As we get closer to the launch of Google’s Stadia gaming platform, the company can’t help itself from making the service sound less and less desirable for early adopters. Before a reddit AMA hosted by the Stadia team took place today, all we knew for sure was how much Stadia would cost, when it would launch, and what games it would launch with.
Today, we’re learning a lot more about what to expect from Stadia’s launch on November 19, and if I’m being honest, your expectations should be lowered immediately.
Here’s the important stuff we learned from the AMA on reddit.
Existing Chromecast Ultra dongles are not supported until they receive the latest firmware from Google to support Stadia streaming.
On Day 1 you should use the Chromecast Ultra that came in your bundle. It has the latest firmware. 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.
Buddy Passes won’t arrive on November 19.
You’ll get your Buddy Pass about two weeks after you receive your bundle, barring some unknown unknowns popping up (never happens 😭).
*Personal note, the above point really grinds my gears. However, while you’d think that having a buddy to play Stadia games with on launch day would be cool, the team provided the following tidbit. Spoiler alert: Your “buddy pass” doesn’t mean you’ll actually be playing with buddies until sometime after launch.
No Stream Connect, State Share, or Crowd Play at launch.
I expect the first game with Stream Connect to launch by the end of the year. The games that support State Share and Crowd Play will be released next year.
No visible achievement system at launch, but don’t fret, it’s all being tracked in the background.
You will start achieving right away! Because games will be recording your achievements on Stadia on day one! It’s just the platform UI for viewing your achievements and achievement notifications will launch shortly after launch. I know, it’s something you want.
Google isn’t promising you’ll get your Stadia bundle in time for launch.
On November 19 at 9AM, anyone who ordered Stadia will receive their access code to get to playing. That means supported devices like desktops with a Chrome browser and Pixel smartphones can play, but if you’re hoping to have your Chromecast + controller bundle on launch date, Google can’t promise that.
Beri: Stadia goes live at 9am PST on Nov 19, and your activation code will work immediately once you receive it. For reference, I ordered my Stadia Founder’s Edition in June and my delivery date says November 20-21.
Andrey: The first shipments will leave our warehouse on the 18th to make sure they arrive on the 19th. We’ll ship in the same order as we’ve received your pre-orders. The tricky bit: moving atoms is a bit more complicated and less predictable than moving bits. So the actual delivery date will depend on the mail truck, traffic lights, etc.
So, you decided to support Google’s new gaming endeavor by purchasing a Founder’s Edition, but you may not get your hardware until way after launch? At least one user on reddit states that their shipment is expected by late to early December. That sucks.
Please don’t take this post as me bashing on Google’s attempt to launch a gaming service. They’re doing fine, but the hype that the company attempted to generate for this service’s launch is not being met with results. Eventually, Stadia will have all of the features that were showcased earlier this year, but according to the team’s own words, November 19 doesn’t really seem like it’ll be all that exciting for people who bought into the service.