Google Stadia will be missing most features on launch

Google Stadia will be missing most features on launch

Days before a new console or platform launches, the company behind it would normally be talking up all the amazing features their product has to drive excitement. Google doesn't seem to believe that's the case, however.

In a Reddit ask me anything (AMA) event for its forthcoming Stadia streaming platform, the search and software giant confirmed that a number of features announced for the cloud games service would not be available on its November 19th launch

Stream Connect is set to launch at the end of the year, product director Andrey Doronichev said, while State Share and Crowd Play won't be rolled out until 2020. Meanwhile, the achievement system won't be letting players know when they have done something, but will be recording that information still with the full feature launching "shortly after launch."

Google's Chromecast Ultra hardware will not work with Stadia at launch but will be receiving a software update in the near future to allow for this functionality. Ultras shipped with Stadia hardware will do so with this firmware update already loaded.

Meanwhile, games will not be able to be shared within family sharing accounts until early next year, either, while the buddy passes that come with the Founders Editions of Stadia - which let users give a friend a three-month subscription to Stadia - won't be sent until three weeks after release.

Oh, and if this all wasn't bad enough, people who pre-ordered Stadia Controllers and Chromecasts will likely not be receiving them until after launch, which is something we did already know. But that doesn't stop it being absolutely shocking. 

So all in all, Google might think it is going to change how people play games, but its launch sounds like it's set to be somewhat disappointing. Add onto this the fact that Google's first-party Stadia Games and Entertainment studio was only really formally set up last month and you have a platform that sounds woefully underprepared for launch.

There are 12 titles available on the service when it rolls out and only one of them is exclusive.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.