Google Stadia promises to revolutionize the way we play video games, eliminating the need to buy powerful hardware or even download games. Instead, it offers instant access the second you want to play them.
Stadia is not alone in this field, however. It has many adversaries, and one of the most formidable is Nvidia’s GeForce Now service. Nvidia’s alternative has received a lot of press, both good and bad, in recent months. Is it a serious alternative?
Google’s Stadia is available on a variety of devices, though how you access it differs with each device. On a PC, MacBook, or Chromebook, you can access Stadia through Google’s Chrome web browser by going to stadia.google.com.
You can only play on a television if you have a Google Chromecast Ultra. Phone support is limited to a selection of Android phones including recent Google Pixel phones, some Samsung phones, and a few Razer and Asus phones.
Nvidia GeForce Now is designed to stream your library of PC games. It’s supported on PC, Mac, Nvidia Shield devices, and most Android phones. Just download the appropriate app for you device, and you’re set.
It’s likely that you’ll be able to use the controller of your preference across all
However, Google’s Stadia support is confusing. Controllers work differently with different Stadia-compatible devices. The most glaring example is Google’s Chromecast Ultra, which only works with Google’s own Stadia controller (priced at $69). Want to use an Xbox One gamepad instead? Tough cookies. Here’s the full controller support list for Stadia devices.
Once you’re ready to start streaming your games, you’ll have to figure out how much the stream’s resolution and quality are crucial to your experience.
Nvidia GeForce Now’s capabilities aren’t as impressive on paper, as the service is limited to 1080p resolution (or below) and 60 frames per second. At this time, there is no way to play games in 4K on the Nvidia
If you do play at 1080p, however, the services are neck and neck. I spent a lot of time with these services during my month of cloud gaming. I think Stadia looks a tad better, but
Winner: Stadia. Google’s cloud gaming service supports higher resolutions and HDR.
Stadia is a platform, digital storefront, and cloud gaming service all in one. You can only use Stadia to play games you purchased from Stadia. If you own a game on a different store, you’ll need to purchase it again to play on Stadia, and games purchased on Stadia can’t be played locally. This means you have to start your game library from scratch.
To make matters worse, Stadia’s game library is abysmal. It offers only a few dozen games and often does gain new releases found on other platforms. Game pricing is often high, as well. Games that cost $30 on console are often sold at the full $60 retail price on Stadia. It does hold sales but, so far, the deals haven’t impressed me.
That’s a boon. It means your existing game library is compatible with
Pricing and availability
Google Stadia vs. Nvidia GeForce Now: Who wins?
There’s no contest here. Nvidia’s
Google’s Stadia has one perk. Image quality. It supports 4K and HDR, which
More information about cloud gaming:
- Nvidia GeForce Now review: Great cloud gaming on a budget
- Google Stadia review: The revolution isn’t now
- I used cloud gaming exclusively for a month. Here’s what happened.
- Google Stadia vs. Shadow
- The best game-streaming services for 2020
- Google drops the price of Stadia Premiere to $100
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