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Here's everything we learnt from Google's Stadia Reddit AMA

Here's everything we learnt from Google's Stadia Reddit AMA

Google yesterday took to Reddit to answer questions from the user base about its forthcoming Stadia streaming platform. 

Director of product Andrey Doronichev (pictured), via the StadiaOfficial account, was trying to provide a bit more clarity over the search and software giant's play into the games market. This was the latest marketing effort for Google, who so far has been rather light on details about its streaming platform. 

The company's Game Developer Conference 2019 reveal event left PCGamesInsider.biz with some rather large questions about Stadia, such as pricing and what games were coming to the platform at launch. Google answered some of these at its pre-E3 2019 Stadia Connect event, but still there are some rather large holes in what we know about the tech ahead of its November release. 

Still, Doronichev provided a number of new details about the Stadia platform, which we have helpfully collected in the list below. 

 


Click here to view the list »
  • 1 Google once again insists it is committed to Stadia

    Google once again insists it is committed to Stadia  logo

    In the past, Google has launched products only for them to be left to die or end up killed off after a few years - just look at the plethora of messaging apps the search giant has released and, oh, Google Plus.

    But the company has once again said that it is committed to Stadia as a platform. During the AMA, Andrey Doronichev was asked what happens to game purchases if the service bits the dust, with the direct of product saying that other mediums have made the transition to the cloud, not really answering the original question of what happens if users have spent money on a platform that no longer exists...

    "We get this a lot. I hear you," he said.

    "Moving to the cloud is scary. I felt the same way when music was transitioning from files to streaming. I still have all my old CDs in the garage… although it's hard to find a CD player these days.

    "The same happened to Movies and Photos and my Docs and other files… And it’s great! Games are no different. Eventually all of our games will be safely in the cloud too and we'll feel great about it. We’ve been investing a ton in tech, infrastructure and partnerships over the past few years. Nothing in life is certain, but we’re committed to making Stadia a success.

    "The games you buy on Stadia are yours to play. From day one we’ll support Takeout, so that you can download your game metadata, including saves if you want to.

    "Of course, it’s ok to doubt my words. Theres nothing I can say now to make you believe if you don't. But what we can do is to launch the service and continue investing in it for years to come. Exactly how we've been doing with gMail, Docs, Music, Movies and Photos. That’s exactly what we’re committed to."

    He continued, asked again about Google's commitment: "[We are] super committed. We have hundreds of passionate people who have spent years building it. We’ve invested a ton in tech, infrastructure and content."


  • 2 Here's why Google thinks developers need to support Stadia

    Here's why Google thinks developers need to support Stadia  logo

    Moving from making titles on traditional hardware to developing on the cloud is the main draw for studios to come support Stadia.

    That's according to Google director of product for the platform Andrey Doronichev who said that we will get new kinds of experiences out of cloud tech.

    "I think, the biggest is the fact that game developers don’t have to limit their creativity to whatever fits in a little black box under your TV," he said.

    "Since games will be running in the Cloud, we expect to see new games at scale never seen before. I can’t wait to see what that community can do with the power of this new architecture. I also think game design will evolve to accommodate for gamers accessing games anytime and on any device."


  • 3 Fans are concerned about data caps but Google thinks ISPs will adapt to the landscape

    Fans are concerned about data caps but Google thinks ISPs will adapt to the landscape logo

    One of the biggest worries surrounding Google Stadia - and the games streaming market in general - is the strain it will place on people's internet packages.

    Many consumers have pointed out that the data cap placed on them by their internet service providers (ISPs) will not allow them to use a platform like Stadia in the long term. Director of product Andrey Doronichev, however, has said that these companies have changed their business models in the past and he doesn't see why that wouldn't happen again.

    Of course, relying on a private enterprise - one that is notoriously lucrative in somewhere like the United States - to act in the interest of consumers is a risky move, as pointed out by replies to Doronichev's answer.

    "I can’t predict the future, but I’ve seen that ISPs adapted in the past - I saw it when I was at YouTube - and we’d expect that to continue," he told the Reddit AMA.

    "For players concerned about data usage we’ll definitely have some tools in the Stadia app to manage your data usage to adapt to your unique data situation, but I’m not sure if that will be on day one or a bit later. There's a lot of great ISPs offering plans with 100s of mbps or even gigabits and no caps. We're seeing different progress in different countries and are certainly expecting ISPs to continually improve the services."


  • 4 Google really doesn't want to talk about its Stadia plans beyond launch

    Google really doesn't want to talk about its Stadia plans beyond launch  logo

    Search and software giant Google has already been rather tight-lipped about its plans for Stadia, slowly rolling out details over time, mostly from the outfit's boss, Phil Harrison (pictured).

    Given that there are still large questions surrounding the platform's rollout in November - just a few months away - it's perhaps unsurprising that the firm isn't being particularly forthcoming about what lies beyond that initial release.

    "We have a ridiculously awesome roadmap ahead of us," director of product Andrey Doronichev said.

    "[The] November launch is just the beginning! The greatest thing about Stadia and cloud gaming is that it will keep improving. We can push new features and iterate based on your feedback, but you don’t have to download updates or upgrade the hardware! Isn’t it cool?"


  • 5 Google Stadia will support alternate inputs like Xbox's Adaptive controller - so long as they're HID compliant

    Google Stadia will support alternate inputs like Xbox's Adaptive controller - so long as they're HID compliant logo

    We already knew that Google was supporting a variety of input methods for Stadia - with the tech demos at GDC 2019 using Logitech game pads - but the firm has said that it will be allowing any controller, as long as they are Human Interface Device (HID) compliant to work with its streaming platform.

    This includes the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which is seen as the gold standard in opening up games to differently-abled users thanks to its flexible hardware.

    "If it’s HID compliant we support it and we’re adding more controllers as we go," director of product Andrey Doronichev said.

    "Personally, I’m super excited about enabling EVERYONE to play ANYWHERE with WHATEVER controller they want, be it a specialized wheel/pedal set up or the Xbox Adaptive controller."


  • 6 Google wants Stadia on every device possible

    Google wants Stadia on every device possible logo

    At launch, Stadia will be usable on any computer with the Chrome browser, as well as TVs with the Chromecast Ultra and Pixel 3 phones. But Google's director of product Andrey Doronichev has said it wants to bring the streaming platform to any hardware out there - including Android and iOS devices.

    "My dream is to play Stadia on every device out there," he said.

    "At launch we’re starting with the devices we know best, to make sure the experience is great. Hence Chrome, Chromecast and Pixel. Once we harden the tech and it’s ready to scale we’ll expand to more devices starting with the most popular ones."

    He continued: "We’re aiming to get more devices supported next year. I really want to have Stadia gameplay on every mobile device, across Android and iOS at some point. But it's a hard technical challenge and will take us time. Just need to start somewhere. So we're starting with the device we know the best and can provide an optimal experience - our latest Pixel phones."


  • 7 People are getting annoyed at Google's lack of clear marketing around Stadia

    People are getting annoyed at Google's lack of clear marketing around Stadia  logo

    At PCGamesInsider.biz, we've been rather frustrated with the way that Google has marketed Stadia. Following the initial reveal at the Game Developers Conference 2019, we were left with many rather basic questions about the platform - so much so that we spent a long while looking through LinkedIn to get an idea about who is actually working on the platform.

    And it seems that we're not the ones. Some commenters on the firm's Reddit AMA also expressed dissatisfaction with Google's marketing, with one replying to an off-hand remark by director of product Andrey Doronichev about there being: "lots of similar questions today", with the Redditor saying: "Because frankly the Google marketing hasn't been clear on [Stadia]." They do thank Doronichev for clarifying matters, however.

    We may hear more about the platform soon, though, with the product director saying that another Stadia Connect - Google's version of a Nintendo Direct - coming "sooner than you think."


  • 8 Google wants free-to-play titles to come to Stadia

    Google wants free-to-play titles to come to Stadia logo

    More than 4,000 developers have applied to be part of the Stadia Partners programme, according to Google, with the firm saying that there are 28 titles coming to the platform at launch.

    So far, these games are all premium experiences, but Google director of product Andrey Doronichev says the company wants free-to-play titles to come to its streaming platform.

    "We are proud of Stadia’s launch portfolio and it’s just the beginning! I certainly hope to have a few free to play games to announce in the next few months," he said.

    "Not ready to share any now, though. We are constantly announcing new games, so any answer I can give you now will be out of date quickly. Stay tuned!"

    Furthermore, Doronichev has said that games on Stadia will be priced en par with other storefronts in the market.

    "You should expect game prices to be competitive with other platforms," he said.

    "After all it’s about developers making money off their amazing work they do."


Editor - PC Games Insider

Alex Calvin launched PCGamesInsider.biz in August 2017 and has been its editor since. Prior to this, he was deputy editor at UK based games trade paper MCV and content editor for marketing and events for London Games Festival 2017. His work has also appeared in Eurogamer, The Observer, Kotaku UK, Esquire UK and Develop.

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