Stadia's Controller Will Only Be Wireless with Chromecast Ultra at Launch

Stadia's Controller Will Only Be Wireless with Chromecast Ultra at Launch

Stadia's Founder's Edition is only rolling out on a limited number of platforms to start, and only one can use a Stadia controller wirelessly.

Now that there's only about a month to go before the launch of the Stadia Founder's Edition, it's time for early adopters to start learning how they'll actually be using Google's game streaming service. A disclaimer spotted in a new promotional video confirms that folks looking forward to using Stadia's wireless controller with a computer or phone will have to wait a while-at launch, wireless play will only be compatible with Chromecast Ultra.

As reported by 9to5Google, the disclaimer about the Stadia controller's limited wireless functionality appears in Google's recently released "Everything You Need To Know Before Launch" explainer video. A Google community manager then further clarified the launch limitations on the r/Stadia subreddit yesterday, confirming that players using a Chromecast Ultra will need to play with a Stadia controller, and that all other Stadia-compatible devices will need a wired connection when using a Stadia controller.

Since you can't purchase a Stadia Controller separate from a Chromecast Ultra at launch, every early adopter will have the opportunity to play on a TV and test out the controller's wireless functionality.

Still, the major selling point for the controller is that it connects directly to Google's data centers to make for a more responsive experience and easy transitions between play on different devices. Launching Stadia without those capabilities for an already limited selection of computers, tablets, and smartphones, raises the question of how close Google really is to achieving that seamless experience.

The biggest question hanging over Stadia's launch is still whether or not Google's service is ready to deliver games at up to 60 frames a second 4K resolution without noticeable lag while also not demolishing consumers' data caps.

Stadia will launch on November 19. Games like Borderlands 3, Mortal Kombat 11, and Destiny 2 are set to be available on the service at launch, and Google's $9.99 USD/month Stadia Pro service will roll out free games on a regular basis. For more on Stadia, check out USG's guide to Google's ambitious game streaming service.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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