Google’s cloud-based streaming platform Stadia is an interesting endeavour, promising access to all kinds of games on a number of platforms supporting Google Chrome. There are still concerns regarding latency, bandwidth consumption and performance but surely a beta will help allay players’ fears? Unfortunately, that’s not happening.
GamesRadar spoke to Google vice president and Stadia head Phil Harrison recently and he confirmed that a beta would not be happening before launch. Project Stream did take place last year, showcasing the potential of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey running in a Chrome browser, but that was for a limited number of people. Harrison states that, “It was unfortunate that we only ran the Project Stream test in the US, and even then it was only a relatively small subset of players, but you’ve all experienced it for yourselves and you know it works.”
However, Project Stream wasn’t available in several territories that Stadia will be launching in. Wouldn’t a separate test at least make sense in that regard? The response: “Geographically, the US is the most complex place to test; just because of the size of the country. And actually, Europe – and particularly the UK – are much… relatively, they are relatively easier to launch. So we are not going to do another test in the UK or Europe. If we had time we probably would have done so, but we don’t need to.”
As for why that’s not happening, Harrison said, “Just in terms of the scheduling of building out our data centres. The US schedule was started first and came online first, and the UK/European one came online second. It was just a sequencing of geographies and there was no intention to the meaning of that.”
Google Stadia will launch in November for 14 countries including the United States of America, Canada, Denmark, United Kingdom, Spain and Sweden. Access will initially be restricted to a Stadia Pro subscription, which costs $10 per month, but a free tier will be available in 2020. Unfortunately, if you want to play games on the service, you’ll need to purchase them separately or avail of services like Uplay+.