Google flushes Stadia down the toilet

Today, Google finally flushed Stadia down the proverbial toilet. And yes, the company's streaming game service was, in fact, a massive turd. Consumers never really embraced Stadia, and after a few short years, Google is admitting defeat and shutting it down.

On paper, Stadia looked great -- you could play high-end games without spending money on a console. The games simply streamed over the internet, with Google's servers doing the heavy lifting. Unfortunately, the execution and overall game library was lacking. Stadia was not fun to use or play. And now it is dead, or at least it soon will be.

"A few years ago, we also launched a consumer gaming service, Stadia. And while Stadia's approach to streaming games for consumers was built on a strong technology foundation, it hasn't gained the traction with users that we expected so we've made the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service," explains Phil Harrison
Stadia VP and GM, Google.

Harrison adds, "We're grateful to the dedicated Stadia players that have been with us from the start. We will be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia store. Players will continue to have access to their games library and play through January 18, 2023 so they can complete final play sessions. We expect to have the majority of refunds completed by mid-January, 2023."

Google says that Stadia technologies will be integrated into some of its other products, such as YouTube and Google Play, so this failed experiment isn't a total loss. I suppose Google stockholders can be happy about that.

The fact that gamers will be refunded in full for both Stadia hardware and games is quite remarkable, and the search giant deserves major kudos for this. Some gamers could be looking at several hundreds dollars in refunds coming their way.

What isn't clear, sadly, is what is to become of the Stadia controller. Currently, the device only works with Stadia, meaning it will soon be a relic destined for a landfill. With a firmware update, however, Google could -- in theory -- convert it into a normal Bluetooth controller so it can continue to be used. The Stadia controller is quite good, so hopefully Google will not abandon it.

Image creditDevon/

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