First hour playing the Stadia Pro trial

I mentioned a couple of days ago Stadia Pro is free for a couple of months. I decided to give it a go today as I seem to be playing a lot more games than I used to while waiting for the lockdown to lift.

Google Stadia

Today I gave Stadia Pro a shot. That’s the video game as a service that plays on any device thing that Google rolled out recently. They have three fairly high quality looking games for free as well as six others which may be (not judging past book by cover at this point.)


Connection speed: 1gb AT&T fiber speedtesting at 781.06 down, 172.24 up (they changed up priority during Covid-19).

Computer: Dell t7500, dual 3.47GHz Xeons , 72 gig RAM, GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, and the current version of Chrome (also SSDs). Nothing really much running that would consume CPU resources.

Copper from computer to switch, switch to AT&T router, AT&T router to fiber converter, then fiber off to the world.

1920×1200 non-gaming monitor. XBOX Bluetooth controller I’m fairly familiar with.

Task manager Performance tab running on another monitor so I could watch CPU and Ethernet usage.


GRID

I’ll preface this with I did not take photos or videos. As such you’re just getting someone’s opinion on their particular connection.

I’ve got a decent amount of games on my PC, so I’m pretty familiar with how the controller lag, or lack thereof exists. I also used to play racing games way way way more than I should so I’ve got a pretty good idea of how to lead steering, steer into a turn, that bit of a second where you can gas it and make it right.

With Stadia at noon on a Thursday, none of that worked for me. We’re talking maybe a tenth of a second delay at times… so I started leading my steering a little… then the delay suddenly shifted back down.

The lag and delay seemed to coincide with the video going from pretty decent 720p-ish into the 480 realms. My ethernet never topped 15mbit during the game that I noticed. I had at least three situations where the picture went from great to looking like my great aunt had resized it in MS-Paint and added “LOVE” in a block font at the bottom.

So yeah, lag. The video would start pixalating badly around the tail of the car, but for the most part the visuals were doable. The varying input times made me leave to quickly check that my drinking skills had not impeded my driving skills and, I’m still OK these days to virtual drive.

Not bad as I know they’ve got the bandwidth turned way down for Covid-19 times but not great.


I switched to Steamworld Dig 2. It’s a side-scrolling… thing. I’d call it a puzzle solving game but what I played of it was mostly something I expected an advertisement to pop up during.

What’s wild about this one is there were very limited graphics compared to GRID and this looked terrible. It would look fine for a while, then switch into some sort of 320×200 block looking resolution and then come back to me.

The lag was also either a tenth of a second off or shorter and it kept feeling like this would have been ok if the lag just stuck to the same lag.

Thumper reminds me of REZ a bit, only less immersive. This game just worked on Stadia. I felt like the lag was consistent and if there was pixilation and low res issues I did not notice.

Then again I was too wired into looking where the next move was going to be to notice much of the surrounding, and that may be why I have no complaints.


At one hour…

Currently I am not impressed. Oh don’t take that as me saying it’s not good, and don’t take that as set in stone because this whole Covid-19 bandwidth shortage that’s going on may be the reason for my not being impressed.

The only quality console-level game I’ve played for free appears to be GRID. Steamworld Dig 2 feels like a 99 cent downloadable app or something attempting to harken back to the era of Commander Keen, and Thumper was done more or less with better music back a long long time ago with Rez.

I also feel Thumper would port really well to an app. Reminds me a bit of Temple Run and could be done with the gyroscopic sensor and pressing anywhere.

Looks like Destiny 2 and Serious Sam may be good platformers to try, but I haven’t yet.

Is it crap? No. I have also not explored it fully as of yet.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts