It's Dead, Jim.......and by Dead I mean Stadia

Zarathustra[H]

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It's a little bit of a shame I think.

It's certainly not something I'd want for one of my FPS titles, but for casual gaming that isn't too latency dependent, something like Stadia could really work for a lot of people.
 

UnknownSouljer

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It's a little bit of a shame I think.

It's certainly not something I'd want for one of my FPS titles, but for casual gaming that isn't too latency dependent, something like Stadia could really work for a lot of people.
Problem is most games that aren't latency dependent aren't generally graphics dependent either.
Basically all of AAA is multiplayer FPS games - and everyone wants GTX 3090 graphics at a monthly price and that was what was sold to them.

The irony is if all you want to do is play stuff that's turn based you don't need 3090 graphics and you don't care about latency, and vice versa.
Even if all you want is SP games that are graphics intensive, they all still feel worse with latency. Things like CP2077, the latest Assassin Creed Games, or Souls titles. There just aren't really any titles that exist that are graphics intensive that aren't harmed by poor latency.

Basically Stadia shutting down sort of proves this out.
 

staknhalo

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I bought $20 worth of games through the Stadia app from Google Reward points on my old moto g7

You think I might get $20 back somehow? Let's find out.
 

DukenukemX

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Great idea, impossible to execute. Just too bandwidth/latency limited for most people.
More like bad idea and bad execution. Many companies with deep pockets have tried to make cloud gaming work and have done so for over a decade. The problem is no gamers like any form of input lag, and no amount of technology will ever make it work due to physics. They had their chance during covid when gaming blew up and PS5 and GPU prices were insane. Stadia's problem was worse since you had to buy the games and still pay for 4k. If your cloud gaming service isn't like Netflix in that you just pay a monthly fee and get access to all the games then you're doing it wrong. Stadia is proof that the concept of cloud gaming was an idea made up by someone who's never played games or worked in networking.
 

MaZa

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Honestly, everyone complaining about latency either had a piss poor internet connection or have never even used it. I have, my friend was big Stadia supporter. He does have a decent internet and latency was almost nonexistent whenever I was visiting him and playing there. Sure for multiplayer twitch shooters it is not good enough but 90% of other games it is more than enough.
The technology was good, google just did piss poor work at it since day 1 and left a sour taste in everyones mouth.
 
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SmokeRngs

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As if this was any sort of surprise.

The technology is shit because we have no way of overcoming the inherent problems involved. The speed of the light limitations are something we haven't overcome and until that happens, this type of "service" isn't going to work for too many games. It's not just the issue of internet latency even though the latency you have is effectively doubled just for contact to and from the servers because you have to wait for transport of packets both ways before receiving the "update". Add into that all the latency involved in the processing being on the opposite end of where you are, compression and other factors and the latency is always going to be bad. Sure, this isn't likely going to be an issue for turn based games but for anything else it can and will be an issue.

That's the best case scenario with everything working perfectly. Add in the internet connection problems everyone has, issues with hops other than what you have between you and your ISP, bandwidth, latency and jitter issues which get exacerbated since so many areas are oversold and can't handle all the users in the area and many more normal, everyday hiccups and cloud gaming is recipe for disaster.

Even worse is the fact that the services were sold as having better graphics than most people would be capable of which definitely didn't pan out.

This attempt by google and the services others are attempting have absolutely nothing to do with being a benefit to gamers. It was always about control. Exclusive control of any and all content by them. Control of how you play and what you play. Control of the quality of the picture. They wanted and still want a captive audience who is required to pay them monthly until the end of time. Plus they wanted the cut of sales of the games themselves.

Cloud gaming is an atrocity and gamers should consider themselves lucky that this "service" has folded. And hope that the rest of them fold as well.
 

MaZa

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As if this was any sort of surprise.

The technology is shit because we have no way of overcoming the inherent problems involved. The speed of the light limitations are something we haven't overcome and until that happens, this type of "service" isn't going to work for too many games. It's not just the issue of internet latency even though the latency you have is effectively doubled just for contact to and from the servers because you have to wait for transport of packets both ways before receiving the "update". Add into that all the latency involved in the processing being on the opposite end of where you are, compression and other factors and the latency is always going to be bad. Sure, this isn't likely going to be an issue for turn based games but for anything else it can and will be an issue.

That's the best case scenario with everything working perfectly. Add in the internet connection problems everyone has, issues with hops other than what you have between you and your ISP, bandwidth, latency and jitter issues which get exacerbated since so many areas are oversold and can't handle all the users in the area and many more normal, everyday hiccups and cloud gaming is recipe for disaster.

Even worse is the fact that the services were sold as having better graphics than most people would be capable of which definitely didn't pan out.

This attempt by google and the services others are attempting have absolutely nothing to do with being a benefit to gamers. It was always about control. Exclusive control of any and all content by them. Control of how you play and what you play. Control of the quality of the picture. They wanted and still want a captive audience who is required to pay them monthly until the end of time. Plus they wanted the cut of sales of the games themselves.

Cloud gaming is an atrocity and gamers should consider themselves lucky that this "service" has folded. And hope that the rest of them fold as well.

Again, unless you have poor internet connection in your area you are way overblowing the effect of latency. On my very phone that I am writing this my ping to Google servers is about 20ms via 4g mobile connection. On proper fiber (like what my friend has) or other cable connection the latency is almost nonexistent, pushing into single digits in google services. Even if that is doubled for back and forth dialog and video compression plus streaming added on top (which can be done really quickly with current GPU's) the latency would still be minimal for single player games.
 
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I remember back in 2001 seeing video streaming demo'd for the first time thinking it wouldn't be accepted over cable or DVDs but here we are with Netflix, HBO Max, Prime, etc. That being said streaming games and TV is not the same but big execs keep pushing it I guess.
 

Aurelius

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Not surprising, unfortunately. I'd still say it's possible that cloud gaming reaches the mainstream, but the tech and business model just aren't there for it at the moment. What I'd like to see, apart from lower latency, is a sort of Movies Anywhere system where buying a game lets you play it on any cloud service with the rights to stream that title. So you might buy a game through Stadia Reborn, but can switch to GeForce Now or another provider. Of course, this would require more developers open their catalogs to cloud gaming, which they've frequently been reluctant to do.
 

Blade-Runner

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1664543640571.png
 

XenIneX

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There was nothing wrong with the tech. Maybe there were a couple twitch esports titles which wouldn't have lended themselves to an extra frame of latency, but those are few and far between. And most people are barely qualified to put one foot in front of the other, let alone opine on the highest echelons of competitive gameplay.

It was the business model which was hot garbage. You can sell the service; you can sell the games; but double dipping for both will have prospective users telling you exactly where you can shove your 'negative latency'.
 
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The tech doesn't matter all that much when most of the world's data infrastructure is shit, even in rich countries.
 

Mermalion

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For everyone who bought games for Stadia, will they get that money back? Or game keys redeemable on another platform? Doubt it but it'd be the right thing to do.
 

MavericK

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For everyone who bought games for Stadia, will they get that money back? Or game keys redeemable on another platform? Doubt it but it'd be the right thing to do.

Yeah, Google has said they are refunding everyone. If you read the (very short) article:

The good news here is that Google will be refunding all of its Stadia customers, regardless if it's someone that has bought hardware through the Google Store, or bought games or even add-on content for games through the Stadia Store. Google will be refunding all of its customers by the 18th of January 2023 and those using Stadia will continue to have access to all of their content until that date.
 

MavericK

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I think the biggest issue was that they required you to buy games that are exclusive to the platform. If it were able to use your existing game libraries (ala nVidia streaming) it probably would have been a lot more popular.
 

LukeTbk

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I remember back in 2001 seeing video streaming demo'd for the first time thinking it wouldn't be accepted over cable or DVDs but here we are with Netflix, HBO Max, Prime, etc. That being said streaming games and TV is not the same but big execs keep pushing it I guess.
And it was more than accepted people pushed away the DvDs that big execs kept pushing has much as they could, like how Pixar-Dreamwork 3D replaced 2d animation in big american movies by clear demand, with big studios offering both at the same time and audience deciding for themselve.

From the Resident Evil streaming demo, latency issue is probably quite exaggerated for a vast proportion of games, but image quality was terrible, low cost of an XboX S or no-disk playstation 5 and how powerful the big Nvidia-Playstation-Nintendo-Microsoft-Apple that will keep buy hardware to play game are at creating really incentive product, it will be thought.
 

Jagger100

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Luna next?

These guys should start small with casual gaming (Tetris, android ports, oldies but goodies, etc...) and build out from there slowly.
 

SmokeRngs

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Again, unless you have poor internet connection in your area you are way overblowing the effect of latency. On my very phone that I am writing this my ping to Google servers is about 20ms via 4g mobile connection. On proper fiber (like what my friend has) or other cable connection the latency is almost nonexistent, pushing into single digits in google services. Even if that is doubled for back and forth dialog and video compression plus streaming added on top (which can be done really quickly with current GPU's) the latency would still be minimal for single player games.
You really don't get it, do you? Not everyone lives next door to a google data center and most people never will. The hardware for this wasn't even in every google datacenter. Most people aren't blessed with your friend's perfect running and never goes down internet connection. In fact it's quite the opposite but I already pointed that out and you completely ignored it bringing up your friend's perfect connection as if that's the standard.

It's funny how you attempt to pretend that it's the fault of ISP customers that they don't have perfect connections when the customers in many cases are stuck with a single ISP due to regional monopolies. And you overlook the fact that many, if not most ISPs greatly oversell their bandwidth and ability to provide service to their customers which results in much lower quality of service during peak usage hours. A problem which has existed since the internet went public.

Even funnier is how you seem to think the companies providing the cloud gaming services won't oversell their service. We already know they do as I pointed out previously that what the services promised regarding resolution and fidelity wasn't delivered. The more people who would have used the service would have continually degraded the service. And if the cloud gaming companies had gotten what they wanted, a captive audience, the service would have only gotten worse since there would be little or nothing customers could do about it.

Continue to gloss over and ignore all the problems and downsides if you want but the problems and downsides are still there. Some of us can see those downsides and aren't sticking our heads in the sand.
 

MaZa

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You really don't get it, do you? Not everyone lives next door to a google data center and most people never will. The hardware for this wasn't even in every google datacenter. Most people aren't blessed with your friend's perfect running and never goes down internet connection. In fact it's quite the opposite but I already pointed that out and you completely ignored it bringing up your friend's perfect connection as if that's the standard.

It's funny how you attempt to pretend that it's the fault of ISP customers that they don't have perfect connections when the customers in many cases are stuck with a single ISP due to regional monopolies. And you overlook the fact that many, if not most ISPs greatly oversell their bandwidth and ability to provide service to their customers which results in much lower quality of service during peak usage hours. A problem which has existed since the internet went public.

Even funnier is how you seem to think the companies providing the cloud gaming services won't oversell their service. We already know they do as I pointed out previously that what the services promised regarding resolution and fidelity wasn't delivered. The more people who would have used the service would have continually degraded the service. And if the cloud gaming companies had gotten what they wanted, a captive audience, the service would have only gotten worse since there would be little or nothing customers could do about it.

Continue to gloss over and ignore all the problems and downsides if you want but the problems and downsides are still there. Some of us can see those downsides and aren't sticking our heads in the sand.

No you miss the point I was making. A lot of people, including you, keep bringing up the latency problem as it is an argument that somehow makes a good cloud gaming impossible, almost like it is against the laws of physics or something. My point was that it can and it DOES work, I have seen it work and experienced it work if all things click. Whatever problems there are, are actually solveable engineering problems. Google was already halfway there as they have data centers everywhere.

I am not from USA so I have not personally experienced the crap that you have to endure with your ISP monopolies, thank god. But at some point a good and cap free internet connection is the future even through the USA, they cannot hinder it forever.

Anyway, personally I think what made Stadia fail was never a technology problem. It was that their business model was crap. As cool as cloud gaming is in theory, hardware on hand is still hardware on hand and cloud cannot replace it, only suplement it. Geforce Now is much closer to an ideal cloud service than Stadia was.
 

Lakados

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My only take away from this is I hope things like the Logitech G Cloud Gaming handheld get sold cheap because I bet they would make awesome console emulators.
 

staknhalo

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Gamestreaming tech in general helps improve in-home Nvidia Gamestream so it's neat to have it around for that
 

UnknownSouljer

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No you miss the point I was making. A lot of people, including you, keep bringing up the latency problem as it is an argument that somehow makes a good cloud gaming impossible, almost like it is against the laws of physics or something. My point was that it can and it DOES work, I have seen it work and experienced it work if all things click. Whatever problems there are, are actually solveable engineering problems. Google was already halfway there as they have data centers everywhere.
Can work? Sure, but practically speaking: no. Not unless you want to invest billions to get $20 subscriptions in cloud gaming. And you'd have to be the worst business person in the world to think that's a good idea. Google who has the capital clearly agrees.

From your next reply I can see you don't have to deal with this (you state "non-US"), but Google definitely does not have data centers everywhere. In the US, I think they have at most half a dozen in the continental US. That would be like having the same amount for all of Europe and the top 1/3rd of Africa and into the Baltic states (or roughly 2/3rds the land mass of Russia). When talking about population density, let's just say that Google is only hitting a VERY small percentage. If you're lucky to live in greater metropolitan Los Angeles, great. But moving 1 state over in any direction, Nevada, Northern California (so actually the same State), Oregon, and Colorado would leave you with basically no coverage and being 300-800+ miles away. And then not only do you have distance but also you're subject to line quality. Lets just say you'd struggle to have anything under than 350ms one state over at best.

Do you think Google is actually going to build at minimum 50 data centers in the US in major metropolitan areas to cover the most users? Clearly not. And they also aren't willing to do so even in other major world countries either. Not for Stadia anyway. If it doesn't support their core businesses the overhead isn't worth it. Stadia clearly and obviously doesn't generate the revenue. And then you start to really see the problem, in order to scale, it requires more data centers and frankly streaming games aren't good ROI. To put it another way how many data centers do you think a company like Netflix or Hulu has to have? It's obvious far less, so who do you think has more ROI and far less overhead? While it might be possible to start a small scale streaming service in say London, it will never be global until some form of technology makes bandwidth and latency not an issue over much longer distances. And that future isn't here yet.
I am not from USA so I have not personally experienced the crap that you have to endure with your ISP monopolies, thank god. But at some point a good and cap free internet connection is the future even through the USA, they cannot hinder it forever.
I don't think you understand the politics and you also don't understand the costs involved. The US is geographically massive and as a result has population that is much further spread out. The monopolies exist because they have to. It's not worth it for telecom's to run 100's if not 1000's of miles of cable to service towns of only a few hundred people. And then you travel down the road again another 25-40 miles or so and there's another town of roughly the same population. Again, it's about ROI. If it costs half a million dollars or more just to run the cable to service a small community (and then even more to run the last mile of cable to each individual house hold) the only way you can ensure you'll make a return on your investment is through a guarantee. The guarantee is exclusivity, and without that in place it's not worth the risk to build the infrastructure. Obviously that's a double edged sword. At least those people in the greater rural America can get some form of high-speed internet and not just dial up, but there is no one in the US at the governmental level protecting the interests of those citizens stuck with whatever internet these companies give them.

The US is very far behind on any form of regulation on the internet. And while I mostly agree that we should regulate the least amount possible, most (including me) would say at this point the Internet is critical to basic life like water and power and phone service and as such should be treated like a utility and therefore regulated. At least in the sense that you get what you pay for and there are minimum standards in place (in addition to being open and free).

While this is already far off topic, this is why projects like Starlink is so important in the US. Because it removes the capital necessary for people in relatively remote areas to have good internet access for simply the cost of a dish, some cable, and a box. And it's also for this reason why the US government was seeking some space provider to do this work (offering grants and subsidization but requiring that it achieves specific metrics), in the interest of getting more citizens in the US access to reasonably fast internet access.
Anyway, personally I think what made Stadia fail was never a technology problem. It was that their business model was crap. As cool as cloud gaming is in theory, hardware on hand is still hardware on hand and cloud cannot replace it, only suplement it. Geforce Now is much closer to an ideal cloud service than Stadia was.
Latency is latency. Still wouldn't fix the basic issues at hand.

And to summarize, the fact that Stadia and Geforce now have both failed speaks to that fact.
 
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SmokeRngs

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No you miss the point I was making. A lot of people, including you, keep bringing up the latency problem as it is an argument that somehow makes a good cloud gaming impossible, almost like it is against the laws of physics or something. My point was that it can and it DOES work, I have seen it work and experienced it work if all things click. Whatever problems there are, are actually solveable engineering problems. Google was already halfway there as they have data centers everywhere.

I am not from USA so I have not personally experienced the crap that you have to endure with your ISP monopolies, thank god. But at some point a good and cap free internet connection is the future even through the USA, they cannot hinder it forever.

Anyway, personally I think what made Stadia fail was never a technology problem. It was that their business model was crap. As cool as cloud gaming is in theory, hardware on hand is still hardware on hand and cloud cannot replace it, only suplement it. Geforce Now is much closer to an ideal cloud service than Stadia was.
And you still don't understand the problem even at it's most basic. Here's an example: MMOs. I play one and there are people in my "guild" spread out across the US, Canada and Europe. The servers themselves are located on the east coast of the US. For the people in North America the latency is usually good enough. For the people in Europe the latency is obviously quite a bit higher. I've known people from as far as Russia and Australia who play. How is a cloud gaming service going to work for that? Some of the double latency is baked in because the game is processed on the servers only but there are ways around that double latency which they use. When things don't work right you get the wonderful rubberband effect. That rubberband effect would be made even worse. Or the MMO is going to be required to be located in many data centers throughout the world to fix the issue but it creates a new problem. That MMO is going to lose the massively part of MMO simply because you'll only be able to play with people in your small region. This is by no means a problem exclusive to MMOs. Any online game would suffer the same problem of regional only multiplayer. That would effectively destroy many online games.

Cloud gaming is a solution (which creates many additional problems) looking for a problem.
 

LukeTbk

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The business model is not that obvious

Easy to run title can ran on very cheap already own hardware
Hard to run title tend to be played by people that do not mind the low price of a console
The killer app (something that is worth it to be impossible to run on a $600 console) that can ran on superserver would cost a fortune to make if it exist, would cost a lot of the server side to ran.

There is a market of new parents ex-gamer that would like to be able to play AAA title without having to buy them (hardware and software) and in an instant go the game section of netflix and play them for a monthly fee I could imagine.

Lantecy wise, many people are still playing at 30 FPS on a PS4, with a Bluetooth controller on a giant latency TV and that was a giant success.

Looking at 5G specs, that idea that it will be technically impossible for this to work right enough before 2050 in many part of the world does not sound right to me, vehicle to vehicle (drone and cars) speaking to each other will very low latency will bring even better than 5G level of latency.

It really depends from people to people and the type of games. The issues seem more commercial, what the massive gain versus downloading the game on your cheap console, not having to get your hands and store DVD for movies-TV (or hard drive space on a TiVO) was more obvious.
For low value game that you would want to play right away, your phone or smartv will be strong enough to do it locally, for big high investment game people are ready to pay for the hardware.
 
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UnknownSouljer

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The business model is not that obvious

Easy to run title can ran on very cheap already own hardware
Hard to run title tend to be played by people that do not mind the low price of a console
The killer app (something that is worth it to be impossible to run on a $600 console) that can ran on superserver would cost a fortune to make if it exist, would cost a lot of the server side to ran.

There is a market of new parents ex-gamer that would like to be able to play AAA title without having to buy them (hardware and software) and in an instant go the game section of netflix and play them for a monthly fee I could imagine.

Lantecy wise, many people are still play on 30 FPS on a PS4, with a bluetooth controller on a giant latency TV and that was a giant success.

Looking at 5G specs, that idea that it will be technically impossible for this to work right enough before 2050 in many part of the world does not sound right to me, vehicle to vehicle (drone and cars) speaking to each other will very low latency will bring even better than 5G level of latency.

It really depends from people to people and the type of games. The issues seem more commercial, what the massive gain versus downloading the game on your cheap console, not having to get your hands and store DVD for movies-TV (or hard drive space on a TiVO) was more obvious.
For low value game that you would want to play right away, your phone or smartv will be strong enough to do it locally, for big high investment game people are ready to pay for the hardware.
Satellite technology for internet becoming ubiquitous could close the gap. That would mean however that the frequency on the satellites would be incredibly high.
There are a lot of technologies that are (or are perhaps not to people not thinking about them) that would/could become practical in the future, whereas it's not right now.
One would be literally servers in space or servers as part of satellites. Which would prevent the issue of having to beam from the ground (the server) to the satellite (the transmitter) and back to the ground (to the receiver). Having servers in space eliminates 50% minimum of the travel distance and therefore effectively "doubles" the speed and halves the latency. If going to space becomes commonplace, then IT in space as an example could become common place. However it will likely be even longer before they're using such technology for non-mission critical things that will also take place. But 100 years in the future? Sure, yeah, it will eventually exist.
 

flegg

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So many lag apologists still around it is almost unbelievable.

Selling iguana meat to first world countries good idea igor?? It's google brand though, must be tasty.

Isn't the first and only practical thing they ever teach in those dumb business schools that you need to identify your market?

Can't even play super Mario Brothers on it, who cares let's gooooooooo
 

RanceJustice

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While the issue of lag is certainly a concern, there are so many genres that work well even with some latency; pretty much anything that's not very twitchy + competitive. There is a future for "cloud/streamed" gaming and I see it best exemplified by Steam Link / Play Together where players have control over both the server and the client using titles they already own. One major problem with Stadia (atop the hazard of just being a Google project that wasn't in their core was that they tried , stupidly, to make yet another fucking platform! Another game store, another place devs would have to release and update their titles, another place you;'d need to BUY them to play. Stadia was mismanaged, but this was a big part of it - I can remember being pissed that instead of launching on PC properly the remade Samurai Shodown came to bloody Stadia instead of arriving properly on Steam as was desired (SNK bungled this from the beginning and made other mistakes but Stadia was a part of it) . GOogle could have put their limitless wallet into developing an open source high performance/low latency streaming standard, and then monetized by selling access to "cloud gaming PCs" on their considerable hardware and service for who want to run a cloud gaming business themselves (ie the same way that Redhat sells service contracts for business-grade Linux ). Unfortunately they did this poorly, pushing Stadia as its own independent thing and quite frankly people didn't want nor need another platform!

There is a large danger with the emergence of streaming tech that, if we are not vigilant and act vehemently when we see bad policy and products rise, will hobble our privacy and control over computing. Picture software and game developers who would love for nothing to run on your PC - they can sell it all to you, the ultimate DRM. Mods are nigh impossible, piracy too (sans leaks of server/broadcast software or incredible reverse engineering), and all manner of invasive policies are allowed because its not a matter of their program on your PC anymore you're connecting to their system; their system their rules! The benefit of the cloud only thrives as long as users have the possibility to define both the client and the server as they wish. Otherwise, it becomes a one way pipe where you are given the illusion of control. Stadia failing, especially as a proprietary game platform and store, is a benefit that it takes us further from this direction and perhaps will caution others... but we can't grow complacent. There are still others, and more will come with dreams of stock prices rising damn all else.
 
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