Google Stadia Will Launch With Little Support For Promised Features

It’s pretty clear that the Stadia service isn’t ready to launch

  • Family sharing won’t be supported at launch
  • Buddy Pass support not available at launch
  • Stadia’s achievement system won’t be complete at launch
  • Existing Chromecast devices won’t work with Stadia
  • PC Players won’t get 4K/HDR gameplay or 5.1 surround surround sound
  • Wireless controller support only available for Chromecast Ultra

The Google Stadia launches in less than a week and we’ve now learned that the streaming service will deliver about half of what was promised at best. Director of Product for the Stadio, Andrey Doronichev and Product Manager Beri Lee gave a long list of things that just won’t work when Stadia launches.

On top of the list is the family sharing and buddy pass system. Neither will be available at launch, but Doronichev says it’s a “high priority feature” but won’t be ready until early 2020. That means that if you want to play with another person in the house, you need to buy two copies of the game. The Buddy Pass – the feature that will allow you to share your service with someone else – won’t work at launch either. This feature will supposedly be available two or three weeks after launch.

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Stadia’s achievement system will also be non-existent at launch. Apparently, games will keep track of your achievements but “the platform UI for tracking or notifications” won’t be available until “sometime after launch.”

If this isn’t bad enough, those of you with existing Chromecast devices are in the dark as well. Right now, you’re being urged to use the Chromcase Ultra that comes with your bundle. So, don’t expect to bounce from room to room without taking your Chromecast dongle with you:

“On Day 1 you should use the Chromecast Ultra that came in your bundle. It has the latest firmware,” Doronichev said. “We will be updating the existing CC Ultra’s over the air soon after launch. So you’ll be able to use your Stadia Controller to play on many TVs in your home.”

The Stadia controller

But wait, it gets worse. If you’re a PC player, you won’t be able to play in 4K, HDR, or experience 5.1 surround sound until sometime next year! Even worse yet, the Stadia controller will only work wirelessly with the Chromecast Dongle – if you want to use it on your PC, phone, or tablet, well, you’ll just have to plug that bad boy in.

Now, I’m not the smartest man in the world, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Stadia just isn’t ready for launch. The sheer fact that you’ll have to plug the controller in unless you’re using the Chromecast dongle is evidence enough, let alone the broken promise to “play on any device in 4k” or with a wireless controller, for that matter. Most of the features that will be missing or not working will supposedly be available sometime in 2020, but there’s no definitive release or update schedule on the table so if you were planning to jump on the Stadia train, you might want to reconsider. PC players – you might as well just buy a new PS4 or Xbox Controller, plug it into your PC, and buy whatever game you want. Get Stadia latter when Google finally feels that you’re worthy of playing in 4K.

Don’t forget to check out our article on the games available for Stadia at launch and by the end of 2019

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Jerry Martin
Jerry Martin is an avid gamer and prefers to spend his time playing first-person shooters like Call of Duty and Halo. His all-time favorite game is Modern Warfare 2, but Assassin’s creed 3 comes in a close second, and he’s a huge fan of the Legend of Zelda series. He is a co-founder of and spends as much time coding as he does shooting people online. Jerry prefers playing on his PC, but also owns an Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as he takes pride in being a non-discriminate gamer.

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