Google Stadia is a cloud game streaming service that costs $9.99 a month. The subscription allows you to play games at up to 4K resolution and 60 frames per second, and gives you access to a handful of titles. There's also a free version that allows you to purchase games outright, but restricts the image quality to 1080p.
Stadia launched a few years ago, but has since dwindled in popularity. This is mostly due to the fact that the image quality isn't even on par with the PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One X. There's also the issue of increased input lag that is part of all streaming services from Amazon Luna to PlayStation Now. Lastly, Stadia has no compelling exclusive games.
On February 1, 2021, Google surprised its customers — and even Stadia staff — by announcing that it was shutting down first-party studios. Since then, we haven't heard much about the platform until now. According to a new report by Business Insider, the company is trying to "salvage its failing Stadia game service with a new focus on striking deals with Peloton, Bungie, and others". Business Insider has a proven track record when it comes to stories like this, so it's most likely accurate.
This new service is being branded as Google Stream, and alleged insiders say that the consumer version of Stadia has been "deprioritized". It's unclear what this means at the moment, but let's hope that existing customers don't lose their expensive game purchases if Google decides to shutter the service like some of its past endeavors. Hopefully, they'll all get refunds for their digital purchases if it comes to that. What's clear is that the focus on bringing major new third-party games to the service has diminished.
Do you use Stadia? What do you think of this news? Let us know in the comments below.