Why it matters: Google's Stadia game streaming promises the convenience and flexibility of playing games anywhere through the power of the cloud. However, as the service nears its launch date, some of that freedom might be compromised during the initial phase, where users who are looking to play wirelessly with the Stadia Controller can only do so on a TV with Chromecast Ultra, while gaming through other compatible devices with the official controller would require a wired connection.
Google Stadia is coming on November 19 and if you're one of the early adopters of the game streaming service, you might be inconvenienced to know that wireless gameplay with the Stadia Controller is only available through a Chromecast Ultra + TV setup at launch, meaning that all other devices that can benefit from the game streaming service will need to have the Stadia Controller plugged-in.
"As for wireless gameplay, this 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," responded a Google community manager to a user on Reddit.
The confusion was apparently caused by small print in the video above that reads "At launch, wireless play with Stadia Controller is only available on TV using a Chromecast Ultra." While many understood that Google's controller and the streaming dongle were required to play on a TV, the broader limitation of having to plug in the Stadia Controller with other devices like smartphones, tablets, desktop PCs or laptops only reared its head with the disclaimer.
Although it may not be a big deal for those who prefer gaming on Stadia with a mouse and keyboard or with third-party controllers, the official accessory is said to offer the lowest latency for this service, according to Google, as it directly connects to Stadia instances on the cloud, in addition to having Stadia-specific shortcuts on the hardware itself.
Google also tells The Verge that it's focused on getting Stadia right for TVs first to make the big screen experience is as good as possible, and it hasn't given a timeline as to when the Stadia Controller's wireless capability will work on other compatible devices.