The Google Stadia launch already feels like it’s been orchestrated by a two-bit gaggle of impostors with ambitions of making a splash in the cloistered gaming platform market.
Not all early adopters will receive their launch kits today. The launch lineup is decent enough but doesn’t pack any exclusives or headline-grabbing launch titles. Reviews are nothing short of disastrous, with many tentatively praising the tech while slating the service and lack of features.
Not exactly harbingers of great things to come.
Now we’ve finally had a look at the launch game prices . Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Mortal Kombat 11, and Red Dead Redemption 2, arguably the best titles in the lineup, can be yours for the princely sum of $60 each. That’s the price of a launch day title. Most of these games are now over a year old.
These prices are a hard sell when the very same games are available for close to half that price on rival established consoles.
Yes, it’s a new console, and the novelty factor may convince some to part with their cash to experience these titles on a new platform. But, in terms of convincing the general gaming community that Stadia is worth the investment, Google is missing the mark by a considerable margin.
The rest meander between $50 for, for example, Just Dance 2020, down to $20 for Kine and Thumper. The only Stadia exclusive, Gylt, is priced at $30. Then there are some pretty baffling oddities, such as $40 for 2016’s Final Fantasy XV, and $30 for 2015’s Rise of the Tomb Raider.
All of this raises the question of who Google is targeting with the Stadia and whether they are aware of the competition.
Xbox is flogging its excellent Xbox Game Pass library for peanuts compared to the Stadia prices and plans to integrate its Project xCloud cloud streaming into the subscription service next year . In other words, a service comparable to Stadia at a fraction of the cost with hundreds of games that you don’t have to buy individually.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to consider Google Stadia as a viable option.