Google Stadia won’t have these features at launch

Google Stadia is out this week but there are a whole load of features which won’t be available right away, and you’ll have to wait for an update until they arrive.

Stadia is now upon us and we’re excited to give it a go. However, the company has already been somewhat upstaged by Microsoft’s recent xCloud announcements and it feels like they are already on the back foot.

Google immediately fired back at Microsoft – announcing ten more games for Stadia’s launch. While this is a step in the right direction, it isn’t only games that Stadia appears to be lacking as the service launches. In a Reddit AMA, Google revealed some features that would be absent at launch.

Related: Google Stadia Review

Google Stadia won’t have these features at launch

  1. Stadia controller may not be delivered by launch day
  2. Stadia controller wireless support on PC and mobile
  3. Using a non-Founders/Premiere Edition Chromecast Ultra
  4. Support for non-Pixel phones
  5. Some online features (Crowd Play, State Share and Stream Connect)
  6. Family sharing
  7. Buddy Passes
  8. Achievement system

The first point is obviously a biggy. Google has shipped physical Stadia packages according to when they were ordered and it is in this order in which customers will receive their package – with many not expected to arrive until after launch day.

Wireless support is another annoyance. You’ll be able to use non-Stadia controllers on mobile and PC via Bluetooth right from the off but the Stadia controller isn’t quite ready yet. Instead, you’ll need to be tethered to your PC or mobile using a USB cable.

If you’ve already got a Chromecast Ultra, you may think you’ve got an easy ride – just sign up to Stadia and connect an existing controller and you are off. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Related: Xbox 2 vs Google Stadia

Existing Chromecast Ultras are not yet supported for Stadia use. You’ll need a Chromecast Ultra that accompanies the Founders or Premiere Edition Stadia bundle to play the service. Google has said it will be updating older Chromecast Ultras soon after launch.

The Buddy Passes have a similar issue to the delivery of Stadia controllers. Buddy Passes let you give a friend a free three-month trial Stadia subscription.

The problem is Buddy Passes are yet to be sent out to those who have pre-ordered a bundle – they’ll be shipping out weeks after launch. It isn’t a massive inconvenience but it also isn’t ideal.

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