While I have expected one of these to be the eventual evolution on how we play games, the other is a concept I wish had already been incorporated into the gaming world a while ago. Regardless, I look forward to how both play out once releases.
First off, I’ll cover my thoughts on Google Stadia. This to me is what I honesty expect will be how we all eventually play games. No longer will gamers have to constantly upgrade their PC’s or buy a new console. A long as you have something that can access the content (Chrome in this case), you can play all of the latest and greatest games in full glory. For me, this is very appealing as I can’t say my current income is flexible enough for me to keep my PC current and it is starting to show. Fortunately, I have a PS4 for cross platform games; but even that will be outdated with the eventual release of the PS5.
My biggest concern with Stadia and what I feel is going to hold something like this back is how much data will something like this require? Based on what I have read, my bandwidth isn’t a concern, but I’m consistently getting close to hitting my ISP data cap each month already just with what I’m already streaming. Streaming a high def video game, potentially ultra-high def, I can’t imagine that will be nothing; and I would think I’m not the only one in this predicament. I will be keeping any eye more announcements from Google to better determine how feasible this will be for me.
Now for Apple Arcade. While I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Apple, I do feel that the idea and concept behind Apple Arcade is something I really wish already existed across more platforms. The idea of being able to play a game, and regardless where you play it and what you play it on, my progress is shared. Granted, I can’t really see how this would be possible on other platforms at this time; but I really like this idea. Unlike Stadia, Arcade allows you to download the games as well so no need to be connected 100% of the time. Just need to reconnect to a network to re-sync your progress. The biggest catch with this is that since this will span Apple products, the games in Arcade will have to be playable across them all, likely limiting to a certain extent. Albeit, looking at some of those exclusive games, whatever limitations it may have, aren’t really showing though.
With Apple Arcade, my concerns are with the exclusivity. It’s Apple, so it makes sense; but not everyone has an Apple product. In my honest opinion, Apple devices are solid devices; but their price points aren’t the most flexible. Case in point, I already spend enough as it is across all the platforms I own, I just don’t have the money to splurge on an Apple product. From a developer’s standpoint, this will limit who all can experience their games. For those already with Apple products, this seems like an easy call; but for those that don’t, I don’t see this as being enough to convert someone. Always possible these games may not remain exclusives.
While I have my concerns about Google Stadia and Apple Arcade, I excited to see how both play out. Assuming data usage for Stadia isn’t too bad, I’ll likely give it a try considering all I’ll need is Chrome. Apple Arcade I’ll have to keep an eye on how it plays out. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to try it out, I just can’t justify buying a new phone/tablet, let alone a Mac.