Google’s Stadia launches on 19 November in a large number of countries but we’ve just found out that one of its key features will not be ready in time.
The wireless Stadia Controller won’t be that, er, wireless at launch.
It will only work wirelessly with Chromecast Ultra and needs to be attached to all other compatible devices, including the Pixel 4 and other phones, using a USB-C cable.
A Stadia video guide includes the following under a picture of the controller: “At launch, wireless play with the Stadia Controller is only available on TV using a Chromecast Ultra.”
Further confirmation came from a Google Community manager who answered a few queries on Reddit: “Wireless gameplay… is limited to Chromecast Ultra. When plugged in via USB cable, the Stadia Controller acts as a standard USB HID controller and may work on other platforms depending on the game and setup.”
GraceFromGoogle also revealed that you will need the Stadia Controller to play Stadia games on the Chromecast. You cannot use an alternative controller.
There is no indication when full wireless support will arrive.
Sadly, that was one of the headline features of the Stadia system for us. The initial concept was that the Stadia Controller would connect directly to the internet via your Wi-Fi router, not the device running the games.
It shouldn’t affect latency in that case, as the controller is connected by cable to the device, but does make things a bit more clumsy.
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