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Google's Stadia wireless controller will require physical cable for PCs and mobile devices at launch

Note the disclaimer at the bottom. Image via Google.
Note the disclaimer at the bottom. Image via Google.
At launch, Google's Stadia Controller will not be usable with a PC or compatible mobile device without the use of a USB connection. While the controller will work wirelessly when playing through a Chromecast Ultra, PCs and mobile devices will require a USB HID connection for the Stadia Controller to work properly. This is odd, as the Stadia Controller connects directly to Google's servers over WiFi and sends inputs to the cloud rather than a local device.

Google’s Stadia game streaming service is set to launch on November 19th, but gamers who bought the Founder’s Edition bundle may need to purchase an extra cable for the included wireless controller. A video released by Google earlier this week included a disclaimer that confirms the Stadia wireless controller will not work wirelessly with PCs or compatible smartphones at launch.

The disclaimer states that “at launch, wireless play with the Stadia Controller is only available on TV using a Chromecast Ultra,” which led some to believe the controller wouldn’t be compatible with any other device. Google published a post on r/Stadia to clarify the disclaimer. According to the tech giant, the controller will be compatible with PCs and supported mobile devices, but only as a “standard USB HID controller” when plugged in via a USB cable.

That means the seamless “cross-screen” gameplay will have a major hurdle. Rather than simply moving from playing on a TV (via a Chromecast Ultra) to a PC or their phone, players will have to take the additional step of plugging in a USB cable. Sure, it’s not a huge deal to plug a cable in, but it interrupts the advertised smooth flow from screen to screen.

As 9to5Google (rightly) points out, it’s curious that the controller would require a physical connection of any kind; the Stadia Controller connects to Google’s servers through its own WiFi chip and theoretically sends inputs to those cloud servers. Google will likely update the service to better support full wireless capability, but as it stands, some assembly may be required.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 10 > Google's Stadia wireless controller will require physical cable for PCs and mobile devices at launch
Sam Medley, 2019-10-17 (Update: 2019-10-17)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.