Google launched Stadia, its troubled game streaming service, today with a small library of games, missing features, and many complaints.
“Starting today, playing games on your TV in 4K without a console, streaming games to a Chrome browser on a simple laptop, or enjoying the biggest games ever made on your phone is a reality,” Google vice president Phil Harrison announced. “It seems impossible until you experience it. Stadia Founder’s Edition starts arriving today, making the world’s best games available to players everywhere without a dedicated console or expensive PC.”
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Well, it’s not arriving today for everyone, which is part of the problem: Many who pre-ordered the Stadia Founder’s Edition won’t receive the product for days, and many others saw their preorders unceremoniously canceled by Google in error.
Looking past the Google-centric blogs, the early reviews are painful. The New York Times warned its readers not to replace their existing video game consoles just yet thanks to its long setup time, and “glitches, bugs, and quality issues.” Forbes said it was “a technical and conceptual disaster.”
Google will likely fix the early mistakes and the service will, of course, improve over time. But the real worry, of course, is that Google will flounder around for a year or two and then just cancel the service, as it has so many times in the past.
Until then, we can look forward to Brad’s review of Google Stadia. You know, if it ever arrives first.