In this week’s gaming news breakdown, Google will be releasing Stadia without core features, Apple announced its foray into the Mixed Reality industry, and Twitch launched an app to assist new streamers in content creation.

Concerns raised for Google Stadia launch
Google’s cloud-based gaming platform Stadia launches next week, and the company recently unveiled the lineup of games that will be available upon release. However, many have expressed concern over what Google Stadia will not have at launch. In an official thread on Reddit, Stadia representatives explained that several key features, including Stream Connect and Crowd Play (multiplayer), an achievement system, family sharing, buddy passes, and more, will not be available until sometime next year. This has caused Kotaku, The Verge, and Ars Technica to call the success of the platform into question. Forbes went as far as saying, “I have been a Stadia skeptic for a while now, but frankly, Google is making it kind of hard not to be.”

Apple to enter the Mixed Reality market
Apple will officially enter the Mixed Reality (XR) market as early as next year, reports Bloomberg. Apple’s engineering team has already begun working on XR hardware and software, and plans to have AR functionality for the iPhone and iPad by 2020, a VR headset on the market by 2021 or 2022, and AR glasses by 2023. IGN and Eurogamer wrote that the VR headset will not only be used for playing games, but also for watching videos and even holding virtual meetings. “The news comes as no surprise, as Apple CEO Tim Cook had previously expressed great interest in VR and AR,” said Hypebeast, especially after Apple’s recent acquisitions of XR-focused companies such as Facshift and Emotient.

Twitch launches broadcast software to assist new streamers
TwitchStudio, the new broadcasting software meant to assist new streamers, quietly launched for PC this week. The app offers users a quick setup process and streaming tools to make their videos look and sound professional, even without prior broadcasting experience. The app will also help streamers interact with viewers through built-in alerts, an activity feed, and integrated Twitch chat. TechCrunch, The Verge, and Rock Paper Shotgun noted that the app was created to make streaming less intimidating for those who are on the fence, therefore widening the content creator community. PCWorld was optimistic about the new software and said, “With Twitch Studio, Amazon could start bringing in new homegrown talent to replenish its ranks and extend the streaming service’s considerable reach even further.”