Google Details Which Features Will (and Won’t) Work at Stadia’s Launch

Next week, Google will launch one of its most anticipated products in recent memory. Stadia, the company’s new game-streaming service, is nearly here and thanks to a Reddit AMA yesterday, we have a few more details about how the service will operate.

Next week, if you pre-ordered a Founders Edition, you will have access to the service as soon as your controller ships. Google says that you will be emailed activation information that will let you play games in your browser with a keyboard+mouse or compatible HID controller.

The company also says that they will be adding features rapidly, much like they do with search or YouTube which is a good thing as there are quite a few items that are missing on day one.

For instance, achievements will not be working at launch. The company says that the functionality will be added shortly after launch but the first day, they will not work. That being said, any achievements earned during this blackout period will still unlock once the functionality is operational.

When it comes to playing on the TV in your house, you will only be able to use the Chromecast Ultra that ships with the device initially. Your existing Chromecast Ultra will not work initially as it needs a software update that will be arriving in the near future. Once that update does arrive, you should be able to use any Chromecast Ultra with Stadia.

For those of you with multiple family members who will want to use Stadia, Family Link (the ability to manage your child’s experience on Stadia) will be functional on day one but Family Sharing will not work. This means that you will need to purchase a game twice if you want two kids to be able to stream it at the same time – Google says this feature is expected to launch early next year.

Also missing will be State Share, a feature that allows you to load into a specific point-in-time that was shared with you by another player. Crowd Play will also be missing from launch, a feature that allows those watching someone streaming the game to jump in and join them. And Stream Connect, a Stadia feature that lets you stream one player’s game directly into another’s, will also not work at launch.

One of the benefits of buying the Founders Edition is the Buddy Pass. These passes allow for a friend to join Stadia for three months for free but will not be distributed until a couple of weeks after the initial launch.

Google also unveiled its data usage controls that may have a big impact for users with limited caps. At the best visual quality, you can use up to 20GB and hour and at limited usage, roughly 720P, it will be 4.5GB/hr. For those with any sort of data cap, these figures will certainly be alarming as it will be quite easy to blow through a data cap at 4K.

Next week Stadia will finally become a commercial service for Google. While the launch may be lacking features and there are other barriers like the high-data usage, new product launches should be taken with a pink of optimism as the service should only improve over time.

Google is the first out of the gate with its new service but Microsoft and others are not far behind. At the end of the day, if you don’t like the restrictions or pricing, you will soon have multiple options for streaming games to any device in your home.

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Conversation 19 comments

  • martinusv2

    Premium Member
    14 November, 2019 - 9:38 am

    <p>What is the new industry trend lately? Oh yeah, lets promise a lot of stuff! And say at launch what is not there yet. </p><p><br></p><p>IMO, that's false advertisement, </p>

    • Skolvikings

      14 November, 2019 - 10:27 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#488997">In reply to MartinusV2:</a></em></blockquote><p>I mean kinda. All those things are still coming, they're just not all going to be there day one. The alternative is to push back the launch altogether, but then people can't play games, which is one feature that will be present at launch.</p>

  • yoshi

    Premium Member
    14 November, 2019 - 10:00 am

    <p>I was just reading that there won't be a web UI at launch. To purchase games, you HAVE to use the phone app apparently. So you can't actually buy games through Stadia, without a phone. </p><p><br></p><p>Talk about rushing a product.</p>

    • train_wreck

      14 November, 2019 - 10:06 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#489011">In reply to yoshi:</a></em></blockquote><p>I mean, phones are specifically where these services are targeting. Microsoft even shows this by releasing a phone controller at launch.</p><p><br></p><p>Most of the target demographic likely has no problem using apps for signup. It’s not really valid to call this out as a sign of a “rushed” rollout.</p>

      • yoshi

        Premium Member
        14 November, 2019 - 10:37 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#489012">In reply to train_wreck:</a></em></blockquote><p>They are pushing this as a "play anywhere" platform, not just the phone. Microsoft made it clear they are targeting the phone first. Google is not taking that approach.</p>

        • Vladimir Carli

          14 November, 2019 - 1:45 pm

          <blockquote><em><a href="#489019">In reply to yoshi:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>I’m not sure about this. phones have too small screens for most games</p>

          • Greg Green

            15 November, 2019 - 7:52 am

            <blockquote><em><a href="#489096">In reply to Vladimir:</a></em></blockquote><p>Yet phones have almost half the gaming revenue. And almost all that mobile revenue comes from game purchases, not in-app purchases.</p><p><br></p><p>I don’t get it either, but it is where we are now.</p>

        • Greg Green

          15 November, 2019 - 7:50 am

          <blockquote><em><a href="#489019">In reply to yoshi:</a></em></blockquote><p>Almost half the gaming revenue comes from mobile, meaning phones. That’s what play anywhere means. They’re not saying play on anything, they’re saying play anywhere. The focus is phones, that’s where the big money is.</p>

    • bleached

      14 November, 2019 - 5:32 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#489011">In reply to yoshi:</a></em></blockquote><p>Microsoft's xCloud doesn't even work on Windows 10. These issues will be fixed eventually.</p>

  • Vladimir Carli

    14 November, 2019 - 10:13 am

    <p>My buddy is very upset at the two weeks of extra unexpected waiting time</p><p><br></p><p>4,5GB/hour at 720p… lol. That's 45$ per hour on mobile at google´s own rates…</p>

  • jimchamplin

    Premium Member
    14 November, 2019 - 10:55 am

    <p>… Keyboard and mouse you say?</p><p><br></p><p>Suddenly my interest exists.</p>

    • Vladimir Carli

      14 November, 2019 - 1:43 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#489023">In reply to jimchamplin:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>they always said it would be playable with keyboard and mouse. That’s why I’m interested. I could never play with any controller</p>

  • Lordbaal

    14 November, 2019 - 2:13 pm

    <p>They promised all these feature, but won't deliver it on day one.</p><p>They had plenty of time to work on these things to have everything ready one day one.</p><p>This will fail. </p>

    • Vladimir Carli

      14 November, 2019 - 5:41 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#489102">In reply to Lordbaal:</a></em></blockquote><p>I’m sure you know better than a few dozen google product strategists that studied this matter. I wonder why they didn’t just follow your certainty </p>

      • Greg Green

        15 November, 2019 - 7:47 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#489163">In reply to Vladimir:</a></em></blockquote><p>If product strategists knew what they were doing there’d never be unsuccessful products and we’d all happily be using Windows 8.</p>

    • martinusv2

      Premium Member
      14 November, 2019 - 8:47 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#489102">In reply to Lordbaal:</a></em></blockquote><p>I call that false advertisement.</p>

  • Rycott

    Premium Member
    14 November, 2019 - 4:24 pm

    <p>I swear every new Stadia announcement is about what features aren't in it as opposed to what it will include.</p>

  • rm

    15 November, 2019 - 8:13 am

    <p>I don't think Google has the technical ability to execute this first, and second way too expensive and too much data usage and bandwidth. I bet latency will be an issue for a lot of people. Especially inconsistent latency. Hard core games will tear them up on reviews and yes they have a few AAA FPS games that will cause this to happen. If they were smart, they would have started with less demanding games. It just shows they don't know what they are getting into.</p>

    • dxhelios

      19 November, 2019 - 7:59 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#489314">In reply to RM:</a></em></blockquote><p>True. I see the problem not that service is shitty (by definition of the specs), not that they offer same games that were already available on all other gaming services for virtually 0$ – tomb raiders, metro… The real problem is that they are poisoning market by rushing nonsense release. To compete they need to release good quality and the games will follow. In the end, beside large corps, dev teams care about how they games are delivered to the end user. Bad services impacts the image of the game.</p>

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