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Why Google Stadia doesn't stand a chance against Microsoft's Project xCloud

Google Stadia
Google Stadia (Image credit: Windows Central)

Google's game streaming platform Stadia is here, and reviews have been a bit mixed. Beyond the laughably limited library, questionable device restrictions, and awkward pricing model, many reviewers are simply suggesting that the quality of service is inconsistent at best. First impressions are, as they say, everything, and Stadia seems to have stumbled at the first hurdle.

Microsoft's nascent competitor, Project xCloud, is already proving itself to be an incredibly fierce rival, despite not being widely available. Recent announcements at Microsoft's X019 event and elsewhere have detailed a platform that isn't only more consumer-friendly, but crucially, more developer-friendly. Like any streaming service, content is king, and Microsoft is crushing Google on that front before the platform has even gone live to the public.

Still, Microsoft has this uncanny ability to forfeit substantial advantages to competitors owing to internal politics, complacency, or a combination of both. If Microsoft loses the streaming race to Google, it'll be the result of a genuinely spectacular failure, because the sheer volume of advantages Project xCloud has makes me almost feel sorry for Google (almost).

Let's assume for the sake of argument that both platforms have identical (and good) service quality when it comes to latency and examine just how many disadvantages Google has to overcome.

xCloud is Xbox, Xbox is xCloud

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

As Microsoft has learned over the years, developers are gods when it comes to building a new platform. The chicken and egg scenario — where developers won't build content for a small platform, and users won't help a platform grow without content — is effectively what killed Windows Phone. Developer support has often given rise to questions about the future viability of the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) in general. The lack of third-party apps and integration also led to Cortana being relegated to a Clippy-replacement, in the wake of Amazon's consumer-oriented Alexa. Microsoft is great at screwing up when it comes to building new platforms, but Project xCloud is different.

Project xCloud's server blades are comprised of repurposed Xbox One consoles, with an identical development environment. Developers and publishers don't have to lift a finger to get their games onto Microsoft's streaming platform. They simply have to agree to it. For developers supporting Stadia, those games have to be ported to Google's Linux-based system, which for many developers won't make a great degree of business sense unless Google is offsetting costs with subsidies or incentives.

At X019, Microsoft reiterated that literally, thousands of Xbox One games are ready to go live in XCloud today, pending agreements with devs. In a complimentary flex, they added dozens of extra games to the Project xCloud preview program, dwarfing Stadia's paltry offering overnight.

While there will always be questions about which developers will opt to support Project xCloud, Microsoft is also ensuring that it will have a large amount of first-party content to hit the service with massive investments in its own Xbox Game Studios.

Xbox Game Studios is a juggernaut

Wasteland 3 is one of many games coming to Xbox Game Pass.

Like Netflix Originals, Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios is becoming a juggernaut in its own right, acquiring various studios and major industry talent from all over the world. The investment in content is undeniable, and Microsoft is committing all of these games to Xbox Game Pass, and thus, Project xCloud on day one, alongside their retail versions.

Xbox Game Studios is working on dozens of games. From smaller titles like the survival-oriented Grounded to larger experiences like Halo Infinite, Microsoft is trying to ensure it has something for everyone, with a regular release cadence.

On the flip side, Google has yet to show any serious meat in its own first-party efforts. The library it's offering today is comprised of older games, save for a couple of heavy hitters most people likely already own. One day, Google may have its own Halo or Mario, but in 2019, Stadia looks anemic.

Google just kind of ... sucks

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

The pricing model for Stadia is odd. Microsoft is offering up all of its first-party games along with dozens of others for a monthly $10 to $15 payment. Redmond also confirmed at X019 that Project xCloud streaming would be included in Xbox Game Pass, ensuring you get all of this content on your external devices at no extra cost.

Conversely, Google is expecting its users to pay premium prices for games that cannot be played offline and are wholly dependent on latency and the service quality on Stadia. The subscription will net you 4K streams, but unless you have a beefy connection and unlimited data allowance, it almost seems counter-intuitive to even try. For UHD gaming, it makes far more sense to get an Xbox One X or a PlayStation 4 Pro rather than hope Stadia can reliably provide a 4K experience.

Source: GooglePlay Stadia your way ... except offline. (Image credit: Source: Google)

All of this ignores the fact Stadia is only available on a tiny slice of devices, including Google's Pixel phones and some of its other devices. XCloud will be available on any compatible Android phone, Windows PCs, and tablets, and most likely iOS down the line.

Google has also proven itself to be a generally hostile company in recent years, far-flung from the famous "Don't be evil" company motto that it has since shelved. This includes billions of dollars in anti-trust fines in Europe, privacy violation investigations in the U.S., and also recently stealing the health records of millions of Americans without consent.

Microsoft's race to lose

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Despite all of the advantages Microsoft has with Project xCloud, it has this spectacular ability to misfire when it comes to building new platforms. To suggest xCloud is a definite win is not something I'm confident enough to do, but Microsoft's advantages are as obvious as they are numerous.

Microsoft's advantages are as obvious as they are numerous.

Google certainly has some advantages of its own, particularly when you factor in YouTube and Google Search, and its willingness to manipulate its search monopoly to its favor. Purely from a service standpoint, being able to go from a YouTube video directly into the game is a cool feature that Microsoft can only emulate with its very small Mixer community and negligible Bing audience.

Getting Project xCloud onto Windows and the millions of low-power devices will certainly help boost xCloud's chances as well, but there are other players in the space. Sony's PlayStation Now is available on Windows PC today and works extremely well, although Sony hasn't shown the same eagerness to put its first-party content onto the service.

Google Stadia might have beaten Microsoft to store shelves, but Project xCloud remains the far more compelling and affordable solution. Questions remain about scalability, live service quality, and hardware accessories for xCloud.

Conventional wisdom suggests slow and steady wins the race, but like all things, only time will tell.

Xbox

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Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

68 Comments
  • Ok, here's the problem:
    Google's forward attempt is "laughable", but so was Android at first. Google will be eager to tweak and improve and has the money to do so, too. This is familiar in the sense that everyone's brushing off Google as a real threat, and before we know it xCloud will be Windows Phone 7 if not careful! I know that sounds ridiculous right now but I thought Windows Mobile 6.5 was great once too, Windows 8/8.1, and Microsoft Band... There is ALWAYS room for competition and one thing MS is good at is letting competition creep up on them... And then suddenly it's too late. It might be confusing for some experienced gamers or those familiar with other models. But as younger kids and teens grow up knowing Google from phones and classrooms, it'll be the next obvious step for them to buy Google Stadia without much consideration... It doesn't have to make sense it just has to catch on (coughiphonescough).
  • Stadia will not survive long if they keep this up. It NEEDS quick improvements, functions and exclusives to even be considered acceptable to be among other platforms. Right now it's an un-polished, Super rushed project that is jusk asking to fail. And all the bad views from people that got Stadia.. Its isn't helping Google either.
  • There’s no comparison to Android. It’s competition was an early iOS at the start of the smartphone era. Stadia is trying to fundamentally change a business in PC and console gaming that has been going for decades. They have zero experience in gaming, making games etc. This is a “solution” solving a problem that doesn’t exist. No one asked for this thing.
  • Android's competition was BlackBerry, which it obliterated.
  • I might opt to go for Project xCloud over Stadia. It just makes more sense to me.
  • Because this is Windowscentral and not Androidcentral. :/
  • Found the guy who commented without reading
  • Lol! "Please submit a longer comment (min 3 words)." - Done.
  • You don't really believe that, do you mr jez?
    In 2021, this CEO would've ported all Microsoft Studio titles to stadia.
    The word you were looking for is incompetence but i couldn't find it in the article. I found some synonyms but let's call it what it is. All those advantages you mention apply to Windows phone.
    Where have i heard this before?... Xbox, Windows& Windows Phone have Xbox games...!
    Until you realise, 90% of games are unique to device category and Mr sandwich spread couldn't be bothered to unify them.
    Not all PC games can install/port in Xbox and vice versa, but you excited 😃 ... You give them too much credit if you think they can port games to cloud when they couldn't even port to a bigger screen.
  • I like your comment for one thing but they can easily port all their games to the cloud for one fact is that they are using Xbox one s has in server blades they can actually fit up to almost corn to them and show him the video of it 8 to 10 Xbox one s has hardware into the silver blade. Which means they are able to have the same power by linking the gpus together which is very capable of doing on a server blade. And since it has the same architecture as the Xbox the games can be easily poured to the cloud. So you're wrong in that aspect.
  • I know they have the technical ability. The point is they always have an excuse ready. .. like oh this is designed for mouse, that for touch or and this for controller. Can't wait for Rubino's favourite line.. "MS is a software and devices company first". on the article 2021/03/07 - Gears coming soon to stadia.
  • So you genuinely think Google can compete with MS and Sony first party studios? And at what point will Stadia match Xoud in latency performance?
  • Richard Leadbetter from Digital foundry said: "As a technological statement, Stadia impresses with the best image quality and latency I've seen from a streaming platform".
  • It's not even remotely the same. Stadia has the same ganes as Consoles. Not phone games. And they have 0 exclusives. And it doesn't even work properly based on latency tests. I give Stadia 2 years beofe it's severed.
  • Gylt is an exclusive.
  • I thought he was talking about XCloud. XCloud has 0 exclusives.
  • This is where we have to stop comparing these. Xcloud is an extention of the Xbox ecosystem like Game Pass (it may even BE Game Pass one day), so it really doesn't need its own games and shouldn't have them. It's simply a way to play, like streaming the XB1 to a local Windows 10 PC has been. Microsoft may need Xcloud to be successful to make Game Pass more appealing, but they don't need Xcloud for Xbox to survive. Google OTOH is in a different position and there really isn't a way to attract Gamers to their service without Google titles (whether this is streaming or hardware in the future) since they don't have an existing ecosystem other than mobile games.
  • Xcloud already has at least 5 exclusives that no other cloud service can get. Unless your saying because they exist on local consoles that they aren't exclusive. Maybe I should start to say Xbox ecosystem exclusives. But yes, you won't be getting these games on any other streaming service.
  • Yes, I mean the streaming service doesn't have exclusives and doesn't need them. This is because the streaming is part of the ecosystem, not the whole.
  • You are wrong. The table has flipped, this time MS is holding the cards. They have the ecosystem, they have the content, they have the devs, and they already have the customers. I already pay for this service, before it's even launched. When it does I don't need to think about it, I'll just start using it. Simple as that.
  • So you believe Windows Phone had a huge advantage in their catalog of games and the amount devices it could run on as well as a big advantage in developer relations? In 2021 Stadia will be cancelled or the writing will be on the wall at least. The one I'm curious about is Steam--they haven't showed their hand yet. It is obvious they agree with Microsoft in that it will be some years yet before streaming will replace desktops for gaming. But there has to be some midnight oil burning somewhere in the dark recesses of Steam Labs.
  • I don't believe to judge Stadia The first day, as Google said themselves stadia is like Google's other products will improve overtime.
    Google's monopoly in search and youtube and putting stadia infront of the people is really a threat
  • Or it will be like one of their many products that are half heartedly supported and then killed after a few years.
  • Google don't have time. They need 10 or so First party studios like 3 or 4 years ago. It will take them 10 or more years to compete with Sony and MS on first party content.
  • @Richard
    What do you mean by they don't have time? Current infrastructure means that there are very few potential customers who have good internet speed.
    They knew what they were getting themselves into. I think they have time. They don't care about consoles and hardware.
    What they are selling is the ability to buy and play a game without the need of any powerful console or PC.
    That's their business model. Put games on their platform and customers just needs to buy and play them.
  • I'm talking on the game front. So Xcloud isn't official launched. But it's here in Beta. We know next year it's rolling out to more countries. And it's receiving full Gamepass in beta still next year. Currently thr beta is free. All 50+ ganes are free even if you don't own it. I know cause I'm using it. I don't own Ace Combat 7. But am playing the full game on Xcloud. People are already experiencing a great Xbox Streaming service with more games than Stadia. Albeit a limited population currently. When you look at MS games portfolio they have already. Then look at the amount of Studios they have now at 16. That is a long long way for Stadia to travel. It has taken MS and Sony over 18 years to get their first Party to where it is. Stadia have 1 studio. It will take them 10+ years to get anywhere close to the other 2. And that is presuming they stay static for the next 10 years. I just don't see a world where people choose Stadia next year as Xclouds reach widens and widens. It's also releasing in beta on IOS next year as well. If what WC say in the article is true about Xcloud free to use with Gamepass Ultimate Subscribers, then imo Stadia will be over in 2-3 years. I just don't see it gaining any traction.
  • Well ok games is one but what I'm talking about is both should be launched. We don't even know what MS's business model is.
    Read my post in this topic.
    All you do is speculate like you usually do, even though we don't have all the information. Clearly Google will need to work on its library but I'm sure they know it.
  • I'm basing the Gamepass info from this very Article. So as I said if that's true, then it's over for me. It's a big difference between the 2. The rest of my comment has all been confirmed at E3. IOS next year. More countries early next year. Gamepass coming to Xcloud early next year. It's just to late for Google here IMO. I personally think they should have created studios 5 years ago. Released some games on PS4 and Xbox One. Then started to build Stadia. Then when launching Stadia make all further games exclusive that they make. People would have been aware of there brand and first party then. But this way they are trying to build the streaming service without the software.
  • I just don't know why it needs to be a war? Why it needs to be a sole survivor situation where one lives and "wins" and the other dies. One just launched and the other is not even launched and you're already burying one. Google is a HUGE corporation, just like MS. They won't go bankrupt if they lose some money. XB1 is struggling for almost 6 years now to get bigger market share but MS didn't kill it or stopped making console. Google said they are here to stay. Let's wait and see before making speculations about how they are already dead. Also it looks like you didn't reply this point I posted:
    Richard Leadbetter from Digital foundry said: "As a technological statement, Stadia impresses with the best image quality and latency I've seen from a streaming platform". I posted this because you claimed something that sounded as if there are tests that shows that XCloud performs better Stadia in every way possible.
  • It's basically the same situation as windows phone. Only Stadia is windows phone and Xcloud is Google. Google are finding themselves in a position already where developers are Not onboard with making their games for the platform. They are waiting to see how Google support it. Same issue Windows Phone had. No support. Xbox has done years of groundwork just to catch Sony. And that groundwork is going to be a huge win in the game front on Cloud Streaming. Also Xcloud has around 100ms better latency on tests by Digital Foundry. Stadia at Launch is having major issues with latency. It averages around 160ms. But can spike as much as 300ms. For comparison Xcloud is averaging around 67ms latency. And is not seeing any spike issues either. Mainstream media is now getting hold of the launch state Stadia. And it's really not good. Especially when mainstream media talk a product down so much. Here is a recent video from a week ago showing the Washington Post testing Stadia via Ether net. And it's absolutely horrendous. Worse is Xcloud is beta and it's destroying Stadia performance. Google are in deep deep water. https://youtu.be/o6pf988yFSc
  • Are you really like this or are you doing it on purpose?
    You TOTALLY ignored what I posted about Richard Leadbetter of Digital Foundry.
    https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2019-stadia-tech-review
    He clearly says Stadia is the best game streaming yet.
    Do you understand that services has to be tested in same condition? Was XCloud streaming anything at 4k What about fps? Your video doesn't point to a comparison between XCloud and Stadia. The problems faced by one streaming service will be similar to other depending on one's location to servers. The funny thing is that I remember how you and your buddies used to claim that Scorpio or XB1x was going to be better than a gaming PC with a 1070 or even a 1080 before the launch of Scorpio.
    You used to do the exact same thing try to sell the MS product while trashing others. ofc it turned out to be bs. Listen. You're taking this way too seriously. Google (and Amazon) knows what they are doing. None of us knows what will happen in 1-5 years. I feel that you're a guy who would claim back in 2013 that XB1 would totally outsell the PS4 and stuff. So many of those fortune tellers at the time were just saying stuff because they wanted to influence people to get a XB1. That's what company fanboy and company fan site do.
  • I've seen the video. I've also seen Digital Foundries other videos. 1 about RDR2 on Stadia. Where Digital Foundry confirm a few other things. https://youtu.be/x6y4MnlFLNE 1. Stadia Pro which aims 4K@60 fps which costs the consumer money in fact has yet to provide any 4K image. With the highest being 1440p@30fps 2. Digital Foundry also state the RDR2 image is like a compressed YouTube video. And textures take a massive hit compared to One X and PS4 Pro. 3. Digital Foundry get Inconsistant lag upto 300ms. 4. Digital Foundry are not the only ones testing Stadia. Another user is getting between 400ms and 800ms latency on Stadia Pro. There is literally hundreds of users complaining of serious lag since Stadia has released in such an unplayable state. Read the first comment by the video creator on this video. 400ms-800ms lag on a 600mb connection. https://youtu.be/uMq6GCFSG7I As we currently speak about this, Stadia users from major mainstream media to niche media are all reporting anywhere up to 1 second of input lag. And giving Stadia terrible reviews. This isnt like people are just being nasty for the sake of it. It's seriously seriously bad. So many videos showing just how bad the input lag is. This is much much worse than PSnow and OnLive tests we have had before. And totally blown away by the Xcloud lag tests in the wild we have already. I'm sorry. There's literally no defending Stadia at this point. It shouldn't have been released. It's just not finished. And Noone is getting any graphical or image quality close to the 10.7 TFLOPS claim Google have. Only now we are finding out its actually a custom Vega 11 GPU at 10.7. Which is not in anyway remotely comparable to Navi at say 9TFLOPS or RTX 2080 at 10.1. Vega 11 is old tech. It will not stand up against PS5 and Scarlett in the slightest. Google are playing a game with gamers that gamers will not play. Gamers are notoriously hard to please. And a device with such poor reviews and latency will only die under the weight of Gamers. This isn't comparable to XB1 release. Xbox had studios at the time. OK not as many as they have now. But they had something to try and fight with. And XB1 didn't have a poor streaming latency to also deal with. Google have 2 big problems. 1. Input latency for lots of people is beyond playable. 2. They have no software to say "hey, you can only play all these studios games on Stadia. As I said in the previous comment I made. Google should have entered as a Software publisher first a few years ago. Build up 6-10 studios and then look to providing their own streaming service. As it stands it's like a blind man taking a shot with a sniper rifle from 1 mile away. And a One X is performing visuals better than a 1070 GTX @4K. In almost all cases a 1070GTX cannot do 4K with the same visual fidelity of One X. One of the moan issues is the smaller bandwidth in 1060 and 1070 GTX which is vital for 4K. One X has a much higher bandwidth GDDR5 than a 1060 or 1070.
  • What you've posted is mostly the problem with streaming. Like I said since it depends on network, your location. It has a lot of different variables that will make it good or bad experience. But do you know how to compare two things? These two services got to be compared at the same condition.
    Digital Foundry CLEARLY said Stadia has the best image quality and latency from Steaming platforms. I don't know how you can twist that into XCloud is better? And while Stadia has problems, for DF it's better than Xcloud. No matter what you try to say. Also about the 1070 v XB1x. Why don't you show proper benchmark and comparison?
    Here a Digital Foundry video that show the XB1x beat by a RX 580. Let alone the 1070.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=431&v=Gf9zM0U1rNY&feature=em...
  • Digital Foundry havent tested Xcloud extensively at all. Others have. Xoud does not have YouTube quality image. Xcloud does not have 1 single review of anyone saying 800ms. Or even 400ms. Stadia has 10s if not hundreds of complaints of those numbers. 2nd. Your posting a Digital Foundry video of a launch Xbox One game. Where the Dev has gone back and unlocked the resolution. That's it. They used exactly the same assets as the One version. I have a 1070 GYX. (I'm building a Navi PC as we speak) You try and run Gears 5 at 4K on 1070GTX at 60fps. Even with dropping the visuals it's near impossible. To get 60fps@4K on Gears 5 you have to sacrifice alot of visual fidelity. Way lower than One X visuals. And even then it struggles to maintain close to 60fps. If Killer instinct devs bothered to redo new textures and graphics for the One X version then you would see a difference. But even in that video you post, they tell you the developer has left all assets exactly the same as the base console. It's a simple 4K overall patch to an old game nothing more. Or better yet go and compare RDR 2 on a 1070GTX at 4K. It's basically not possible. Unless it looks like an early base Xbox One game. Whereas RDR 2 on a One X at a locked 4K looks way better than what a 1070GTX can do at 4K. You have to use your head a bit when using old videos like that. There are many reasons as to why an old game with an up res patch isn't the same as a game designed from scratch for One X. Totally different.
  • HAHAHA The famous "I have a 1070 and it's struggling". Sorry but because of your history, you're the last person I'll ever trust when it comes to gaming information.
    Just provide proper benchmark. I have and funnily you're going to blame the devs even though that was a MS game. LOL Ah about Stadia, the excuse is Digital Foundry hasn't really tested XCloud. lol
    Ok and can you provide link of the 800ms.
    Can you understand that Stadia is aiming for much higher resolution than XCloud? Just show proper comparison where both are having similar resolution and framerate and then compare latency.
  • So firstly you use an old video of an up res game in a debate to prove a point. 2nd digital Foundry Richard did say it has the best image quality. Then if you paid attention to the digital Foundry RDR 2 Stadia video they very very cleay say they jumped the gun on image quality in there test. Because when playing RDR2 on Stadia the image quality was poor. It look like a compressed YouTube video. I'm guessing you completely ignore where Digital Foundry correct their original video with those comments in their 2nd video. It's 100 % fact Stadia has massively poor reviews across the board. Huge latency issues and poor image quality. No 4K resolution in any game. And no games. This isn't MS fanboys making **** up. It's real. It's everywhere. I'm sure you've watched the DF RDR2 I posted. And seen them show you how blurry the Image is that they are discussing. They show plenty of comparisons in that video. We have 1. Lack of software 2. Up to 800ms of variable lag. 3. YouTube compression image quality. It's not ready for consumers. Sony also said looking at all cloud offerings Azure was much more ready for gaming. Which is why they partnered with MS instead of Amazon or Google cloud services. If Sony is willing to team up with their biggest game competitor that tells you everything you need to know about where Xcloud and Stadia servers are in the gane streaming world. If I'm wrong, I'll hold my hands up. And you can put to this conversation in 2 years time and laugh at me. But I'm sticking by the fact Stadia won't be a success. And I don't expect it to be around in a few years time.
  • Here again you talk a whole lot about Stadia without talking of proper comparison between Stadia and XCloud. I'm not debating Stadia's quality. I'm questioning your comments where you try to hype XCloud.
    I'm still waiting for a proper head-head comparison between the two services. While one is aiming at higher resolution the other is aiming for really low resolution. The only comparison I've seen is when DF said one is better than all the rest. Did DF say that they made a mistake saying XCloud is better than Stadia? If they did please provide the link here.
    You gave up on the 1070 vs scorpio because during that time there was a lot of bs that we was told. And here it seems to be the same. Let's wait until XCloud actually launches. I personally don't think these two services should be compared to each other.
    My opinion is somewhere here on this comment section.
  • Why invest time and money in putting games on Stadia, when you can put your games on Xcloud for free, no time, no cost? Microsoft already have the customers, many are already paying for the service, they have the studios, both inhouse and 3rd party. They have the experience. Sure, there will be games on Stadia, but one could point at all the same reasons for WP failing when looking at stadia, besides two things. Google will be able to promote its service through Google and YouTube, like I'm so frakking tired of them nagging about their music service and ****, and they will do the same with Stadia. And they bitched about IE on windows? Anyways, the 2nd thing is Goggle probably committing to Stadia in a bigger way than MS did WP.
  • Here Stadia is being Windows Phone, late to the party and begging for software to come to it. Xcloud is Android and has already won by playing the game that Sony has been playing for years and more than catching up to them.
    Xcloud has already won before it's released.
  • You said it correctly in the podcast Jez, Google has the mind share. It doesn't matter if it's crap, they will push it through their browser and YouTube and people will pay. They may not know even better being non-gamers. Its kind of like how they still push their stupid Chromebook ads saying for no viruses and all day battery life switch to a Chromebook, yet a lot of W10 laptops now get the same features even without ARM.
  • Yeah but Chromebook still has less than a 2% marketshare in the PC world. With Windows still in 2019 having 90% marketshare.
  • Article is spot on. I've been using Xoud all week. From Ace Combat 7 through to Tales Of Vesperia Definitive Edition. Yes they are really available on Xcloud right now. And apart from a few sound clipping issues on Forza Horizon 4, it's been a stellar lag free experience. And that's in very early beta form. The problem for Stadia is they don't have time. They have probably 1w months till Xcloud launches officially. And that just is not enough time to create a portfolio of exclusive in house games that will match even a quater of what MS has. Then you have the Ganepass confirmation at XO19 where Xcloud is included in Gamepass Ultimate. So Xcloud won't cost anything extra to use. Then of course there is the fact Xoud already has better performance than any streaming service that we have seen. Providing incredible latency on tests so far compared to the competition. Again, that's just in beta as well. I think Google have tried this about 3 years to late. Or they should have started developing studios in house maybe 3 or 4 years ago ready for this. Because when Sony bring their new Azure streaming service as well, I honestly don't see how Stadia competes on the game front with MS and Sony. Same applies to Valve. Valve need studios. And they haven't been making games for years. How long have fans waited to hear of a Half Life 3????
  • But we are getting a VR game!!! 😝
  • Don't keep your hopes up for that one either.
  • We wait over 10 years for a new Half Life. And we get a ****** VF game. Oh dear God.
  • I love when I learn things when reading. Great article
  • "Redmond also confirmed at X019 that Project xCloud streaming would be included in Xbox Game Pass, ensuring you get all of this content on your external devices at no extra cost."
    Are you sure about this?
    When asked about it MS said: “All we can say for now is: We want to offer choice in how players stream games from the cloud. We’ll have more details to share at a later date.”
    https://venturebeat.com/2019/11/14/xbox-streaming-comes-to-game-pass-2020/ So no confirmation that it would be free. Unlike Google, MS has been very quiet when it comes to talking of their business model. For me, there is no doubt that they are waiting and looking what and how Stadia does before moving forward. It may not be a bad strategy. And that's why I'll say it's unfair to compare the two when one is already in the market and the other we know almost nothing about their business model. Richard Leadbetter from Digital foundry said: "As a technological statement, Stadia impresses with the best image quality and latency I've seen from a streaming platform".
    So technically even though they could do better I think they are doing fine. I mean I don't think many of people would have expected the input lag on Stadia to be less than a XB1x played locally. For me, they aren't really try to get instant success. Since it's a streaming service that heavily uses and depends on internet, they know that it's something for the future. I think besides some major city outside the US, this is not for everyone at the moment. The idea of being able to play high quality games without the need of hardware is something that could attract a lot of people. Where I think they'll struggle is the game library. They'll need to do a LOT more. They'll need more 3rd party support and they'll need to make a lot more exclusives for their platform. Build partnerships... Right now I wouldn't compare the two. I would at least wait until both are officially released.
  • Don't worry
    You Tube, with a clip with the local bimbo, and you lose
  • Its foreseeable an scenerio where both services can coexist as well. Same is happening with Netflix and Disney +. Just pay for what you want.
  • I don't understand why this has to be an either/or scenario. Both can exist, just like Xbox, Switch and PS4 can coexist. Given the fact that Stadia will have an option where you only have to buy the games it is literally a no brainer that both services can coexist happily. I mean sure if a person just flat out hates every single exclusive title on Stadia then yeah, there's no point in getting it (although, again, it's still cheaper than buying a console for those who only want to game occasionally and don't need the extra functionality) but the only people who would likely do that would have had no interest in even trying to like the games, for reasons I feel would be obvious (it already happens between Xbox and PS4). As an aside, all of these articles seem to only talk about Stadia from a home perspective, isn't the whole point that you can play anywhere? These services are exciting to me because I will be able to play high end "Triple AAA" (God I hate that term) games on my phone or tablet, on the train, travelling to and from work, THAT is what I want from these services and so far I think Stadia is up my alley for that (I'd probably only play single player on it anyway and at 1080P, so the shortcomings involved with latency and bandwidth for higher res won't affect me). Long story short I don't want Stadia or xCloud to fail, I want both services to succeed. Also I forgot to mention, while it isn't marketed as such, it certainly feels like Stadia is in an early access/beta state currently (the app certainly is, based on what I have read the stadia app/web portal and downright atrocious feature wise, to the point that there are so many basic things that simply aren't available or only available in one and not the other) so it will be interesting to see where it's sitting in a years time.
  • Early reports say Stadia is unplayable over LTE.
  • @Darkness
    Do you have a link to those early reports?
  • We have it in our hands, it doesn't work on LTE.
  • Worked for the guys at PCGamer.
  • A week ago. Launch state Stadia. 160-300ms over wired ethernet high speed connection. https://youtu.be/o6pf988yFSc
  • I agree with almost everything that you said. The advantage of Stadia is that you don't need to invest a lot to get into their ecosystem. They can coexist. I don't know why it needs to be a war between XCloud and Stadia. I don't know if one needs to win and the other lose.
    From these topics and from many posts, it looks like WindowsCentral and MS/XB fans are going to war against Stadia.
    It almost looks like some of these wants Stadia to fail and XCloud to "win". Isn't competition good? Anyway, what I'm not sure is how well I want both these services to do. You have your reasons to want XCloud and Stadia. My only reason to get into Stadia is to play Google's exclusives.
    I don't want to be streaming to be too successful. I don't want it to be the future of gaming. I still prefer to buy and have them physically. I still prefer to buy and play on consoles and PC.
    I want these services to do well enough so that it can coexist with consoles, PCs and physical games.
  • You both know why it has to be one and not the other and why there has to be a streaming war. It's the same stupid one-upmanship that always happens when people pick sides. The PC master douches have been doing it to console players for decades, the PS and Xbox war is still going on even if Xbox "lost", and the next one is just starting with MS and Google gaming (and if Amazon gets serious then them too). This is was happens when someone likes one thing because they are told by everyone that it is better and they can't think for themselves. People need to understand how capitalism works and what drives innovation. They also need to stop trying to tell people how to live. Both of these will never happen.
  • There is a difference though. PS and XB are fighting because they want people to buy their console and get into their ecosystem.
    Here Google doesn't really have an ecosystem. They just put game on a shelf and those with a good connection can buy it and play it without the need to invest.
    The ease of getting and playing a game is what makes a difference. Gamers talking about gaming. What is their priority? Games and gaming.
    The priority of fanboys is the company they worship. They will promote and hype whatever that company is selling. They don't care too much of gaming, at least not as much as the company and if it's making money.
  • You can watch same movie multiple times on different services without any issue. It's similar for free apps or free to start games on mobile devices. But for console games, you usually can't since the save data is not transferable.
  • I should probably also mention, I'm pretty salty at both companies for not including Australia in their initial launches, we have one of the fastest mobile internet services in the World, which is where this thing is going to be make or break. And on top of that, not even dangling a carrot in the form of an expected release date.
  • It will be a population thing. I love Australia. Spent 11 years of my life living in Tanah Merah just outside of Brisbane. In fact my parents are moving back to live next year to retire. I have loads of family around Brisbane. It will come. Next year. Definate.
  • I prefer to own my games. Buy them and download them as GOG and Steam offer. The other in cloud subscription is just weird and makes no sense. Ha. Games you want play several times since they takes more time to complete than a movie you watch once or twice.
  • I saw an article elsewhere, that a lot of developers don't really want to develop for stadia because they're afraid that google will cancel it. That aspect of google's behaviour now means that among developers, they don't really want to risk the effort, only to have the rug swept from under them.
  • Stadia's advantages:
    1) Cloud only
    a. no legacy console base to design around
    b. no multiplayer latency - uses datacenter backbone for all inter-session communication
    2) YouTube
    a. market leader for streaming video content and user base
    b. IP (intellectual property)/know-how with 4K stream optimization
    c. seamless transition from passive to active participation
    3) Chrome - the client
    a. user-base
    b. Chromecast - 10s of millions of potential living room clients
    4) Marketing
    a. ability to monetize gaming/streaming/influencer channels and communities independent of game sales
    b. Search - nuff said All in all, both need to coexist in my opinion. Stadia will keep MS on their toes forcing them to think about cloud gamers as a priority rather than a secondary niche. Google will succeed at strengthening its tech and adopting major infrastructure partners in the industry to compete. Off the shelf porting of games doesn't work which is why cloud gaming hasn't succeeded as yet. Game designers need to think cloud first to supercharge this new paradigm (sorry). Furthermore, there is a huge potential to jumpstart our (US) aging telecom infrastructure to pave the way for 8K and beyond.
  • What worries me about Googles stream application is many many companies say Azure is better. And most recently Sony was in talks with both Google and MS to use their clouds for making Sonys streaming service. And Sony outright said MS Azure is more game stream ready than Google. Which is why they partnered with MS. MS has been streaming in 4K for movies and TV for over 2 years now as well. Their movie stream service is one of the most consistant around. And pricing of their 4K digital movies are £10 cheaper than in UK stores for physical. The advantage MS have is when a Dev makes a game for Xbox console, they don't have to do any extra work whatsoever. It will just run on Xcloud as it is. So Xcloud already has thousands of games available. It's just a case of developers ticking a box to agree to the gane on Xcloud. This is a huge benefit over Stadia. Where developers have to actually make a Stadia version seperate ly aside form their Switch, Xbox and Playstation versions. Not to mention they also have to develop a PC version. Having a 5th version to make is not great. And this is why devs are holding back on Stadia. As some have already reported they don't want to go ahead in fear Google kills Stadia off in a couple of years. Stadia is the new Windows Phone. But of the gaming sector. Late to the party. And devs arent rushing to bring their software to the platform. Whereas Xcloud has had the groundwork laid out since 2001.
  • (Speaking about Google) "Also recently stealing the health records of millions of Americans without consent." Did they really STEAL records? Google's partnership with Ascension gave them access to those records. Also to CPO magazine said, "The armies of regulators, legislators and public interests scrutinizing Nightingale have thus far reported nothing illegal about the project." https://www.cpomagazine.com/data-privacy/googles-project-nightingale-rai... I appreciate your article and agree somewhat with the idea that xCloud has several advantages over Stadia, but trying to throw dirt at Google to discredit Stadia seems a bit much. Microsoft doesn't have a squeaky clean history and has had it's share of issues in the past too. Also, Microsoft has over 18 years of console gaming experience, along with several studios and game franchises. Google is just starting their journey into gaming. It's not really a fair comparison at this point. It's like comparing Mixer to Twitch when Mixer first launched. I think it's obvious that BOTH Sony's PS Now and Microsoft's xCloud will have a leg up on Google's Stadia. That doesn't mean Stadia will fail though.
  • Competition is good I hope they all succeed we the consumer will win in the end.
  • I got in to beta test 2 days ago.......BRAVO xbox. I have a s10 that i dock to my 50" tv and its nearly flawless. I have a crappy small town ip and its still amazing. I just tried at work with my lte att and it was better then my home 5gzh. Im not a true gamer my son is so I ask him to try when he gets home from collage and post his op. Tho it might be skewed since I bet him last year that in 5 years this was the future. Love it when dad gets to be right when I know my son is smarter then I will ever be :) btw 1/2 hr streaming on att lte 240mb....need unlimited data...will be interesting what the phone company's do.