After less than three years since its launch, it has been announced that Stadia will end service on 18th January 2023.
Launched in November 2023, Stadia was unveiled as a way for gamers to play high-end games. All without the need of an expensive console or PC. The power of Googles cloud-based system touted a massive 10 teraflops of graphical processing power. Beating both of the then current generation Xbox One X (6 teraflops) and PS4 Pro (4.2 teraflops).
For those eager to jump into this new streaming-only future, they would need to purchase a starter pack for £119/$129 which would include a Stadia controller, Chromcast Ultra 4K as well as a 3 month subscription to Stadia Pro. However, its here where the first issues started to show show.
Upon its launch, many of the stated features were incomplete or just outright missing. Those that had purchased the starter pack were met with delays on their hardware reaching them. Leaving them unable to play at launch. Those who were able to play were also complaining of unplayable lag. With many seeing over a full second between hitting a button and the game registering the press.
These initial teething issues led to a negative view of Stadia. Especially from early adopters and professional reviewers. The same people that many future customers may consult before subscribing. While Google would fix many of these issues over the intervening years, Google never managed to make Stadia a viable alternative to consoles in the average user’s eyes.
Back to today’s Stadia announcement
This leads us to today’s announcement. In a statement from his Harrison, vice-president and general manager of Stadia, he reiterated the service will be winding down at the start of 2022.
“…while Stadia’s approach to streaming games for consumers was built on a strong technology foundation, it hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected so we’ve made the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service.”
With the end of Stadia on the 18th January 2023, Google has revealed that they will refund all software and hardware purchases for all customers. Any Stadia controllers or titles purchased through the Stadia over the last three years will refunded by mid-January.
For many the service’s demise was only a matter of time. Google is well known for killing off projects that don’t perform well only a few short years after their introduction. The infamous Google Graveyard already has Stadia added to the long list of Google casualties over the years.
While it is clear this isn’t the end of game streaming services, it certainly is for Stadia.
What was your view of Stadia? Did you ever try out the service, and if not why not? We would love to know in the comments below.