Google Stadia's absence of certain features that we were expecting upon release has been attributed to the gradual roll-out approach that the tech giant has previously taken with its other services, like YouTube, and Google Search.
It was during a reddit AMA (opens in new tab) with Google that news of the staggered release of promised features surfaced, although you can take some solace in the fact that they'll begin going live “as soon as one week after launch.” Not only that, but Google also broke it to fans that Stadia will not support a Chromecast Ultra device unless it's one that ships with the Stadia bundle. Existing Chromecast Ultra devices will receive an over the air update post launch, so they'll be compatible eventually.
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When it comes to the multitude of Stadia features we've been looking forward to, Google has confirmed that multiplayer Stream Connect - or local co-op, essentially - won't be present until after launch when the first game capable of supporting it releases. The good news it that it'll be before 2020. Games that support State Share and Crowd Play - the ability to share cloud saves, and a nifty feature that lets viewers of a stream hop in and play with streamers - won't be out until next year, so they're off the table too.
The achievement system for games will technically be in place at release, but you won't actually be notified about them until “shortly after launch.” 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.
Perhaps most disappointingly, the Buddy Pass - which was a perk of the Founders Edition that gives you a free three-month Stadia subscription to share with a friend - will ship two whole weeks after you get your bundle.
The Stadia drops next week, on November 19, and while these features were never guaranteed for launch, the omissions make for a pretty lacklustre initial service that'll set you back £8.99 a month, but if you're willing to be an early adopter and ride hold fast through the launch window, in a few months you'll be getting a fully fledged version of the service.
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