Published: Sun, November 17, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Google reveals Stadia will be pretty barebones at launch

Google reveals Stadia will be pretty barebones at launch

The Google Stadia Controller might not reach all Founders Pack buyers in time for the service's launch but, fortunately, they can use a number of compatible controllers in the meantime. You will not really get your Buddy Cross to make use of till "weeks after you obtain your bundle, barring some unknown unknowns popping up", in keeping with the Stadia crew. Meanwhile, Family Sharing will be nowhere to be seen, so if you had plans on sharing games with the residents of your household, they'll be scuppered until "early next year", but Google assured everyone that it's a "high priority" feature. Multiplayer features State Share and Crowd Play will not be implemented until 2020, and it's the same story with the family sharing option. Eventually, that should allow multiple family members to share a game like they would with a "real" console.

In a slight flip from negativity, the Stadia team also revealed the Claw, which is basically an accessory created to mount Pixel phones to the stadia controller to turn them into a form of handheld games console. "Once you've connected, to play games, you can just grab your controller and hit the Stadia button", product manager Beri Lee said in the AMA. While I still maintain that it's a cool idea, and Google will be adding these features down the line, it seems to me that releasing with so many missing features and a fairly poor launch lineup is going to severely impact the platform's chances of success. Games will apparently track the relevant information, but "the platform UI for viewing your achievements and achievement notifications" won't be in place until sometime after Stadia launches.

Doronichev said achievements won't be available at launch, not in the way you'd expect them anyway.

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So while you may be able to play before the Stadia Controller arrives, it's not quite the day one experience many users were hoping for.

The capacity to utilize existing Chromecast Ultras to mess around. "Then support for the Assistant during gameplay, etc", Andrey from the Google Stadia team wrote. Lastly, PCs won't support 4K, 5.1 surround sound and HDR support at launch, and will get it via an update next year. The latter package comes with Google's Stadia controller and a Chromecast Ultra - the necessary hardware for playing Google Stadia on a television.

Our approach to releasing features on Stadia is similar to how we run Google Search, YouTube and other Google services: gradual rollout and continuous improvement, based on your feedback. "We generally start with nailing the key client adventure and afterward continue with discharging additional highlights. YouTube started with 'watch video.' For Stadia it's 'Play the Game on your biggest screen, '" said Doronichev.

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