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Stadia's wireless controller needs a cord to play on everything but TV at launch

October 17, 2019 | By Alissa McAloon

Google Stadia’s November 19 debut isn’t the game streaming service’s full rollout, and news of how some features will be limited at launch serves as a reminder of that as the Founders Edition release draws near.

Specifically, users on Reddit noticed some fine print in a recent Stadia trailer that suggests the Stadia Controller is only truly wireless on one platform, TV via Chromecast Ultra, for now.

A Google community manager confirmed as much in the thread, noting that wireless gameplay will be limited to Chromecast Ultra at launch, and that streaming games to a PC or laptop would require the controller to be connected via a USB-C cable for the time being.

Separately, a Google spokesperson told The Verge that the decision to limit the controller’s wireless functionality at launch was driven by a desire to make sure the controller, which connects via WiFi directly to a data center during play rather than to a local device, works well on TV setups before bringing the feature to other platforms.

It’s a somewhat similar approach to Stadia’s staggered mobile support. When the service goes live for Founder’s Pack purchasers in November, mobile phone and tablet support are restricted to a handful of specific devices made by Google or running Google’s ChromeOS tablet operating system. Wider support is due out in the future, likely around that vague 2020 date when Stadia’s free-to-access base version goes live.

Likewise, Google has yet to announce when true wireless support will launch for computer, phone, and tablet play.

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