The Founder's Editions of Google Stadia are due to be in the hands of customers in a few days, but it seems that the streaming service is still being worked on. As a recent AMA has revealed, Stadia will be missing some key features next week at launch.
A Reddit AMA was held today by Andrey Doronichev (director of product for Stadia) and Beri Lee (Google product manager). The thread was illuminating in the sense that it felt like an opportunity for Google to sneak some bad news under the radar. It turns out that some promised features won't be part of Stadia straight away.
Below is the list of features that will be lacking from Stadia when it launches next week. All of these were compiled from various responses the duo gave while on Reddit.
- Stream Connect is expected to launch with at least one game by the end of 2019. Games won't support State Share or Crowd Play until 2020.
- Not everyone will receive their Founder's Edition on launch day. They will be sent out in the same order as the pre-orders were received.
- A phone is required for the initial setup of Google Stadia and for purchasing games.
- Only the Founder's Edition Chromecast Ultras will be able to stream in 4K/HDR/5.1 on day one. PCs won't be able to stream in 4K/HDR/5.1 until 2020.
- Google Assistant will only be able to start a game on Stadia at launch, with more functionality being added in future updates.
- Family Sharing won't be available until next year. Parents are encouraged to purchase a game a second time on their kid's account.
- The UI for achievements won't be available at launch, but Stadia will be logging them.
- Only the Chromecast Ultras that come with the Founder's Edition will be compatible with Stadia at launch. Updates for the other Chromecast Ultras will follow soon after launch.
- The Buddy Pass (one of the items listed as being part of the Founder's Edition) won't be available until two weeks after launch.
The lack of so many promised features is making the Founder's Edition seem like a less valuable purchase than it did before. Currently, waiting for the general rollout of Google Stadia in 2020 appears to be a better option. With some of the previously promised features set to appear then, it doesn't make sense to buy into this early.
If you can't wait, though, the Founder's Edition of Google Stadia will be available on November 19, 2019.