Google Stadia probably won't mean much to the fighting game community any time soon... probably

Posted by Jonathan 'Catalyst' Grey • March 19, 2019 at 5:51 p.m. PDT | Comments: 40

Google's Stadia was a hype announcement today for gamers all over the globe. The idea of streaming a title at 4K or even 8K resolution with state of the art hardware sounds like a dream, but for how the fighting game community traditionally experiences these titles — it could turn into a nightmare.

Competitive fighting game players are notorious for doing anything and everything they can to reduce latency in fighting games, and can get very upset when they see things like Street Fighter 5's notorious 7.9 frames of input lag, and this is where the problems start to arise with Google's new streaming service.

Gamers are used to a somewhat stable experience when playing fighting games offline. While input lag and stability can definitely fluctuate when playing locally — those problems are traditionally much worse while playing online, where experiences can reach outright unplayable levels.

With Stadia — from everything we know about it now — there is no offline experience.

We don't know all of the inherent problems and issues that will arrive with a service that's not even out yet, but already reports are surfacing citing latency issues, and these occurrences will only be exasperated when ping spikes and internet problems take place.

Not all doom and gloom

There is some good news, however. Internet service providers are going to be strongly encouraged to improve latency performance with services like this coming into the fold.

Where there's money to made, businesses will seek it out by offering faster and more reliable connections, and considering that video games were a $43.8 billion industry in 2018, internet providers will have a lot of incentive to beef up performance across the board.

Coupled with this will be software/netcode improvements, as some of the world's best programmers will be looking at the problem of tackling latency issues like never before.

Many talented people all working on the same problem will have gamers across the globe reaping the benefits of improved online play — with time.

So although the fighting game community probably won't immediately feel much of an impact here with cloud gaming becoming a bigger part of gamer's lives, the windfall from this industry and continued investment in technology will make our quality of life better.

In conclusion, it's very unlikely that the way we've been experiencing fighting games for the last several years is going away any time soon — unless Google has many more tricks up their sleeve than they showcased today.

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