to a country is a bit more attractive than it should be. shockingly unreliable, so much that it's not unwise to say that Australia has a better internet
Google CEO Phil Harrison told Kotaku that only 30mbps is needed for streaming 4K content with 1080p / 60fps stream for Assassin's Cree d: Odyssey who needs 15mbps (although 25mbps recommended). If you think most Australians are willing to transfer content to 720p or to smaller devices where the compromise of lower resolutions is more acceptable, it is not unreasonable to think that today, a solid part of the Australian diaspora will be capable
There is also the deployment of the 5G network as well as the progress of NBN and what's happening with future compression technologies and next-generation video encoders such as H.265 / HEVC / AV1. Newer encoders offer better quality at lower bit rates, which means that users do not have to transmit as much data to get the same picture of quality.
But even if we make some concessions to the practical bandwidth requirements, there is still a problem with latency. 19659002] It is interesting to remind about John Karmack this week for gamers who play with neoptimized TVs. The games are the world's largest entertainment environment, and although there is a huge subsection that cares deeply about the smoothness and technical precision of some games, there are a lot of people who really do not really feed us.
There is a point where "little delay" becomes "impossible to play", and what looks like a window varies greatly for different games. Narrative adventures or episodic titles such as Life is strange There should be no remorse in any service. While the video quality is enough and the delay is not tectonic, most people will be happy.
But the entire Stadia project is not just about introducing single player games in the world. This is an extension of the largest source of content creation on YouTube – games – and the community that exists in it. So the real test whether Stadia works depends on how much Google can minimize latency in multiplayer games. And some of these games are very, very small margin for mistakes.
Fighting games is a great example. Many of these games have extremely small response windows. Take the simple parachute, a move introduced in Street Fighter 3 which requires the right time. This is not just an option but a measure of skill that is also at the center of one of the biggest and emblematic moments in the history of games: 19659041] 19659002] Checking Super as a Daiog requires 15 right presses up or down the stick. The window only one successful parry is only between six and ten frames, which amounts to about one-tenth of a second at best to react, or 100 milliseconds.
The average response time of most people is between 210 milliseconds to 250 milliseconds for a visual hint, about 170 milliseconds for a beep and a little less than physical stimuli (for example, touch).
When you count the time that someone has to respond to the delay between pressing the button and the action recorded, along with the delay of the display and any associated delay from the link itself, it is a bloody little window.
Initial tests by Eurogamer found that Google Stadia had about 166 milliseconds of lag, including delayed display and Wi-Fi connection. This is more than twice what you get from a computer game at 60 frames per second. It is also far too far from what players would find acceptable for many headlines – Counter-Strike League of Legends Rainbow Six: Siege and so on security enough to prevent shooter-based shooters from experiencing Apex Legends Fortnite or Battlefield . of course, if someone can get him to work, it's Google (or Microsoft). The biggest drop in cloud services in the past has always been the infrastructure that is the biggest component of doing a job like this. The streaming item is a problem that has already been solved. Some gamers say entry delay is the biggest problem faced by Stadia, and although it is a huge challenge, it is worth recalling that slowing down is a problem that game developers and game developers are finding ways to solve and in the 80s and 90s.
As more developers redirect their focus or start exploring cloud gaming, which is recommended by the Google-sized company, more solutions will be found to reduce response times and delays in many devices. The Stadia controller, which connects directly to data centers rather than to Chromecast or another device, is one way to deal with it.
It is worth recalling that Stadia can not solve all these problems. Companies are excited about gambling because of their potential to expand the current gaming market – not necessarily its potential to include the existing audience. There are many emerging markets that can not be used today because of the cost of consoles, TVs, gaming computers, and related peripherals, and for these markets the ability to transfer something through a low to medium-class phone, relying exclusively on their a mobile connection, opens up a whole new world. There are hundreds of millions, if not billions, people in situations like these, and many of the discussions around the Stage have completely abandoned them.
But that does not mean that the Stadium is a service that needs to be met with open arms. Google does not just have to convince people that Stadia can work – it has to convince gamers that they will stay for a long time. Google's management of changing trends in YouTube has certainly not produced much faith, and it is natural for people to worry about what the gaming market looks like after Google-sized conglomerates begin to shed weight. Google has not yet relieved these fears, and they are expecting it to continue.
This story originally appeared on Kotaku Australia.