Gaming

Google Stadia review roundup - is the input delay bad?

by Eli Becht
Google

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Google Stadia releases to the public on November 19, and reviews have started to drop for the new hardware. Here's what people are saying.

It's hard enough to launch a new game, but launching a whole new platform is another beast altogether, but that's just what Google has done with Stadia.

Google promises Stadia will be a way to stream your favorite games without being tethered to a PC or console, but early returns have been mixed at best.

The launch lineup was quite small, featuring just 22 titles, even after last-second additions, and the input lag has been extremely hit or miss according to reviewers.

According to the Washington Post's Gene Park, Stadia was unplayable at times and posted a gif showcasing how bad the input delay can be.

Forbes' Paul Tassi shared a similar sentiment, experiencing lag that would lead to deaths across every game tested, and even some audio sync issues that made it all around an unenjoyable experience.

I would get periodic stuttering issues with massive resolution and frame drops," he said. "Not all the time, but enough to be noticed frequently and disrupt gameplay, which is what everyone feared may happen with this kind of tech."

With that said, it doesn't sound like everyone shared the same experience as Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter ran a series of lag tests and found results similar to how games perform on the Xbox One X. There was still a delay, but it wasn't nearly on the same level as the previous two reviewers said.

Stadia seems to be hit-or-miss for players.

Venture Beat's Jeff Grubb reported no significant issues with shooting in Destiny 2 and said the only thing that felt a bit off was playing online matches in Mortal Kombat 11.

Waypoint's Patrick Klepek also said Destiny 2 felt fine, but explained something that feels fine to him might not be the same for everyone else.

At the end of the day, it sounds like Stadia won't be for everyone, and your mileage with the platform will undoubtedly vary.