The Google Stadia had a rough launch, followed by more than a few rough months as early-adopters of the technology consistently stated that they were paying beta testers rather than customers of the newest flagship project from Google.
Iffy download speeds while struggling to properly render 2K resolution and adequate framerates led to many users feeling duped; an almost instant dry spell of titles being announced for it once the Stadia went live further cemented users frustrations with the tech.
On paper, it’s a solid idea: streaming games from a server instead of needing to download them. Similar to what Nvidia has been working on with GeForce Now, but with fewer publishers opting out of the platform on a bi-weekly basis.
In execution, it’s more than fair to say that the Stadia has stumbled mightily.
In spite of this, Google clearly isn’t looking to shelve the tech; they’ve announced Stadia Crowd Play and have offered a few streamers on YouTube the opportunity to test it out in its beta form.
Crowd Play allows viewers that are watching a stream via YouTube to dive into the title with the streamer; whether it’s Bomberman or NBA2K19, the viewer simply streams the title to their Stadia and they can instantly join in on the action.
If Stadia actually follows through with this and allows instantly jumping into games from livestreams, or even videos/trailers then it will be an absolute killer feature.
— xPaw (@thexpaw) July 31, 2020
It’s a brilliant idea and we got to see a bit of it in action today, where it performed admirably well; worth noting that while the Stadia can pull this maneuver off, it’s only because it streams the titles instead of needing to install it on every device; other platforms would be hard-pressed to follow suit.
The downside is that this is Google’s stomping grounds; their tech, so they get to pick what it works with. This means that you’ll be trying to catch streams on YouTube at the moment, rather than the commonly preferred Twitch.
With YouTube having its own woes at the moment attempting to figure out how to control stream chat without removing everyone’s Google account, the prospect isn’t exactly exciting; it’s better than Facebook Gaming, but that admittedly doesn’t say much.
Google furthered their press release yesterday by saying they were looking to remove the ‘barriers’ of streaming, although that bar has been set so low that every streaming site in existence is covered with thousands of streamers playing to an audience of precisely no one as they all similarly look to make their big break; adding in the ability to push more streams out, without helping these streamers get in front of an audience, seems like a generally hollow notion.
Soon enough, everyone will be able to get their hands on the Stadia Crowd Play functionality and experiment. Just don’t walk into it expecting to become a massive streamer hit.