The future is here whether we like it or not. Or at least in part, because the way streaming started to triumph in movies, sooner or later it took over a good chunk of the gaming market as well. At least that’s my personal assessment after a few weeks with the two most relevant streaming services, Sony’s PlayStation Now and Google’s Stadia. If you’re curious now, which of the two should you give the vacation a chance? 

Requirements: Obviously, you should have a stable internet line without any volume restrictions. Something that the heavy gamer who loads a new game with 50GB and more should have anyway. Speed ​​is important when it comes to resolution. Google says that with 10 Mbit at least 720p is possible, with 20 it is 1080p and from 35 Mbit you can get 4K60. “Ab” is the magic word, a few more Mbit can never hurt. At Sony, the requirements are similar: 5Mbit is sufficient for 720p, but only so, 10 are more realistic. You will get stable 1080p resolution with 20-25Mbit.

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Google’s recommendations are slightly higher than Sony’s, which specifies at least 5 Mbit. But in the end: the better the management, the better the gaming experience.

Since the streaming technology isn’t fundamentally different, the requirements are similar, but if you’re using PlayStation Now on PS4, there’s a big plus here – you can download games as an option. Not everyone has the option for the PS3 titles on offer, but there is enough left. Any line and a lot of patience is enough here, because yes, you can certainly charge Uncharted 4 via a flat rate, but maybe you should rethink the path to the next game store. However, whoever is used to loading 4Mbit with the last box of milk with rural has at least the possibility.


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Materials required: Google relies on its Chromecast Ultra, Sony logically on PlayStation 4. But not just both, as Stadia and Now can be viewed in the browser on a narrow-gauge PC or even a modern Android phone – Stadia with Android 9 or more. superior – current. Full performance is only available with the right hardware, as both currently only run at 720p. For Chromecast on TV, you still need Stadia’s Stadia controller – around $ 70 – just about every other controller that does their job on the PC is working. This makes Stadia cheaper with ideal hardware, as a Chromecast Ultra plus controller costs around $ 130, a PS4 costs at least $ 250.

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Not to scale.

Service costs: Google Stadia costs 10 euros per month, if you want to subscribe to the Pro service, as much as at first glance PlayStation Now. Here we come to the dramatic differences between Stadia and Now: Stadia costs nothing because you buy the games individually and there is no extended flat rate. Now, on the other hand, it will definitely cost you the service as there is a game library behind which you can access with this fee, comparable to Netflix. This difference is not said clearly enough and it is the characteristic that defines the two services.

This allows you to start Stadia at no cost, but you have to purchase at least one game to do anything. On PlayStation Now, you can cut the cost in half with an annual subscription of $ 60, but it’s free for a week’s trial only.

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As already mentioned, there is a Stadia Pro at 10 euros per month. Here you get a game every month that you don’t have to buy – Destiny 2 started it – and special offers for other titles. Basically you can say here that it’s worth knowing that you buy at least one game per month. Or even a certain game that is offered because the service can also be canceled monthly. Stadia Pro is not really convincing overall.


Game offer: Now we come to the big Achilles heel of the current Stadia range. Games. There are about 40 titles. Among them, many triple aces like Metro: Exodus, Assassin’s Creed or Red Dead Redemption 2, just a handful of indies and an exclusive solitary title. They all cost full price, which seems unusual in the world of specials from other platforms, but, if there is no special offer phase, matches prices elsewhere. However, the selection is very slim if you, as a seasoned player, have played most of the headlines in the past couple of years.

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The weakness of one is the strength of the other: Sony has many exclusive titles with which one can easily peddle. Bloodborne, Uncharted, God of War, inFamous and many more are good for some really long evenings. Then you have the triple of other editors like Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear V, PUBG, Fallout 4 or Dirt Rally. Not everything is up to date, but there is a wide range of genres. Lots of indies, from the Rocket League – okay, in the case of the old Indies – to the more obscure things like Bard’s Gold. There are 600-700 games that you can all access as part of your subscription. You can tell that everyone should find something here.

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 Technology in real life: Once you’ve found a game, it’s interesting how well the technology works. Outside, we leave the download on the PS4, because we know that it works. When streaming, after a few weeks, I really and honestly have to make it clear to Stadia when it comes to who’s impressed. This is also due to the 4K look with 60 frames in some games and Destiny 2, for example, really performs a little better than even on Xbox One X – although 4K is only offered upstream 1080p by Chromecast. Red Dead 2 isn’t as nice as it used to be, but even here it’s all about the details. All games, be it Tomb Raider or the exclusive indie gylt, are played as if they were installed on a console. Only those who are very sensitive to foreclosure delays are likely to have something to complain about here – assuming solid management.

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Of course, that also applies to PlayStation Now, but even with the same line, the technology doesn’t quite reach Stadia here. If you only see a few video artifacts there, you need to hide them here, especially in darker and more mentally active scenes. “Only” 1080p doesn’t sound as fancy, of course, although I personally wouldn’t see that as the big drawback until you have a TV that’s 70+ inches. The input lag is also barely noticeable. You can tell it’s not big enough to ruin a game by saying that even things like Street Fighter IV are easy to play as long as you don’t do it at tournament level, but it’s still more noticeable than for Stadia if you do. focused on it.

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If you’re not playing on Chromecast or PS4, but in the PC browser or Windows app – PlayStation Now – the two services are technically very similar. 720p is decent, input lag is available for both but justifiable, and there’s still a lot of room for improvement in both to show these games as well as they should. The resolution is not up to date and there shouldn’t be as many streaming artifacts.


You have load times on both systems, Stadia is definitely ahead here as well. It’s not that complex games like Destiny or Tomb Raider are here right away, but load times are roughly on par with a normal gaming PC. On the PS4 you have the charging times that correspond to a PS4 which takes a little longer. If you start a PS3 game, it becomes even more noticeable because – I’m guessing for compatibility reasons – everything seems to work in the background like a PS3 would. Which took a little while. In this sense, Stadia plays like a PC, PlayStation Now like a console.

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The main competitor: Microsoft does not yet offer direct streaming and is even more in the testing phase, which is why the Redmond company is still outside. But the game is played on PC and Xbox is worth considering, as you also have a lot of games – around 400 with a range similar to PlayStation Now – which you then need to download and install. But as a form of package it is certainly worth more than just consideration for 10 euros per month – currently only 3.99 euros.


The good streaming for Christmas: I can praise the technology of Google Stadia all day long and really love it, in the end it doesn’t really matter much if there are no games. “None” is of course an exaggeration, but triple-like for full price or a subscription with little content that is already slightly outdated just isn’t really convincing. Trying it out is also one thing if you get the best performance through Chromecast, which you have to buy, and then spend $ 70 on the controller if you want to buy a game and watch it in the best possible version, which Stadia can offer. Because on the PC it only makes sense if you really only have a working computer with small breasts that won’t let anything else run. Insofar: Yes, if you want to spread cutting edge technology and have some loose money, Christmas is looking to the future. But not if you are looking for maximum play value.

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PlayStation Now, on the other hand, convinced me as a service. Of course, the technology still needs to be changed, especially because the competition has now shown how to do it. But I do accept the low res for streaming as well as the slightly more noticeable lag, when I can wander endlessly through a wildly random library and don’t even know where to start. Definitely a luxury issue compared to Stadias Ebbe in terms of diversity. Also, I don’t have to pay extra for any games and I can download a lot of titles for PS4 Pro performance which is a real consolation when it comes to 4K. The offer is convincing, I cannot say otherwise. Especially for 5 euros per month. Maybe it’s age, but when I think about what I get here for 60 euros a year: he would have been killed in the 2000s, let alone the Stone Age before.

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Stadia is fascinated by the technology and is aimed at streaming enthusiasts who want to buy the hardware with any luck and trust Google’s desire to expand the service. PlayStation Now is the consumer subscription offer for maximum enjoyment with technology that works quite well. This would be the quickest summary of the situation and everyone should know what works for them.


And now I go to Xbox and see what I find in Game Pass because I want to play with Elite 2…


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