This is more or less Stadia news, but fits with the discussion here…
This breakdown paints a grim picture…
Here’s a brief timeline of events:
- March 19th: Google announces Stadia, a cloud gaming service that can instantly stream games to TV, desktop, laptop, tablet or phone; seamlessly swap between them, thanks to a wireless controller that connects directly to Google’s cloud; instantly stream to YouTube in 4K or summon the Google Assistant for game tips with the press of a dedicated button; let viewers instantly play alongside YouTube creators and relive the exact gaming moments they share just by clicking a link (Crowd Play, State Share); offer cross-platform multiplayer with PC and console; allow gamers to share their entire screen with teammates (Stream Connect); and deliver games with advanced graphics and physics that are impossible to offer on consoles today by combining the power of multiple cloud servers.
- June 6th: Google opens pre-orders for the $130 Founder’s Edition, including a Buddy Pass that will let you bring a friend along for the ride, but also reveals Stadia won’t be a Netflix-style all-you-can-eat subscription but mostly require you to pay full price for games; Google reveals a who’s who of participating game publishers but no killer apps, pointing out that the existing Destiny 2 will be its flagship title for the time being.
- June 15th: Bungie reveals Destiny 2 on Stadia will be a “closed ecosystem” with no cross-platform multiplayer.
- July 18th: Stadia’s product director reveals that the wireless controller won’t support wireless headphones for TV play on day one.
- October 16th: Google is caught adding a disclaimer that you’ll initially have to plug a USB-C cable into the wireless controller to use it with PCs and phones.
- October 22nd: It turns out your Stadia pre-order won’t necessarily arrive on launch day, because Google isn’t shipping them all at once.
- October 24th: Google studio lead Jade Raymond admits it “may be several years” before a big game takes full advantage of the cloud.
- November 11th: Google reveals that only 12 games will be available at launch.
- November 13th: In a Reddit AMA, Google says that at launch, Stadia won’t give you that Buddy Pass for a friend for the first couple weeks; won’t offer Google Assistant features except asking Google to launch a game; won’t stream 4K or HDR to Chrome PCs; won’t offer any games with key Stream Connect, State Share or Crowd Play multiplayer and YouTube features; won’t work on Chromecast Ultras that weren’t purchased as part of the Founder’s Edition package until they get a firmware update, and more.
Ouch. Some of that stuff I hadn’t even heard about. That just sounds like… a disaster. That is probably the worst “console” launch I’ve ever seen. PS3s and Xbox Ones are looking at the Stadia and laughing.