Stadia Pre-Orders May Not Arrive When It Launches

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 asked again: would Premiere Edition buyers get to play on November 19th too?

On Monday, Google told The Verge that neither set of buyers will necessarily be able to play at 9 AM PT on November 19th, the moment that Stadia launches. Why? 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 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 9 AM PT that day if “you were one of the first gamers who pre-ordered.” Whomp whomp.

This means that if you ordered a $130 Founder’s Edition more recently (which gets you the Founder’s Edition-only dark blue controller, 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. For early adopters, this will be infuriating.

You might not have too long to wait, though — Google says it’s expecting both the Founder’s Editions and Premiere Editions to be delivered within the first two weeks of launch.  I know, two weeks! 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. I guess that’s a plus.

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