A few short months after releasing their debut gaming console, Google has refined their formula with the brand new Super Stadia.
Imagine my surprise going from reviewing niche and indie games to receiving a package from Google with their completely redesigned console inside. Now that I've had the chance to play with it for a couple of weeks and the embargo has finally lifted, allow me to describe how much of an improvement it is over the original Stadia model.
For starters, the core concept that Google had in mind with this redesign is plug-and-play. After setting the console up, you simply power it on and you're playing a game in no time. There are no settings to configure, no internet connection required, and no monthly subscription. The game that they provided me with is some weird Japanese 2D action game that stars a little man in a blue suit who shoots energy bullets from his arm. It's pretty fun but I'm certain it'll never catch on and if it ever did, I'm sure the developers would eventually abandon it. Anyway, let's take a look at the ways that Super Stadia improves on the modern console experience:
- Virtually no in-game loading times
- Cartridges contain battery-backed save capability so there's no need for a hard drive or memory cards
- Streamlined controllers with no obnoxious sticks to fumble around with
- Charging controllers is a thing of the past since they now conveniently connect to the console with wires
- Absolutely no microtransactions or DLC and games will never require any updates
- Intuitive console interface with binary power switch, reset slider, and eject button
- Capable of outputting S-Video signal
- Advanced audio chip that can process the greatest soundtracks in all of gaming
- Game cartridges are large and fun to display on shelves behind you while you make a video for your 14 subscribers
With all of that being said, Google decided not to enhance Super Stadia's capabilities with Blast Processing. Also, the game cartridges come in clunky cardboard boxes but you can just throw those suckers out; they're not worth anything and surely never will be.
Although Google's initial attempt at Stadia left many gamers unsatisfied, it's obvious that they've vastly improved the console experience with Super Stadia which can currently be purchased at Toys "R" Us and RadioShack as well as rented at your local Blockbuster.