I suggest you stay away–far, far away–from Google Stadia. At least for now.
You may have heard about Google Stadia. It’s the new online streaming-only gaming service by Google. Unfortunately, Google launched the device before it was really ready. There have been numerous reports and complaints of missing features–things that Google announced when pitching Stadia, but are not yet available. Aside from the missing features, the Google Stadia launch has been plagued with issues–which I have suffered through firsthand.
Google sent me a media/press copy of the Founder Edition for review. Unfortunately, I never received the invitation code. You can’t join the service or use the Google Stadia without the code. I contacted Google Stadia support, but didn’t get very far. Google support insists that they need the order number in order to look into the issue, but I don’t have an order number because I didn’t order the Google Stadia in the first place. To be fair, it’s somewhat understandable that Google support analysts don’t have a process for solving my problem. The burden of locating and sharing the missing invitation code should actually fall on the media contact who sent me the Google Stadia to review.
As a gamer, I really wanted to try the Google Stadia, though, so I bought a Premier Edition for myself. I figured now I will have two of the controllers and two Chromecast Ultra’s–because I still have the hardware for the Founder Edition I can’t use–and can have one in living room for everyone to use and one in my bedroom. I received the email with the invitation code for this one, but when I tried to enter it to join the service I received an error message that the code was already activated and in use by someone else.
I once again reached out to Google Stadia support–this time as a paying customer with an order number. I provided all of the information they requested–the order number, and the serial number of the controller. For reasons I don’t understand, they were stil unable to provide any support or resolution, though–and this is very much a problem they should be able to fix.
I will probably end up having to cancel the order and give up on this service. At least for now. I would love to be able to use it. It sounds good in theory. I would also love to be able to review the Google Stadia and share my experience with you, but if I can’t even join the service there is no way for me to review it.