The ball is in the court: Google Stadia is officially coming to an end. Google’s streaming service was supposed to be “the next big thing” in gaming, but failed incredibly hard. The result: the plug is flying at breakneck speed starting early next year.
After three years of hooking up, Google Stadia is being chosen to stop completely. A streaming service that our own Dennis Mons commented on quite a while ago. It is safe to say that Stadia belongs to one of the biggest flops of the decade, but what other products are among them?
Google Stadia coming to an end: 10 other flops from the past decade
At GDC 2019, we were first introduced to the service that will no longer be usable from the beginning of next year.
In this article, we especially check all the other products that have also flopped in the past decade. In that respect, Google Stadia joins an illustrious list of painful products. A list in which Google is not appearing for the first time.
#10 Like Google Stadia: Google+
The logo of Google+ (Image: Google)
Google+ felt the hot breath of Facebook’s neck in 2011. And pot luck, the company wouldn’t just let that happen. It decided to ride on the social media hype and introduced the most amazing platform ever created: Google+. Man, what a success that was.
Besides the fact that Google+ simply looked like Facebook with a coat of red paint on top, it was also forced (with appropriate aggression) down everyone’s throats. Whether you were using Gmail or YouTube: Google+ popped up everywhere. Something that certainly worked in the first few years, considering the user numbers were quite high. Whether those people then actually did something with it was a second thing. But overall, it could not be called a success.
There were indeed people who thought Google+ was an excellent platform, which is why it managed to keep going until October 2018. Then the decision was made to pull the plug. Not only because of the little success it had, but also because of the problems that were going on with data. Because just like the success, data security collapsed like a house of cards.
We got Google Photos, Google Hangouts and Steam out of it, so in that respect it wasn’t all in vain. If only because Google+ allows you to log in to all of the company’s services by signing up to just one. Unfortunately, Google Stadia gave us a little less.
Google has indicated it will give buyers of the Stadia software and hardware their money back. The hardware does not have to be returned for this. Users of the Stadio Pro subscription service will not get their subscription money back. However, until the service goes offline, they will not have to pay anything more. Games can no longer be purchased anyway.
#9 The almighty BlackBerry
BlackBerry phone (Image: Joe Raedle / AFP)
At the beginning of the decade, BlackBerry was among the top phones in the market. Even when the iPhone was five years old, Blackberry owner Research in Motion had a record number of subscribers and the iconic phone was extremely popular. Teenagers, businessmen and celebrities walked around en masse with the PDA-like phone. But soon the numbers dropped, subscribers declined and people switched to the iPhone 4S. Android caught on and new features for iOS flew around the world at breakneck speed.
It caused panic, leading to wrong decisions and the appearance of disappointing products. From the PlayBook tablet to BlackBerry 10 OS, things didn’t get any better. Even mildly, as the company launched one major flop after another.
It became a bit painful to watch, especially when BlackBerry launched the Android-powered Priv far too late. The company only realized far too late that Apple and Google could not keep up.
#8 AirPower: great hype, never appeared
AirPower (Image: Apple)
If Apple normally gets something right it is in the architectural or graphic field. In this regard, the Cupertino-based company has been making the most impression in the market for years and simply knows what it is doing. Although, if they are not working on AirPower then.
With the announcement of the iPhone X also came out the first official reports of AirPower. It was about a mat where you could charge three devices at the same time. So your iPhone, your Apple Watch and your AirPods could be supplied with a new charge of power at the same time. In doing so, the user did not have to worry about where exactly it put the products, as long as it was on the mat it came out fine. Only the whole point is: it didn’t work out.
The AirPower was officially cancelled in 2019 after years of talk about it. Apple customers couldn’t wait for the mat to hit the market and it became one of the most talked about products of the past few years.
However, the Cupertino-based company seemed unable to get the product to work properly and put a stop to AirPower. This even though the product was already featured on the boxes of the AirPods 2. Ouch.
#7 No Google Stages, painful though: Nintendo Wii U
Game console Wii U (Image: Nintendo)
The Nintendo WII U was supposed to be THE awesome successor to the immensely popular Wii. Just like Google Stadia was supposed to be THE replacement for console gaming. Only, to stay in Nintendo’s terms, it became Nii. Fair is fair: without the Wii U, we would never have had the Nintendo Switch at this point, but that’s the only positive thing we can say about it.
The product was a drama on every possible level. The touchscreen controller was low quality, the software was as slow as thick shit through a funnel (figuratively, not really tried) and Nintendo quickly ran out of creative ideas to make use of their own hardware. There were some great titles on offer in Wii U games. Think of games like Mario Kart 8 and Breath of the Wild, where you didn’t have to use the dual-screen capabilities at all.
It was cool that you could play games throughout the house with just your touchscreen controller, but that idea needed to be better and further developed. Something Nintendo, with the Switch, then did. That first one was among Nintendo’s only sold consoles of the modern era, with 13.56 million devices sold. The Nintendo Switch, with more than 40 million, laughingly surpasses that.
#6 Facebook’s laughable fine
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) in courtroom (Image: Mandel Ngan / AFP)
The year 2019 finally went into the books as the year that Facebook would be punished. The year when the Federal Trade Commission (better known as the FTC) would conclude their years-long investigation into Facebook’s misuse of personal data and their privacy scandals (remember Cambridge Analytica?). But coming home from a cold spell was never more applicable.
Indeed, the FTC fined Facebook $5 billion for misusing information. Now $5 billion is a huge amount, but a big joke for a company like Facebook. A company that managed to turn over $16 billion in 2019 alone. As a result, the company lost little to nothing and could cheerfully continue what it was doing. Indeed, since the $5 billion fine, Facebook’s shares shot up like crazy. What a punishment…
#5 Google Stages, but worse: Google Glass
The Google Glass (Image: Google)
There are many people whose immediate thought of Google Stadia was the Google Glass. The Google Glass was supposed to completely change the world, technologically speaking. That’s what Google did tell us when the company introduced the glasses in 2012. And fair is fair, the potential was definitely there. But the smart glasses ultimately managed to scare people off so much that the entire product never appeared on the market.
The biggest problem with the Google Glass was privacy concerns. People were not very comfortable with the idea that a camera could constantly be pointed at them without giving any permission. Trust in the product disappeared and so did the product itself. Google kept the dream alive by marketing a business version of the glasses, but for consumers it was the end of the story.
#4 Windows Phone: ‘the end of iOS’
Microsoft saw what Google and Apple were doing with their operating systems and, around its launch, were convinced that Windows Phone could be the end of iOS. But that celebration was celebrated too soon, as the system officially came to an end in 2019.
Over the past few years, Microsoft has constantly tried to convince developers to love Windows Phone. A dream chased to such an extent that Nokia meanwhile went down in the fight. As much as $7.2 billion was invested in the operating system, but it ended in a “failed experiment.” Thousands of jobs were lost, causing the company to lose another $1 billion.
Bill Gates recently admitted that while Windows Phone could have become as big as Android, he got it wrong. Will Sundar Pichai say the same thing about Google Stages in a few years.
#3 The 3D TV just like Google Stadia: good idea, poor execution
The 3D TV (Image: Philips)
After James Cameron’s Avatar premiered in 2009, and was first seen in 3D, the desire arose to offer people this experience in their own living rooms as well. The 3D TV was created and it was supposed to be the new way to watch television. Only the project failed knee-deep.
No one wanted to put 3D glasses on their heads at home, despite the fact that the content was there. But the way the technology was applied in televisions ensured that the popularity was anything but there.
In mid-2010, the industry abandoned the dream for 3D content in the living room and turned to HDR. A technology that did not require external glasses and did catch on with consumers.
#2 Apple’s agonizing MacBook keyboard
New Magic Keyboard (Image: Apple)
Man, how wrong Apple was in this decade with the butterfly mechanism keyboard. It was first applied to the 12-inch MacBook in 2015 and was subsequently used for the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air as well. The keyboard looked incredibly sleek, but it quickly became clear that it was compromised in terms of workability. It was louder than its predecessor and the key travel of a scant 1mm did not please users. But that was only the beginning of the disappointing sounds.
When the keyboard appeared in the 2016 MacBook Pro, the first reports quickly surfaced of its major problems. Keys were sticking, space bars were acting weird, and in no time there were keys that simply stopped working. Eventually, Apple stubbornly insisted that there was nothing wrong with it and eventually released four generations of the butterfly mechanism to the market. Each time there were minor upgrades over the generation before, but the problems did not diminish.
Eventually, Apple had to admit that the butterfly keyboard had been anything but a good idea and released the 16-inch MacBook Pro in 2019. A laptop that took another step back by reintroducing the Scissor Switch. A keyboard with longer key travel, less noise and more reliability. Although the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro still feature the labile keyboards.
#1 Samsung Galaxy Note 7: The absolute flop king
The Note 7 (Image: Samsung)
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was a promising smartphone. The device looked incredibly good, the first impressions were incredibly good and the specifications were very promising. It was an extremely good device, until flames accompanied it.
On August 17, 2016, the first review models were sent out and by September 1, 35 phones had already gone up in flames. The problem eventually became so big that Samsung had to recall all devices and provide everyone with a replacement device. Only problem with these devices was that they also went up in flames. In short: it was a problem that made you scary. Especially considering that it also went wrong once on an airplane, causing all Note 7 smartphones to be banned.
Samsung decided to put an end to the Note 7 and recalled all devices. The devices that were not returned were given a software update, making them inoperable. Recalling all the smartphones and providing users with other models ultimately saved the company’s reputation. But man, what a flop this was.