Today, the Google Stadia streaming service officially launched for those who picked up the Founder or Premier Edition.
Well, sort of anyway. Some people have it, a lot of people don't, we certainly don't and it appears the team at Stadia give different answers to different people on when you will actually be able to access it. I've also seen plenty of people whose orders have been cancelled without warning or explanation. Even worse still, some people have been sent their hardware without an access code. Google have, so far, done a terrible job at communicating on Stadia and so the initial launch doesn't seem to have gone down well at all.
Oh, they also have the most ridiculous launch trailer I've ever seen:
The more I think about it, the more amazed I am at just how badly this has been managed. Take a look at the actual proper Stadia website for example, there's not a contact or support link in sight.
So they originally had a tiny lineup, then did a Reddit AMA where they said a bunch of the hooks they used to get people in weren't actually ready at all and hastily announced a few more games just before release. Nothing about it has so far looked like they've been in any way prepared to launch a gaming service.
One thing that I've seen confirmed now, as many suspected, is that input lag does seem to be a real problem. Google talked big about their powerful hardware and everything they were doing to bring it down, but it seems they haven't solved anything at all so far. Looking at the Eurogamer article, the input lag table included was quite impressive. This video from The Post also makes it look pretty awful.
From what Jason Schreier of Kotaku said on Twitter from "one person involved" that "preorders were below expectations". I really can't get my head around that. Somehow, they didn't get as many preorders as they had hoped and simultaneously failed to get them into the hands of people who did buy into it early. Words are honestly failing me right now. Incredible.
Eventually, at some point we will get access to it to report on how it works when played on a Linux desktop. When that is, I can't tell you, Google can't either. We're playing delivery bingo right now.