Thoughts on the Google Stadia AMA

Almost a week ago the director of product for Google Stadia, Andrey Doronichev hosted an AMA on Reddit. This has given me time to fully read the AMA and think about the new details revealed during the event.

Netflix vs Xbox Live

This is honestly something that has been annoying when mainstream media reports on Stadia. It’s often compared to Netflix, but Google itself was quick to draw the comparison to Xbox Live instead of Netflix.

Stadia Pro: Clarification on Free Games

Pro users will get one new & unique free game each month. If you cancel Stadia Pro then you will lose access to these games. If you renew your Stadia Pro subscription, you’ll gain access to the games you had previously earned. This is identical to how the Games for Gold system works for

What if Google Kills Stadia?

Google is known for killing projects and services. Andrey claimed multiple times that they’re committed to Stadia, but the fear still remains. Andrey did offer some peace of mind by stating the from day one you’ll be able to download game metadata which includes saves. It still looks like you’ll have to repurchase the games again. This isn’t too different from if you move from Xbox to PlayStation, it’s just that Google has a very bad track record and there’s a chance they may make this decision for you.

Family Sharing

Parental controls will be available on day one, but Andrey said that Family Sharing will be enabled early next year. It’s not clear how this will work but it’s possible the YouTube Premium can be used as an example. A single subscription costs $12 per month while the Premium Family subscription costs $18 per month for up to six people.

UI

We’ll get our first sample of the UI in November but it’s clear that this will still be in the early stages. Achievements are one feature that won’t be available at the initial launch. It’s becoming quite clear that the November launch will be limited in nature with many features not arriving until 2020.

Stadia Controller Details

We know the controller itself will connect directly to our WiFi connections, but will it support Bluetooth headphones? The controller itself only has headphone jack, so if you want to use Bluetooth headphones, the device you’re playing on will have to support Bluetooth . In addition, the controller and the device you’re playing on must be on the same network. You also have the option to connect the controller over USB.

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