Google’s Stadia platform was seemingly on the up-and-up at the tail-end of 2020 but with the search giant shutting down its gaming studio before a gaming title was launched, many of us questioned the company’s long-term commitment to its cloud gaming service. Already under threat by Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass product that was previously only available on consoles, smartphones, and PCs, Stadia Pro would appear to about to undergo an extinction-level event thanks to the Xbox Game Pass coming to popular web browsers in a few weeks time.
There’s definitely more than a hint of hyperbole in the opening paragraph and title, but with Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass coming to Chrome, Safari, and Edge browsers in the very near future, and offering so much more in terms of AAA titles and sheer flexibility in terms of devices, Stadia Pro’s prospects aren’t looking great. Especially considering Google’s habit of killing products off after failing to support them properly. Frankly, I’m surprised that Wear OS managed to stagger around as long as it did before it was merged with Samsung’s Tizen OS.
With Microsoft setting the entry bar real low so that anyone with a laptop, PC, Xbox, smartphone, Chromebook, or tablet can get in on the action with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $14.95 monthly, Google’s efforts with Stadia are laughable. I mean, the Chromecast with Google TV is only just getting the ability to officially support the Stadia app, and that’s Google’s own hardware. Sure, Google says it’s in the process of getting smart TV makers to incorporate Stadia support into their products, but who knows how long that might take. Stadia is 18 months old now and no longer a fledgling product, it should be thriving but is suffering from the usual thing of being treated like a hobby by Google with features coming too late or not at all. Anyway, I digress.
With Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass coming soon to your web browser for Ultimate subscribers, are you going to carry on with your Stadia Pro subscription, and how long do you give it before Google kills off its cloud gaming platform?