Re: Solution to a problem nobody had?
Are you sure about tethered downloads and pretty much running locally on Xbox (and other services)? Xbox for sure allows you to stream games to an Android phone - can’t see how that would work via a tethered download. Even on an Xbox console, startup time for a cloud game is so short it couldn’t be downloading substantial portions for local execution. I’m pretty sure if you’re using Xbox Cloud, it is actually running on the cloud. The amazing thing is that with a decent internet connection you’re hard pressed to notice.
What is true is that if someone has a console, if they like a game they’ll probably download it after trying it on the cloud, which reduces cloud hardware costs for Microsoft in the short term.
In the long term (as more people get decent connectivity) pure game streaming makes more sense than music, and we know how that went. Avid gamers have extremely expensive hardware of which at least the GPU portion is going to be idling much of the time, even during some of the evening peaks. Storing millions of copies of 100GB games on high end SSDs is a lot of wasted silicon. Both are obvious targets for pooling centrally for increased utilisation - and it’s an even bigger win with casual gamers. Especially if the pooled hardware can be put to some other easily schedulable/preemptable use (transcoding? ML training?) during the off-peak. Also, many data centres can use electricity with lower carbon intensity than home users, so there’s environmental benefit..
I suspect many gamers will be increasingly happy to stream if it’s cheaper, greener and more convenient.
The main problem with Stadia was execution, not concept. And a raft of other Google specific problems you mention.