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Google says you might have to wait to play Stadia, even if you preorder

Google says you might have to wait to play Stadia, even if you preorder


Founder’s Editions and Premiere Editions will be sent on a first-come, first-served basis

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When Google announced that its Stadia cloud gaming service would launch November 19th, we thought that meant those who shelled out $130 for a Founder’s Edition would get to play right away — and when the company announced it was replacing the sold-out Founder’s Edition with a new Premiere Edition earlier today, the question was: would Premiere Edition buyers get to play on November 19th too?

Today, Google tells The Verge that neither set of buyers will necessarily be able to play at 9AM PT on November 19th, the moment that Stadia launches, because Google’s shipping out kits in the order they were received, and the new Premiere Edition apparently won’t have shipped by that date.

Google pointed us at its blog post from last week and sure enough, it technically says that Founder’s Editions will only “start arriving” on November 19th — and that you might only get to play starting at 9AM PT that day if “you were one of the first gamers who pre-ordered.”

This means that if you ordered a $130 Founder’s Edition more recently (which gets you the Founder’s Edition-only dark blue controller pictured above, a coveted “Founder’s badge” on your account, the ability to gift a three-month pass to a friend, and a chance to secure a unique Stadia username), you might not get it on day one.

You might not have too long to wait, though — Google tells us it’s expecting both the Founder’s Editions and Premiere Editions to be delivered within the first two weeks of launch. And that looks likely, based on the messages we see when we try to order a Premiere Edition right now. Google’s online store shows that if you order a Premiere Edition today, it should ship sometime in November even if you don’t pay for expedited shipping.

Stadia will launch more broadly in 2020 for Chrome web browsers, laptops, tablets and Pixel phones. You won’t need to buy either the Founder’s Edition or Premiere Edition kit if you’re willing to wait.