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posted by martyb on Friday November 15 2019, @07:50AM   Printer-friendly
from the broken-promises dept.

As Google barrels forward toward streaming gaming with Monday's planned launch of Stadia, the company is talking about the many promised features that won't be available to Founder and Premier pre-order purchasers on day one.

[...] "On day 1, PC Chrome gameplay won't support 4K, HDR, or 5.1 Surround Sound." Those features will be added in 2020 for PC players.

[...] Family Sharing (which lets you buy a game once and share it with accounts held by family members) "is not supported on day one, so you'll have to buy games for your child's account." The feature is planned for addition "early next year."

[...] Chromecast Ultra units included in the Founders/Premiere bundles are the only ones that will work with Stadia on day one. Other Chromecast Ultra units will be able to play Stadia games after an over-the-air update "soon after launch."

[...] At the highest visual quality, the Stadia app warns that "data usage might reach 20 GB/hr." That's above some previous estimates that expected 15.75 GB/hr for a 4K HDr signal with 5.1 surround sound. Limiting the stream to 720p stereo quality via the app caps data usage at 4.5 GB/hr.

A quick bit of math, 300GB cap / 4.5GB = 66.6 Hours of play time a month. Now, if you're lucky to be on a 1TB cap, you're only limited to 222.22 hours of play time a month, which isn't bad. Except that is at the much lower 720p/stereo audio quality. That's not factoring in other things, like a little bit of youtube, netflix, or other things your family might be doing at the same time.

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  • (Score: 2) by Mojibake Tengu on Friday November 15 2019, @09:58AM (12 children)

    by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Friday November 15 2019, @09:58AM (#920643) Journal

    Does anyone see any advantage? Because I do not.
    To me, this looks more like a desperate pre-cancel public dump of the project, rather than a serious release.
    No chance against real consoles, beacause high quality non-4K games can run on any average hardware today, including miniconsoles. TES5: Skyrim and Witcher 3 on Nintendo Switch, for example.

    Maybe Apple is right, saying officially about the chrome stuff it is for poor hopeless people only, bringing up children as loosers.

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by mth on Friday November 15 2019, @10:32AM (8 children)

    by mth (2848) on Friday November 15 2019, @10:32AM (#920647) Homepage

    Being able to run games at high rendering settings without having to buy a high-end graphics card would be an advantage for me. While The Witcher 3 on Switch is impressive, it still looks better on PC and it is a game released on PC a few years ago. Cyberpunk 2077 is going to require better hardware than the Switch to look its best.

    However, I would want it as a pure subscription, where you pay for the service and the games in one monthly sum. Having to "buy" (unlock, really) full-priced games that you can only run in their cloud is not something I am willing to do. Alternatively, there could be a partnership with GOG or Steam so you can buy a game once and run it on either your own hardware or in Google's data center.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @01:55PM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @01:55PM (#920685)

      Computers are getting really cheap. We just picked up a new rig for my wife. It was supposed to be basically a lazy starter kit so we went as cheap as possible. It was $180 for everything: the system, monitor, peripherals, shipping etc. Turns out that little thing alone is sufficient to run GTA V! And stuff is only getting cheaper. I have what I consider to be a nice card for gaming - enough for for great visuals at 60FPS even on quite terribly optimized games like Kingdom Come: Deliverance. It's the GTX 570. That card is about $100 and getting cheaper each month. The days of needing some liquid cooled monstrosity with a $500 video card for awesome performance are pretty much gone. Those setups don't even make any sense anymore since you're not really getting that much more than a setup that runs a fraction of the cost, and that fancy setup will itself be a fraction of its cost in a year or two.

      There's an interesting balance. This is a major reason not to go for a "cloud" service, but probably also the same reason that the "cloud" service is choosing now to reemerge. The computer you're connecting to, at an economy of scale, probably pays for itself in 2 or 3 months of rent bearing in mind that multiple people will be paying rent for each server.

      • (Score: 1) by shrewdsheep on Friday November 15 2019, @02:22PM (2 children)

        by shrewdsheep (5215) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 15 2019, @02:22PM (#920690)

        $180 for everything sound like you got a Raspberry pi 4. Otherwise this must be a special deal. I would be interested in the detailed specs.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @04:19PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @04:19PM (#920711)

          Picked it up on Lazada []. You can find numerous comparably priced rigs under: Electronic Devices -> Desktops -> Gaming. I'm not sure how much regional prices change. However, we're currently in Southeast Asia, and electronics prices here are generally higher than stateside.

          The specs listed were vague - didn't even mention the monitor. We decided to order one because why not? It was $180 when I thought I'd be happy to get a case, mobo, and card for pretty much that price! Came with a monitor and all sorts of totally genuine software installed including the games advertised as playable, such as GTA V / Battlefield / PUBG / etc.

          The video card is a Nividia GT 730. Can get the mobo/cpu specs later if you're genuinely interested. I have no clue how they have a profit margin.

        • (Score: 2) by Captival on Friday November 15 2019, @11:53PM

          by Captival (6866) on Friday November 15 2019, @11:53PM (#920837)

          Raspberry Pi is $20 for a cheap one or $50 for a better one. For $200 you can get a barebones new PC or a fairly decent used one. The graphics card will be 2 generations old, but that's really the only downside if you're not a power user.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Friday November 15 2019, @03:26PM (3 children)

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday November 15 2019, @03:26PM (#920697) Journal

        Ditto on your specs list. I'm guessing several of those components were second-hand. Which is fine.

        CPU is typically not the bottleneck, and as long as lower resolutions are supported, games can scale really well. 4K is 9 times more pixels per second than 720p.

        Targeting to the lowest common denominator along with the Moore's law slowdown has helped your system to run more games. Intel's product stagnation made quad-core king for several years, with plenty of dual-cores hanging around. What are those GTA V recommended minimum requirements? An Ivy Bridge i5 quad-core (2012) and NVIDIA GTX 660 2GB. 660 and 570 are close in performance. The lower VRAM could be an issue, although apparently not in your case.

        The new Xbox and PS5 consoles will be using 8 "real" Zen 2 cores, compared to the 8 wimpier Jaguar cores from before. There may also be 4 ARM cores for background/OS tasks, leaving all of the 8 AMD cores (16 threads) for gaming (previous consoles would only let game devs use 6-7 cores). Either way, 8-core will become a new standard going forward and an argument could be made for 10-12 cores (to have extra threads for the OS, Twitch streaming, whatever). It's possible that with a "mainstream" $750 16-core on the market, 32+ core enthusiast chips, and simply more use of multithreading due to 8-cores instead of quad-cores, more games will be able to scale to use available cores/threads.

        Stadia is a bit weird. It could allow games to be played on even cheaper and slower hardware than you're packing. But if you have garbage hardware, how good is your internet connection? How about a 5G phone with no data cap?

        It was speculated that Microsoft would do something like Stadia, including a cheaper streaming-oriented console with no optical drive. That hasn't materialized AFAIK. There is an assumption that things will move in this direction, but I'm not sure that it should. We could see 3DSoC and more massive jumps in personal computing performance by the time a new Xbox/PS6 is considered. Ultimately, devices with RaspPi-like 1-3 Watt power consumption and NUC/SFF size will outperform today's desktop towers.

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        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @04:47PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @04:47PM (#920717)

          I misspoke on my card. It's an RX 570. Apologies there for any confusion. Blame the wine and my lack of hardware knowledge. I can install whatever, looking up benchmarks every once in a blue moon when something fries to see what a currently nice $/performance replacement is, and make sure my PSU has enough juice to keep everybody happy. But I stopped keeping up in any meaningful with hardware once my replacement rate started to decline which was something like 10 years ago. Only reason I noticed something was up (and decided to check the device's actual name) was because, in my opinion, the RX 570 is quite a nice card - certainly nothing that has any issue at all with e.g. GTA V.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @12:45PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @12:45PM (#920669)

    Play games on non-Windows systems. Anything that can stream video could be able to play.

    Play games on cheap hardware. An $89 PC capable of 720p VP9 hardware decode is good enough. You could use a phone hooked up to a display.

    No Denuvo or other nasty DRM from game companies has to touch your system. You are just getting a video feed from Google.

    The base service is free. You could use it to try game demos without needing to purchase or store the game files.

    If 4K HDR streaming games and other bandwidth wasters become popular, ISPs could raise data caps for all subscribers.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @01:03PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @01:03PM (#920678)

    That Apple exec is just salty that schools aren't buying as much of Apple's overpriced crap. Not as many $1 billion contracts to indoctrinate Los Angeles schoolkids.

    All most schoolkids need is a web browser and word processor. Chromebook fills that role and more.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @07:32PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15 2019, @07:32PM (#920769)

    The advantage is control, which is the main goal of big tech. Us filthy peasants being able to control our data and software without their approval is unacceptablr to their intended business model. It's a slow, gradual process as our computers are taken away, bit by bit, and this removes physical cistody outright.