It has been a year since I last really looked at Google's entry into the game streaming industry. Back when Google was giving out Premier Bundles, I was able to obtain one of them and try the service out but after a few months I canceled it. Over all the issues that existed then were on most games the quality was rather low even on the bundled Chromecast Ultra that came with the bundle. Worse was it would regularly loose all quality and go pixelated with full input desync. This was with their direct server connected controller and latency was not that good to begin with.

Now a year after my initial evaluation of the platform I gave it another shot to see if they improved the service. Another thing that has changed since I had tried Stadia was that I now got Chromebook hardware so I figured I would test out how viable they are for games as the ads show. Overall, the quality to a degree does seem to have improved the latency is still off but it doesn’t seem to desync and get all pixelated like it did when i last tried it.

For Chromebook testing I’m using one of the included with pro games Dirt 5 which served to be a decent enough test as racing games are more effected by high latency, I ran the same race on multiple clients. Overall, the quality was better on a desktop computer with a decent processor and Chromecast ultra with a more acceptable latency while on the Chromebooks the quality was worse with a more noticeably bad latency. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet faired better on quality and latency than the Acer Chromebook 311 (C721) did overall. While it works a budget Chromebook is no gaming machine even with stadia.

To compare the render quality and latency between locally running and Stadia I ran Watch Dogs 2 on both. While Stadia has gotten better quality and latency wise the compression artificing is noticeable and there is still noticeable latency as well as when a scene is busy it suffers from same fuzziness as YouTube. Stadia has improved enough that if a person has no access to any local hardware it is decently passible quality but if local hardware is possible it is a better experience and in long run more practical.

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