Google Stadia Is More Expensive But Packs a Ton of Features
xCloud is a much cheaper alternative to the Google Stadia streaming service. xCloud is definitely geared toward the budget conscious game streamer. Many key differences set the two apart. Google Stadia will allow 4K 60 FPS game streaming and it offers exclusive games on launch. Xbox’s xCloud will only offer games from its current library and does not offer 4K gaming as of yet. That does not mean it does not offer full 4K 60 FPS gaming but if they were going to I would imagine they would say so. It would be a big headline. I would think that because they did not say so it is not going to happen. Why hide such a big news story? It would sell a lot of subscriptions early if they announced that right now so I doubt they are supporting 4K gaming on xCloud.
xCloud also doesn’t seem to be able to work on as many devices. Google Stadia supports anything through a Chrome web browser so virtually any smartphone can pick up the same game. At launch Google Stadia will support televisions, desktops, laptops and phones. To play on 4K televisions will need to be hooked up to a Google Chromecast but overall many devices are supported at launch. Microsoft will only be able to stream from its hardware and that provides a bottleneck for the service.
Then, there is the fact Google Stadia games are full price. This is a big negative for the streaming service. xCloud is better here and offers its games as part of the Xbox Live subscription. So, in terms of value you are getting more for your money sticking with xCloud than using Google Stadia. xCloud will offer many games for a lower price because of the volume of games on Xbox Live currently. Google Stadia is newer so there is likely to be far less games available at launch than xCloud. Plus, it is also not going to be as expensive as Google Stadia.
But, Google Stadia has the edge in technology and throughout history the winners are usually ones that innovate. I can see Google Stadia doing a far better job in this territory than xCloud. So, xCloud has a long way to go to improve the services and compete with Google Stadia at launch. Although, the value of the xCloud service is not to be underestimated. I predict that Google Stadia will eventually win out and dominate over xCloud because of the quality of the service. People are already willing to pay more for Xbox Live over PlayStation Network despite the fact that Xbox Live is more expensive than the other. That seems to imply that customers tend to prefer the more expensive alternative if it is a better alternative. I see that with Google Stadia right now.
I can see the future of Google Stadia surpassing that of Project xCloud because Microsoft is failing to innovate and bring their content to more devices than a newcomer to the video game industry. This is looking bad for Xbox because PlayStation has the tech advantage in their PlayStation 5 and Google Stadia has the tech advantage in their streaming service. So, Xbox is looking like a distant 4th place behind the Nintendo Switch which is going to be #1 for the year. If Microsoft doesn’t get it together they are going to lose a ton of money in the years ahead.