Google’s Stadia is a streaming-only gaming platform. And you know what, as much as I am sceptical about that myself, there is definitely room for a streaming platform for a lot of games. But there are some genres that are ill-suited to a platform where latency and lag are major issues—as they would be on a streaming platform. Genres like fighting games.
So naturally, Google is working on bringing some fighters to Stadia. Speaking to Ars Technica, Google’s VP Phil Harrison noted that there is more going on behind the scenes with Stadia to reduce lag than people might expect, and that as a matter of fact, Google will even be getting some big name upcoming fighters. He admitted that the “pro players” probably won’t be comfortable with Stadia, but asserted that everyone else should be okay.
“We have a couple of leading fighting games in development on our platform,” he said, before adding, “I fully respect that there is a top of that [esports player] pyramid, who are typically players wearing logo t-shirts in a comfy gamer chair, and they’re investing in lowest possible latency mouse pads. Maybe we’re not going to reach those players day one. But I think that aspirational pyramid beneath the pinnacle pro players is absolutely for Stadia.”
I have a lot of questions (such as what a low-latency mouse pad is, and where I can get one), and even more misgivings (you need to be frame-perfect with fighting games, and the latency on a streaming platform forbids that), but I suppose let’s wait to see how this turns out for them.