With Google Stadia less than a week away, with it’s upcoming launch on November 19th, there are a ton of curious people who want to know what the service will be like on launch. Andrey Doronichev and Beri Lee, two members of Stadia’s team, held a Reddit AMA yesterday, hoping to let folks know what to expect. A lot of fans and curious people were left upset by the answers given though, as it revealed a platform that doesn’t seem ready for a full launch.
We already know that the rather slim launch stable of 12 titles at least works. and that Google has managed to create at least some kind of unique features, like the 40-car mode in GRID. But the technical hurdles of launching this service seem to have gotten in the way, and has left the service in a rather uninspiring state. From missing titles and UI elements, to basic features needing a post-launch patch, it all feels like Google rushed this whole thing.
So, what’s missing from the Google Stadia launch?
One of the big draws for some users, like Stadia’s multiplayer and sharing features, won’t be ready at launch. Stream Connect also won’t be in by next week, but Google plans to push the update for it before 2020. Multiplayer features like State Share and Crowd Play also will not be ready. Hell, the full UI isn’t even finished yet. Achievements won’t be available either. They will be kept track of as players progress through games but won’t register until the feature goes live.
The most egregious lacking feature in this area though is the complete lack of Family Sharing. So if parents want their kids to be able to have access to the same games as their main account, not that they could play together anyway but, if you do you will have to buy a completely new copy of said game on their child account. The Buddy Pass trial system is also missing. What all this means is that Google Stadia basically won’t allow gamers to share games or play games together at launch, what a disappointment.
Device compatibility is something else users were curious about during the AMA, and it seems that Google is missing some things here as well. For one thing, anyone using a a Chromecast Ultra device will not have access to Google Stadia on launch with paired devices. This means that 4K resolution, HDR, and 5.1 surround sound will not be part of the rollout. Some other features like being able to use existing devices wirelessly with the Stadia controller won’t be enabled without a patch. Gamers can still use a USB cable though, although it kind of sucks if you’re looking for a couch gaming experience. Google promised a “gradual rollout” of these missing features and more, but has yet to provide concrete dates as of yet.
The full Reddit AMA thread is here, but it’s very long so settle in. Check out the official reveal trailer below.