Several Big Google Stadia Features Won't Go Live Until 2020

Several Big Google Stadia Features Won't Go Live Until 2020

Family sharing, Android compatibility, and more are missing the launch window.

The Google Stadia's launch is nearing closer every day, but there are still some lingering questions about what day-one adopters will be getting with Google's cloud-streaming gaming service. Two team members hosted an AMA on the Stadia subreddit to answer them, and it seems like early owners will be waiting on a few features.

Andrey Doronichev, director of product for Stadia, and product manager Beri Lee answered questions posed by potential Stadia consumers in the service's dedicated subreddit for a couple of hours. Predictably, most of the questions were about what would be included at launch, and what would be coming later. As it turns out, a number of features will have to wait.

One major missing feature is Android compatibility, as well as iOS. As Doronichev notes, Stadia is only coming to Pixel devices, as well as Chromecast Ultra and Chrome, but not Android.

"Hope to learn a bunch, make it great and start expanding to more devices next year," Doronichev says of expanded Stadia support. Other features, like wireless support for the Stadia controller, are only compatible with Chromecast at launch, meaning you'll need to plug the Stadia controller in if you want to use it for Chrome on desktop or on your phone.

Doronichev says several features will be rolling out in the weeks following its launch on November 19. Specifically, functions like State Share and Crowd Play are expected for next year, and Family Sharing won't be out until early next year either, meaning you'll need to buy multiple copies of games rather than share them across accounts in a family.

Google Stadia's launch is just over a week out, but things are already looking a little shaky. Its launch lineup left little to be desired, and while some developers are touting the power of the cloud, it doesn't seem like everyone's feeling as sure about the platform.

In an interview with GI.Biz, Kine creator Gwen Frey acknowledged broader concern among devs with the platform.

"The biggest concern with Stadia is that it might not exist," Frey said, citing Google's past canceled projects. But she also goes on to acknowledge Stadia's potential.

"This is tech. The default state is failure," Frey told GI.Biz. "But this is cool, and it could really change things."

We'll see whether failure becomes the state of Stadia as first adopters start playing on November 19. Keep an eye on USgamer for our impressions of Google's service closer to when it goes live.

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Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

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