Google Stadia Initial Review (I just got mine today)

Ok folks, I have been reading reviews about Stadia, none of them too good, but I am not nearly as critical about things. My attempt here is to be honest about my first interaction with the service, I will give you the facts, you all make your own judgement about it. @Leo @JasonHowell @ant_pruitt

Facts about my Stadia / home network configuration:
Router: Asus AC68U
Wireless Network: 5GHZ
Wireless Speed: 75 to 90mpbs
Strength of Signal at the Router: -35dbm
Strength of Signal at the Stadia Chromecast: -53dbm
Stadia connection: wireless
Stadia Chromecast Distance from Router: 15 ft

Setup Process: Installed with the power adapter that came in the box, loaded updates for the Chromecast, loaded updated for the Stadia controller, added device to my Home, setup my account and secured my Avatar name. Everything was great and seamless, no issues at all. Keep in mind, I am fairly tech savvy, but I think anyone could have figured this out with no issues.

Game startup and app: App launched with no issues, I claimed both games I had coming to me, Destiny 2 and Samurai Showdown (that was a freebee, for some reason). I had everything up and running and playing in under 10 minutes. Could switch from Destiny 2 to Samurai Showdown very quickly, everything happened and worked as expected.

Game Experience: Samurai Showdown - Game launched with no issues or input lag, screen selection was as expected, then I moved into an offline Battle VS a CPU. I didn’t experience anything that looked like an issue with latency, anything that was noticeable. Occasionally, I would see a little jitteriness, but it was not common or impactful. No pixilation, or degradation of the picture.

Game Experience: Destiny 2 - Game launched with no issues or input lag, everything was smooth and without issues. About 2 to 3 minutes in, while I was selecting my character and adjusting my avatar, I noticed some pixilation and blurriness, but it went away quickly. Once the game started, I adjusted my control settings to Legacy / inverted (don’t judge - thank you Goldeneye 64) and began. WIthin about 1 minute or 2, I started seeing messages pop up on the screen that said:
“Attention Contacting Destiny 2 servers”, they were popping up every 15 seconds or so. After about 2 to 3 minutes, the game crashed and said ’ ERROR - Could not connect to Destiny 2 servers. Check your network configuration and try again…Error Code: weasel"

I attempted to the reenter the game and try again, happened exactly the same each time for about 3 times, after that, I gave up. I did recheck my internet connection, everything was exactly the same, still good connection.

Then I tried the setup with my Pixel 3 XL. A little annoying that I needed a USB C to USB C from phone to controller (plus it doesnt come with one in the box), but I will forgive them. Setup for this was quick and easy. Everything looked great, but once I jumped into Destiny 2, exact same thing happened again, nothing different, same network crash.

I hope Google addresses this, and I hope everyone doesn’t just give up on Stadia so fast. Google really just needs to push this out as a BETA, invite only, just like what @karsten said. I don’t mind giving my feedback on it. I will give them time to fix. I trust they will make this work, eventually.

What do you guys think?

UPDATE 2300 hrs, Same day
Game Experience tested on the Computer, as opposed to the Chromecast.

Tried both a Dell XPS 9360 and an Acer Chromebook R11. Had to wire the Stadia controller to the laptops. SIGNIFICANTLY better performance on the computers as opposed to the Chromecast. Biggest issue was input lag, sometimes I would get stuff spinning around aimlessly. But overall on both platforms, Dell 9360 worked better, the Destiny 2 experience was playable and enjoyable. My session never timed out like on the Chromecast. So I will be using this on the Computer for now.

UPDATE 2 1100 hrs the next day:

I didn’t know you could adjust the quality down in the Settings in the Stadia app, I adjusted from best to Balanced. After this, everything worked perfectly on the Chromecast. They really should have this by default set. So far, so good! @ant_pruitt

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According to a youtube viewer, Google did say this was a “pre release” offering. So this performance stuff makes sense for now. Supposedly it’s public knowledge that this is a “pre release” until 2020. I’ve not found this documentation, nor have I cared to look, but I give them a pass if this is true.
Thanks for this feedback, @jazake. Good stuff.

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I hope your right @ant_pruitt I am really rooting for Google in this. But this is the hard truth now. Maybe if they said BETA or pre release or Invite only or something like that, this would just be something you would expect. Meh.

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My experience was less smooth, but that was an issue of my own creation… I mentioned it elsewhere, but I had a router firmware update that I applied in the middle of everything, so I caused my own pain, probably. The death of the Bungie servers for login to Destiny 2 for hours on end is more than a little annoying however as I am not really very interested in the Samurai game. (Who designs a game with inputs that require one to press down and right at the same time or up and right at the same time on an D pad with only 4 directions? I tried using the stick instead, but that just doesn’t feel right and wasn’t very precise.)

The real issue for me is that the game selection isn’t to my liking, and the prices REALLY aren’t to my liking. I’d like to try the racing game, but the full version is $110CDN! If I knew Stadia would succeed and still be around after 2 years, MAYBE I would spend that kind of money… but I’m not one of those people who has to have the newest and greatest. I usually wait until the game goes on sale for at least half price. Also, would it have killed them to have a LEGO game of some sort… something that has [couch] co-op so I could play with a friend.

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I guess I’m lucky, but I’ve had no issues at all with my Stadia Founder’s Edition. I only play via the ChromeCast Ultra on my TV, and that is hard wired to my Verizon Fios Router with Gigabit speeds. This technology is awesome! It is very responsive and seems to me like I’m connected to a console. It doesn’t feel very “beta” to me, and I look forward to seeing how Google makes this better!

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I hear you, I have that experience now that I changed the data settings to use Balanced, not max resolution or 4K. Now it works great :+1:

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Oh, and we get 2 more free games! Starting December, hopefully this library continues to grow.

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Your experience with the networking aspect, is similar to mine. I had my own issues that I caused myself (router upgrade in the middle of everything) but otherwise this has been pretty good from a networking, latency and feeling like a console experience.

I disagree with you here however. There are many aspects of the service which feel half baked. Things like the number of available games, the fact you can only browse the store on your phone (in the Android app, although I don’t know if there is an iOS app yet,) the fact you need to delete your account and re-add it if you want to change your PIN, the lack of achievements (or at least a UI for it), the fact you need to use a cable that they didn’t provide to use it with one of the only two models of phones supported (Pixel 3/3a/4), and other things I can’t remember right now.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not horrible by any means, but neither does it feel like something that is at version 1.0.