Last week we found out that Google Stadia’s controller will only be wireless if you have a Chromecast Ultra connected to your TV. Now Google has officially announced that it is “working to add wireless options for [other platforms] soon after launch.”

When it was first announced, Google Stadia promised that you would be able to pick up a simple wireless controller and stream very high end games on your TV, desktop, laptop, tablet or phone. No need for an Xbox One, PS4 or high end gaming PC

But last week we learned that the wireless simplicity promise was only applicable to Google’s Chromecast Ultra. It seems most likely that using the wireless controller with other platforms introduces lag that the service can’t afford to have at this stage. Using the Chromecast Ultra, however, may allow Google to finetune the wireless connection to avoid that lag.

Fortunately, wireless support for PCs, tablets, phones and other TV streaming gadgets will happen soon after launch. At least according to this Reddit post

in which Google Stadia’s communituy manager Grace Yang clarified what is going to happen:

Hey there Stadia Community, There has been some confusion swirling around Reddit and other social media platforms about how exactly the Stadia Controller is going to connect to various screens. We want you to know that the Stadia team is and will continue to work diligently to regularly add new features to Stadia, and as you would expect, the platform will continually evolve over time. At launch, the Stadia controller will connect wirelessly to the data center, so you can play your favorite games using Chromecast Ultra on your TV. To play on your PC, laptop, tablet or phone at launch, the Stadia controller will need to be wired via USB connection. We are working to add wireless options for those endpoints soon after launch. We will be regularly communicating with gamers as we continue to add additional features and benefits. Hope this clears things up!

Grace Yang — Stadia Community Manager

It clears things up — although there are actually no dates to “soon after launch”. The good thing for early adopters who bought the Founder’s Edition (for $130) will get the Chromecast Ultra in the package alongside the controller. 

For those of us who didn’t get it, using a cable won’t be much of an inconvenience if Google actually delivers on its promise of lagless, high resolution, amazing playability and all the other things that will have to happen for its game streaming platform for succeed.

  • Google Stadia: everything you need to know

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