It’s good, if bittersweet news for Google Stadia owners, as the tech giant has confirmed that hardware and software refunds have started rolling out.
The pledge to refund all Google Stadia owners is now underway, although Google has insisted on it in its FAQ (opens in new tab) that it expects to complete the “majority” of repayments by Stadia’s closing date of January 18, 2023. This means that there is a chance that the entire refund process will take longer than expected.
“We ask for your patience as we complete each transaction,” the FAQ reads, stressing that Google Stadia owners should not contact customer service about their refund as this will not speed up the process.
Google plans to refund all hardware and software purchases, including the Stadia controller, games and downloadable content. Both types of refunds seem to be processed on a customer-by-customer basis at the same time, so kudos to Google for trying to get refunds as efficiently as possible.
But what about that regulator?
I’ve been very positive about Google Stadia’s excellent controller before, but some owners are concerned that it will be a brick if the servers go down. Fortunately, that’s not entirely true. The controller will still work over a wired USB-C connection. But what are your options when it comes to wireless?
It doesn’t look good in that regard. The Stadia Controller’s wireless connectivity will be disabled when the servers are shut down next year. And Google still hasn’t confirmed whether it will enable Bluetooth connectivity for the pad.
This seems like a good idea, as the controller is Bluetooth compatible. It probably just needs a firmware update to enable Bluetooth for the pad. And while more tech-savvy fans might be able to come up with a fix, it doesn’t look like an official fix from Google.
But even with Bluetooth enabled, it won’t completely soften the blow from Stadia’s demise. It looks like several Stadia-exclusive games like Gylt and Pixeljunk Raiders will be permanently removed unless the developers of those games plan ports to other platforms.
I’m sure many developers will plan this. After all, it would be a huge shame to put years of effort into a game only to have it completely disappear.