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I can't get my head around Google's launching new Chromecast without Stadia

by: Eric -
More On: Stadia Amazon Luna

I take a lot of good-natured ribbing for my steadfast support of Stadia. Early in the platform's lifecycle, I wrote that Stadia would one day be awesome, and I think that day is fast approaching. Stadia is currently the best place for me to experience high-end games, as the picture quality and performance is absolutely stellar at my place. I have a great time with Stadia, and as more features are gradually rolled out, the platform seems like it may be poised to withstand the influx of competition from new services like Amazon's Luna

My support of Stadia is why I get so frustrated when Google makes dunderheaded moves like it did yesterday. During its big press event yesterday, Google announced its new "Chromecast with Google TV", which is the fancy new version of the Chromecast currently used to stream Stadia games to televisions. The problem? Chromecast with Google TV doesn't support Stadia. And, to sweeten the pot with gasoline, Google is discontinuing the older version of Chromecast that does allow for game streaming. The company is systematically removing ways for people to access their fledgling gaming platform. Because...Google, I guess. 

To be fair, Google announced that Chromecast with Google TV will support Stadia via an update somewhere down the line. But why on God's green earth would a company release a new peripheral that doesn't support its own struggling platform at launch? What sort of boneheaded corporate lack of synergy is responsible for these two departments not connecting in a meaningful way to produce a product that would support their own initiative? Stadia supporters like me can't help but wonder why we are supporting a platform when its own parent company will not.

I can't even think of a good metaphor to express what a failure this is. It's like Nintendo producing a controller that doesn't work with the Switch. Or PlayStation making a console that won't work on televisions. Or Microsoft releasing a version of Windows that won't allow Xbox Game Pass to work. It is just one of the dumbest moves I've ever seen by a corporation, and it shows a complete lack of concern for building Stadia's success.

The Stadia team at Google seems to be working hard to ensure the platform's survival and success. But if their own company keeps kicking the chair out from under them, I can't see how Stadia will ever become a mainstream platform. Moves like this only give ammunition to the army of Stadia haters out there, and Google has no one to blame but itself.