It's been a shaky start for Cyberpunk 2077, one of the most hotly anticipated games of all time. But the high-barrier to entry for a stable version of the game has been dropped significantly for a huge swathe of mobile phone owners, as Google Stadia finally comes to iPhone and iPad in a neat web-app form.
The game streaming platform, which is naturally already available on Google's Android mobile OS, has been so far barred from Apple's mobile devices, as Apple has taken umbrage with its distribution method, from which it cannot take a cut of Google Stadia game sale revenues.
Google's workaround to Stadia being kept off the App Store? A full screen, optimized Safari shortcut. Google's Stadia player works well on Apple's browser, and as its controller pairs to Google's cloud servers directly, it's a near-seamless solution to what's an online-only service to begin with.
To access the new Stadia iOS web app, simply visit www.stadia.google.com on your iOS device, hit the share button and choose "Add to Home Screen". Stadia is then pinned to your home screen and opens in fullscreen mode when its icon is tapped, removing the URL bar and other furniture usually associated with the Safari browser.
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The Cyberpunk connection
So where does Cyberpunk 2077 come into the story? Well, there's a massive disparity between the game when played on PS4 and Xbox One (PS5 and Xbox Series X versions are yet to release), and high end PCs.
On a top-notch PC, the game looks astonishing and runs with a few bearable bugs, but the existing console versions are a shambles, with muddy visuals and glitches that make the game all but unplayable.
Stadia, as a streaming platform that pulls game data over the web much like a Netflix stream, aims to mimic the mid-to-high end PC experience – but without having to splash out on hardware three times the cost of a PS5. Here, the only price of admission is the cost of Cyberpunk 2077 from the Stadia store – what with Stadia now offering a completely free tier of play, with a 'Pro' subscription giving away free games and 4K play options.
As well as working on a PC, web browser, Chromecast and now all major mobile phone platforms with the iOS announcement sitting alongside Android, it makes Cyberpunk 2077 a mobile game too. With a game this big, it's good to be able to take chunks on the go with you – especially as we approach the holiday season and the travelling away from our precious PCs and consoles that that entails.
Current Stadia players report a very stable experience (providing your broadband speed hits the recommended requirements), and also comes with the benefit of instant access – there's no download required, and any fixes or patches that developer CD Projekt Red rolls out are applied instantly and automatically. With newer iPhones among the finest mobile hardware on the market (and already in many people's pockets), it makes Apple's devices one of the best places to get your Cyberpunk fix.
The trade off? A strong broadband speed is required, and you'll have to endure some input lag that is (currently) an unavoidable byproduct of streaming a game over the web. But outside of splashing out for an expensive new PC, iPhone and iPad owners now have a relatively affordable way to play the game in its best shape via Stadia.
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Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of iMore.com. Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.