I wasn’t really surprised by the news that Google has scrapped Stadia. Although I love gaming I never really put much effort into getting to know Stadia. There were two main reasons for this. Firstly, I was never convinced Stadia would be something Google would stick with, and secondly, it was aimed more at console-style games.
Although I play some console-style games, I prefer playing PC games, which isn’t something Stadia was created for. I regularly play PC games on my Chromebook and Chromebox and I use Nvidia GeForce Now to do this. I’ve never had any issues playing PC games on ChromeOS using GeForce Now. Therefore, Nvidia GeForce Now is a great way to play PC games on ChromeOS.
Both Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now streams games to your ChromeOS computer. This means you need a decent internet connection to get the best results. If you want to play games locally on your Chromebook you can check out the Android games available or use Steam to install PC games locally. Playing PC games locally via Steam is a work in progress, so don’t expect great results just yet. That being said, hopefully, Steam Linux Alpha should make this possible in the future.
We already have great options to play console games
One of the reasons why Stadia was never really going to take off was due to the type of games. Stadia was competing against two great consoles that work well. Therefore, it was always going to be an uphill battle.
If I wanted to play an advanced console-style game I would use my PlayStation. If you’re a true console gamer you would probably do the same. That would be either using a PlayStation or if Sony isn’t your thing, you most probably own an Xbox.
Sony and Microsoft already offer us great consoles for playing games. Therefore, I can’t see how any true gamer would shift this gaming experience by using a Chromebook instead. The Playstation has been around for years, and getting anyone to stop using a PlayStation or Xbox to play console games isn’t an easy task. Stadia certainly wasn’t going to steal gamers away from using one of these consoles.
We don’t have a great way to play PC games
So we’ve established console gamers are well catered for with the PS and Xbox. This is a totally different story when it comes to PC gaming. Traditionally, to play PC games you had to own a Microsoft Windows computer, and a normal PC would not be sufficient.
To get a decent gaming experience from a Windows PC you would need to spend at least £1,500/$1,500. Also, that investment isn’t something you need to make every five or six years. To get the best gaming experience on a Windows PC, you need to upgrade your gaming PC every three years at a minimum.
This is because games continue to develop and require better hardware. If you want to play the latest PC games on a Windows PC, you have to spend a lot of money on a regular basis. That’s before we even look at the nightmare around keeping a Windows PC regularly updated, and how they deteriorate over time.
Nvidia GeForce Now makes more sense
Because of the issues I’ve described above about PC gaming on a Windows PC. It makes sense that Nvidia GeForce Now is something people would want. I love my PC games but I am not going to spend £1,500 every couple of years upgrading a Windows PC.
Therefore, being able to play my favourite PC games on my ChromeOS computer via GeForce Now is something I find really valuable. Yes, you have to pay a monthly subscription cost to use the service. However, it still works out much cheaper using Nvidia GeForce Now than using a Windows PC to play games.
Also, I love using GeForce Now on my Chromebook because I have not got to deal with Windows. Microsoft Windows is a horrible experience for anyone, as the updates regularly go wrong, and a Windows PC is extremely difficult to manage. Technology has moved forward, and people are simply not going to put up with the learning curve required to keep Microsoft Windows up and running.
I always feared Stadia would be scrapped
One of the biggest issues for Google is that people no longer believe they are 100% behind all of their projects. The reason for this is that Google regularly scraps projects with little notice, it’s simply how Google operates. They put all their effort into new projects and quickly chop them if they believe they are not going to work in the long term.
In one way this is a great thing. It’s good that Google isn’t scared to chop projects they’ve invested heavily into if they believe it’s necessary. After all, you can’t have a technology company that is moving forward if it continues to invest in projects that may be destined to fail. If they did this then they would be no different from Microsoft, and look how well that has gone for them. Sticking to projects, which were never going to be successful is one of the main reasons why Microsoft continues to fail at moving forward.
However, there is a fine line between scrapping projects because Google doesn’t see a future, and doing it too often that they lose consumer confidence. Google is running the risk of customers not taking future projects seriously, and this is a huge problem for Google.
Google scraps projects often
Although I totally understand that Google needs to scrap projects if they feel they will not succeed in the long term. If they do it too often they will get to a stage where they struggle to get consumer buy-in.
You have to commend Google for taking on new challenges, as this is what a forward-thinking tech company must do. However, they need to seriously consider how this will be perceived by consumers. If you have doubt in your head about whether Google is serious about sticking to new projects. It stands to sense that even great projects may end up failing.
This isn’t necessarily because consumers didn’t believe in the project. It’s more to do with consumers having a fear Google will scrap it in the future. This is already happening, and if Google continues to do this going forward, it will have an issue on its hands.
It’s a double-edged sword. If they don’t have the confidence to scrap projects quickly they will lose their competitive edge, but do it too often and consumers will lose confidence.