Google has confirmed it has no plans to test its Stadia game-streaming service in the UK or Europe ahead of launch, claiming that its US tests are enough to iron out any issues.
Born out of the browser-based Project Stream, Google's Stadia was announced back in March as a competitor to Microsoft's Project xCloud platform. Building on the concept of putting the heavy computational effort of modern gaming into the data centre and streaming the result to lower-powered devices in the home, Stadia's main differentiation from the competition - aside from 4K60 support for paying customers and a deep integration with YouTube for streamers - is that the specialised controller connects to the user's router via Wi-Fi for a direct connection to the remote server, rather than going via the PC or console. Whether this will be enough to stave off the biggest issue with cloud gaming, the latency introduced between user input and the resulting action being seen on-screen, remains to be seen.
For UK gamers, though, there'll be no opportunity to test things out ahead of the service's official launch in November: Google has confirmed it has no plans to run any beta testing outside the US.
Speaking to GamesRadar, Google's Phil Harrison stated: 'Geographically, the US is the most complex place to test just because of the size of the country. And actually, Europe - and particularly the UK - are relatively easier to launch in. So, we are not going to do another test in the UK or Europe. If we had time we probably would have done so, but we don't need to.'
The lack of beta will likely sit poorly among those who have criticised the platform for a pricing structure that includes a monthly subscription fee plus per-game pricing roughly equivalent to buying it standalone on PC or console, though is tempered by the fact that Stadia will include a free membership tier with lower-resolution streaming - though not, it must be noted, at launch.
February 26 2021 | 22:15