So Stadia launched last week, and I had the Founders edition ready to jump in, arriving one day after. So I had been growing with trepidation and some excitement for its arrival, I’d spent the previous day, the launch day, acting as though it was ok that mine had not arrived yet, but then I had ordered just after the opening of orders, inside I was screaming… The box arrived while I was at work, which is always hell… you just want to tear it open and find out.
So eventually I got home, having not primed myself on any of the procedure necessary to actually join. I knew I needed a code having already loaded the app on my phone, but didn’t know how this would manifest itself.
I excitedly unboxed while sadly taking pics… well it seemed right.. the first of something new. I ripped the controller out of its snug packaging, I caressed its smooth beauty with wonder, oh you thing of magical joy, the pleasure you will bring me my little friend… Then after clearing my glazed fixed stare back to the rest of the box, I found the Chromecast Ultra, its clever power unit plus ethernet port and charger for the controller… then I sat there confused and realised I’d missed the little arrow thing sticking out that was supposed to alert me to the instructions for set up.
Not being an RTFM fan, I thought on this occasion I’d check through and do things the Google way. I set up the Chromecast, and then back to the stadia app, and that code…. wheres the code? no code… nothing.. so googling it I was informed it should arrive by email when the stadia was shiped (the day before). But no code on checking my email.
So next I spent some time trying to find a way to contact google, the live chat was disabled, and telephone chat was the only option… I put my number in and it told me I’d receive a call back in “less than 1 minute” … it lied… so I resigned myself to a night without Stadia… I had the kit, but it was useless…. I vented on the stadia facebook page, where I was already considered a “Top Fan”… how could they treat a top fan this way?
I discovered I was not the only one, and later next to the contact options for google a little message was posted about how they knew about this issue and were rolling out the codes… I read how someone were having coronaries because someone might pick their username before they could. I trusted I’d be ok…. and just thought it might be time to have a new persona…
I was heading to bed, depressed… I realised I’d missed a call from Ben at Google… and then I saw an email in my inbox…”Its time….” it said.. so much for sleep.. who needs that… I scooted back to my chromecast ultra, phone clutched in hand… and off I went.. My username was free.. I was signed up.. in under 20 minutes…I added the included games… particularly Destiny 2… and then fired up the controller… connected to my WiFi and suddenly Destiny was starting.. no downloading, no waiting… holy shit.. I was gaming already… (exclusing the hours spent pacing and screaming head in hands waiting for the code) in under 20 minutes… this is the future my friends…..
On the actual functional side of things, what is there to say? not much, it just turns on, pick a game and seconds later you are playing. I am a fan of the Xbox controller, and don’t get me wrong I’ve owned Playstations and Xboxes in the past so have plenty of hours on both, I just prefer how the xbox controller feels. But to be honest I found the Stadia controller a really nice thing to hold. It seems the right size, functions seemed natural to find, so yes like it. I love that I can just screenshot in a second by pressing the button, or hold it to record the last 30 seconds… but the draw back being, the pics and video arrive on your phone, thats ok, but there is no way to save it or share it.. nothing… view or delete.. thats it.. REALLY STADIA??? Are you aware that its free advertising to be able to have your user-base easily drop pics on twitter or FB etc… or maybe this will follow when they are relaxing that nothing glitchy and weird is going to end up shared??
So currently, you can screenshot your screenshot with your phones screenshot function and post that… video is more tricky…
So follows my badly videod action of me playing Destiny 2… hopefully it gives you some idea of how smooth and how good it seems to me.
I’m aware not everyone feels this way, but experiences may vary… and I take things as the come and no stress out over things we can’t control… To me my feel is, its new, there are going to be teething issues as Google servers deal with the huge influx of players, and knowing servers as I do I know you can’t plan fully for that kind of hit… and really? you had a really obvious username and got upset because you “knew” you were the first to sign up and want that name so you should have it… really? some people really need to understand that other people are out there.. it would have annoyed me, but I have other names I could have used so boo hoo… oh and the new one is chromecasts getting hot.. and this must be a fault with them all.. nope.. probably like any equipment there are going to be some that don’t work as well as others… mines ok so I’m ok.. but if yours isn’t.. get a replacement from google as is your statutory right… (country dependant)… its shit.. but as we know shit happens.. but I read so many people acting like there are with some huge majority of problems… without even researching it… love to see Stadia’s metrics on their worldwide take up… just to show the balance… and lastly.. the games on stadia are old and non-exclusive… ok.. so having more games ready to go would have definitely been good.. 22 starter games is not great… and the whole exclusive thing… I’m a massive publisher of games, do I put my exclusive onto a platform that already has millions of users.. or put it on a totally new unproven platform…that comes with risks etc… I know the answer and I think you do too… personally I hate exclusives.. having the wrong kit for the game you really want is crap…
Anyway enough waffle from me… here is my bad video.. sorry..