A smart man learns from his own mistakes whereas a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. Then there is Google who continues to learn nothing from its contemporary products or even examine what the market wants, let alone needs with the Stadia.
Numerous issues already plague the Stadia ahead of its launch before the news that pre-orders will not all arrive on launch day. Starting with latency issues the company looks to address that by having the games play themselves through a complex system where the AI predicts what you are going to do next via predicted adaptative input. Then before you make your input the AI will move the character how it predicts you will have done so based on your behavior. Unless they’re running this AI on a NASA-tier super computer or one of their new Quantum Computers it is going to be a persistent complaint when on launch that many users will likely turn off.
Of course beyond playing the games – as you will never own them – there are data limits to take into consideration. Stadia streams 35mb a second and will eat up roughly 15.75gb per hour of play. If you are on smaller data plans, Stadia will not function for you or you’ll enjoy an hour or two of gaming on the go before your plan’s data limit is reached. Users, if they want to be able to play their games, will have to have unlimited plans that range between $75 to $100 on top of the $10 a month for Stadia, along with the purchase price of any game. Did we mention that a lot of the infrastructure that isn’t the hazardous to your health 5G is unlikely to be able to handle the data load?
With all the shortcomings of the Stadia, Google had to have a perfect launch. Nothing could go wrong because the potential market for the Stadia that being those capable of using it and want to do so over say a switch, phone games, 3ds or other alternative, is exceedingly small. Google apparently didn’t get the memo, and in similar fashion to the Ouya, are releasing the Stadia on a first come first serve basis according to The Verge.
In short if you weren’t one of the first people to pre-order the Stadia you are not getting it on launch. Google in response to the inquiry regarding their earlier statement saying it would launch on November 19th pointed the Verge to the fine print that read:
“Stadia Founder’s Editions and Stadia Premiere Editions will begin shipping in the same order that pre-orders were received. You’ll get an email when your package ships, and soon after, will receive a code to activate your Stadia account and Stadia Pro.”
When reached for an estimate, Google stated they believe all units will be shipped out within two weeks of the launch date.
At this juncture everything about this launch needs to work perfectly or the Stadia will possess a worse reputation than the Ouya did shortly before it was abandoned by both developers and users. One could argue that Stadia’s grave in the Google Graveyard should just be dug, but only time will reveal whether the Stadia dies or carves out a niche market that keeps it afloat.