Games Inbox: Are you planning to get Google Stadia?
The morning Inbox worries that anyone with a data cap won’t be able to use Google Stadia, as one reader is disappointed by Team Sonic Racing.
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All that matters
So I watched the Stadia livestream and it seemed… okay? The pricing was fine, better than I expected, but the line up of games was fairly meh and the new ones they highlighted were really weird. One liked like a £5 Switch game and while I’m sure Baldur’s Gate has lots of fans and is an important game it really doesn’t seem like the sort of thing you’d want to announce your console (or whatever) with just before E3. Especially as there was no actual footage.
Gylt looked quite good, in a low budget kind of way, and then you were just into a stream of Ubisoft games and old games from last year. And what was up with that Ghost Recon Breakpoint game? That dialogue was so bad I almost thought it was a parody at first. I know Tom Clancy wasn’t a great writer but he was better than this!
And then there was Destiny 2, a game that feels like yesterday’s news through and through, especially as the new expansion didn’t seem very exciting. Surely if they were going to add a new planet this would be the time?
I expect Stadia does work like they said, they’d be crazy to just lie about it, but I think we’re already seeing the difference being an established publisher makes. It’s always only about the games and so far Stadia is looking well behind Sony and Microsoft.
PS: Did they purposefully choose the two most douchebag looking people to host the stream? I don’t want to buy anything from those people!
Another impressive showing by Stadia I thought, although I’m not sure how exciting the average person would’ve found it given the lack of exclusive games. I was expecting them to have done some kind of deal with Battlefield or something like that, not Baldur’s Gate.
My biggest concern though is not so much the speed of broadband needed but the amount of data it’s going to eat up. This article says 4K is going to eat up 1TB in 65 hours. That’s crazy. For anyone that has a data cap that already makes it pretty much impossible. And as I understand that sort of thing is much more common in America.
I’m impressed by the effort Google is putting in and the prices are tempting but I have to agree with those that think they’re just going at things too early. The broadband just isn’t there to support what they’re trying to do.
Regarding Stadia I’m curious to see how the tech performs but I don’t feel from what was revealed yesterday that Stadia or a purely streaming service are things I’m eager to adopt right now.
£9 a month to stream at quality settings I expect to be playing on next gen consoles, 4K and 60fps, with a few games thrown in is not terrible but it’s no content rich subscription service like Game Pass or Netflix.
VR and a large digital PlayStation 4 games library will most likely see me happily stick with Sony for the next gen as we transition into a completely digital/streaming landscape.
I will observe with interest though just what new features a purely streaming service with all those resources at the data centres can bring.
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The thing I don’t get about Google Stadia is why have the last two videos been aimed so much at hardcore gamers? That might seem an odd thing to say for a gamer but I thought the whole point was letting ordinary people play high-end PC games on whatever device they wanted?
They barely even mentioned that aspect in this latest video and instead just went on about a bunch of mostly old games. Aren’t hardcore gamers the least likely to be interested in this, since they already own the consoles and/ore PCs necessary to play these games?
I’m sure plenty of them would be interested in Stadia but it seems like existing gamers have the least to gain from it, so it seems odd that they’re the only ones Google are currently targeting. Does that mean that maybe the technology does not work as well as advertising and that, yet again, we are being used for free quality assurance?
I have been playing Team Sonic Racing consistently since launch and having enjoyed the previous Sonic racing games by Sumo Digital, I have to say that this one is a massive disappointment. Most reviews for the game amongst the gaming media, including GC, suggest that the series has taken a step back and I have to agree on this.
Despite Team Sonic Racing have much smoother frame rates and clean tight controls, the game just feels empty without the Sega All-Stars racing along with Sonic and friends. To take away characters and stages based on games like Samba De Amigo, Shenmue, House Of The Dead, NiGHTS, etc. and replace them with Sonic only characters is a massive oversight. The team-based element of the game is also an unwelcome change (for me at least).
I was able to return to my Xbox 360 version of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and it was a joy to play despite the obvious frame rate issues. The power of having a good character roster, not just for fighting games, but for character-based racing games as well. I hope Sumo get another chance from Sega to make another one for next gen but this time with full access to the Sega roster.
I’ve always wondered, GC, do you know what games are going to be announced at E3 ahead of time or do you find out at the same time as the rest of us? I remember you saying that sometimes the European arm of publishers don’t find out about new games until E3, which seems pretty crazy.
Experience has taught me to always assume E3 will have less than you hope for and you won’t be as disappointed. So I think all these grand ideas of Nintendo announcing major new games or Microsoft having a dozen brand new exclusives are not going to pan out.
I miss Sony already though as without them the chance of being surprised has drastically decreased. Ubisoft and Microsoft are the only ones that might announce something unexpected and with Ubisoft I think we probably already know what that is anyway. I just hope Bethesda or Square Enix can pull a rabbit out of the hat, but going by my previous rule I suppose that’s not very likely.
GC: It depends, sometimes we make appointments for previews and it’s just listed as ‘unannounced game’. Although we don’t think there’s anything except Microsoft’s line-up that hasn’t been leaked yet.
Over the Moon
You know, I’d kind of almost forgotten that Destiny 2 was a thing. It seems so long ago now that it came out and I can’t say that returning to the Moon is really enough to make me want to return. Not even being free is really. To me the whole idea has just run its course and even Destiny 3 would have to do an awful lot to get me interested in it again.
I do feel bad for Bungie, having to do things Activision’s way for so long when they didn’t want to, but I think it’s too late now to save things. For me anyway.
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A useful preview of E3, GC, but it only underlines to me that we’re going to see very little that is new. If not for Microsoft I’m not sure we’d be see any major new game announcements at all, as I don’t think Nintendo will have anything that hasn’t been mentioned before and Square Enix and Ubisoft have already made it pretty clear what they’re showing.
There certainly won’t be any new IP, as we’ve reached that point in the generation where companies start holding things back for the next generation. I’m not sure if you can even count on Microsoft to announce a new IP, given most of the talk seems to be of Fable IV and Forza Motorsport 8.
This has been a really good generation in terms of game quality but it has been absolutely terrible in terms of new ideas and new IP. Between remakes, reboots, remasters, reimaginings, spiritual sequels, actual sequels, and yearly updates the resistance to doing anything new is almost pathologic. And yet what are the most successful new games of the generation? Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – brand new IP and brand new ideas.
One day publishers will realise that it’s only by taking chances and doing something new that you really hit it big, but I don’t think that day will be at E3.
Going back to look at the Borderlands 3 trailer it really does look like it’s just another expansion for Borderlands 2. For me the free DLC has put me off the game, not the opposite.
Can’t believe what a failure Anthem has been. Who wants to place a bet on whether BioWare will still exist by the end of the year?
This week’s Hot Topic
With E3 due to start in just a few days the subject for this weekend’s Inbox is obvious: what are you expecting out of the show and what are you most looking forwards to?
What are your predictions for the major announcements in terms of games, hardware, and things like new streaming services? What do you expect to hear from the likes of Microsoft and Nintendo and what games reveals are you most anticipating?
What are you resigned to not hearing about and what do you think will end up being the biggest news from the show this year? What unannounced games do you think might be revealed and what previously unseen ones do you think will make the biggest splash?
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