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Stadia looks to be very limited at launch and not just the amount of games

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The official launch of Stadia is only days away, so Google recently hosted a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) and we have some more details to share about it.

After finding out recently it's only going to have 12 games at launch, we have been wondering exactly what else from their service is going to be missing in action at launch. Now we know there's going to be a number of other limitations, thanks to the question and answer session. Here's a few newer details:

  • Google are going for a "gradual rollout and continuous improvement" approach based on feedback. With new features coming as early as a week after launch and possibly new features on a weekly basis.
  • You absolutely need an Android or iOS mobile device for Stadia, even if you're going to use a PC. The initial setup and to even buy games actually requires the Stadia mobile application. For playing on mobiles, Google will start by letting you play only on their Pixel line with it eventually rolling out to Apple devices and other Androids.
  • Only the Chromecast Ultra will work with 4K at launch. While playing on PC in a Chrome browser will work it is limited to 1080p, PC with Chrome will not yet support 4K, HDR or 5.1 Surround Sound.
  • They're not announcing the line-up of games included to play free in the Pro subscription yet. Apart from the already announced Destiny 2. If you stop paying for Pro, you lose games accessed with it.
  • The State Share feature, that allows people to jump into games at a specific point, and the Crowd Play to let people watching you join in will both be missing at launch. The first games to support them will come next year.
  • You won't be able to even view any achievements. The UI for it is not ready but you will still earn them right away there's just nothing available to see them.
  • If you have a family, you will be able to buy Stadia games for them but there's currently no Family Sharing feature. They said it's a high priority though, to come next year.
  • Stadia Names must be between 3 and 15 characters, letters or numbers.
  • There will not be another Stadia Connect video before launch.
  • You will be able to access Stadia even before your hardware arrives, as they will be emailing access codes to people when they ship the Founder and Premier Editions. So you can play on PC right away.

I said before this Debian Linux + Vulkan API powered streaming service faced an uphill battle, now it sounds like more of a mountain.

Overall, I can't help but feel like this is really a Beta/Soft Launch under a poor disguise given just how limited the Stadia service is actually going to be. Given the high price of entry for the Founder and Premier Editions it's a bit laughable really.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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45 comments
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Vortex_Acherontic 16 November 2019 at 1:28 pm UTC
Ah I had a feeling this will not have a great start. I really hope for them (and also for GNU/Linux in general) that they will soon improve things a lot.
Avehicle7887 16 November 2019 at 1:36 pm UTC
Did Google run out of money or something, to be honest that list looks awful and Pixel only phones is severely limited, I would have expected it to work at least on a desktop at release.

People buying this = paying to beta test it.
Liam Dawe 16 November 2019 at 1:42 pm UTC
Avehicle7887Did Google run out of money or something, to be honest that list looks awful and Pixel only phones is severely limited, I would have expected it to work at least on a desktop at release.

People buying this = paying to beta test it.
It does work on a desktop.
mirv 16 November 2019 at 1:46 pm UTC
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On the one hand, there's severe limitations to the initial rollout and first impressions count. On the other, it would be reasonable to assume there are going to be technical issues that will need resolving, and that's easier to handle with a small initial rollout, gradually building up from there.

I personally think they should have just slapped a preview / beta sticker on until they're more prepared. And needing the mobile application to buy a game? That just doesn't make sense to me. Somehow I'm less and less enthusiastic about Stadia the more I hear about it, but I'm also aware that the buying public ultimately might not care about these limitations a few weeks after launch. Guess we'll just watch and see how it all pans out.
dpanter 16 November 2019 at 2:00 pm UTC
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Dead on arrival might be a bit harsh but things sure aren't looking great right now for Stadia, or even in the near future. Interesting to see what happens.

Will game streaming become a thing or just another huge meh?
Can Google really compete with the gaming powerhouses like Valve, Sony and M$?
Is 2020 the Year Of The Linux Desktop???
Liam Dawe 16 November 2019 at 2:05 pm UTC
dpanterDead on arrival might be a bit harsh but things sure aren't looking great right now for Stadia, or even in the near future. Interesting to see what happens.

Will game streaming become a thing or just another huge meh?
Can Google really compete with the gaming powerhouses like Valve, Sony and M$?
Is 2020 the Year Of The Linux Desktop???
While they have a lot to do to win people over, they have a huge advantage with YouTube and Android control.
melkemind 16 November 2019 at 2:21 pm UTC
I was one of the beta testers for it. I played Assassin's Creed Odyssey in my Chrome browser on Linux. It wasn't without its problems in terms of the connection quality going up and down, but it was playable. The good thing that came out of it at the end was that I got a free copy of the game.

I think that's what Google needs to do to lure people in. If they buy the game for Stadia, they need to also get a key on Steam, GOG or something else as some type of insurance policy.
mao_dze_dun 16 November 2019 at 2:26 pm UTC
I really like the idea of game streaming, but Google are doing their absolute best to put me off. It's like, sometimes the big heads over there have a simultaneous brain f*rt that results in a slow motion train wreck everybody but Google can see unraveling. My previous boss used to call the page with their discontinued projects "the wall of shame" .
Pikolo 16 November 2019 at 2:34 pm UTC
This is google. They're one of the bigger proponents of SCRUM, and that development methodology calls for starting with a minimum viable product and working with stakeholders(gamers) to expand it. If they stick to a two year plan with it, they can definitely pull it off, but this really should have been called a preview
wvstolzing 16 November 2019 at 2:49 pm UTC
It will remain a virtual 'beta', and then they'll shut it down. It's what google does
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