Google details missing Stadia launch features

Remember in Santa Claus: The Movie, where Dudley Moore’s elf takes over the toy-making process, and everything starts to get mass-produced in batches too quickly, instead of hand-crafted properly, and the toys start falling apart, and all the children are crying? Well, there’s no need to mention that part of the film at all in a week where Google announced Stadia’s launch games, nor is there any reason to bring it up yet again right now, after a Reddit session with Stadia’s Andrey Doronichev and Beri Lee revealed that Google’s new streaming game platform is about to roll out with a whole bunch of features missing.

On 19th November, Stadia will go live for a fairly select group of people who have gone all-in on the new product, after Google spent quite a few months pushing the cloud service as the future of gaming. However, Stream Connect, State Share and Crowd Play won’t be available – Stream Connect may be running by year’s end, but the other two won’t be around until some time in 2020.

Missing also is the achievement system – that will be along “shortly”.

You’ll have to use the Chromecast Ultra in the controller box to play wireless – existing Ultras will be updated “soon”.

You won’t find the family sharing option either – that’s “early next year”.

The Buddy Passes for Founders? “You’ll get your Buddy Pass about two weeks after you receive your bundle, barring some unknown unknowns popping up.”

No 4K/HDR PC gameplay, either. “On 11/19 we’ll be only streaming 4K / HDR / 5.1 to Chromecast Ultra. We know from the feedback the Founders gave us that the 4K TV must be our top priority for launch. On day 1, PC Chrome gameplay won’t support 4K, HDR, or 5.1 Surround Sound. But in the spirit of gradual rollout, we’ll be adding support for 4K/HDR/5.1 on PCs in 2020.”

To top it all off, the Stadia controllers won’t all be shipped at once, so you may be waiting weeks for one of those to arrive, too.

There’s a lot to unpack here, but Google has – and this is putting it mildly – a lot of money. It feels like all this could be going much better.

Wireframe #26 is out now

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