One of the biggest concerns about the Google Stadia platform is that it's promising a lot, but has provided little in terms of actual proof of how well it will work in the average home. Those concerns have now been amplified by the reveal that there won't be a beta test for the service.
Phil Harrison, Google's vice president and head of Stadia confirmed in an interview with Games Radar that there won't be a closed or public beta for the Stadia service before it launches in November.
The lack of a beta means that there will be no indication of how well Google Stadia will work for the average home until its release. The only way to use Google Stadia in the November launch window is by purchasing the Founders Edition for $130, which only has a controller, a Chromecast Ultra, and three months of Pro service (along with three months that you can gift to a friend). Google Stadia has a pretty pricy barrier to entry and a lot of people might be turned off by the inability to test the service first, as the free version of Stadia won't be available until 2020.
It has been revealed that the Pro subscription tier is similar to PlayStation Plus in that it gives away a few free games on a regular basis and is necessary to play the games in 4k resolution. Those who purchase the Founders Edition will have free access to Destiny 2: The Collection, but that's the only free game available at launch that has been revealed so far. Once the player has purchased the Founders Edition, they will then have to buy games separately.
The people in the UK who want to try out the Founders Edition are also going to be screwed over, as it costs $130 to buy in the USA, but is £120 to buy in the UK, even though the dollar/pound exchange rate should put it closer to £100.
The absence of a beta period for Google Stadia is troubling, as it would have helped to dispel a lot of the concerns about the service. Google is asking for a lot of faith from the general public, which has yet to be backed up by any proof that the Stadia service will work as advertised outside of a closed testing environment.
Google Stadia is set to launch in November 2019.