Google Stadia AMA reveals Claw controller for Pixel phones, Chromecast Ultra update requirement, and more

Google Stadia AMA reveals Claw controller for Pixel phones, Chromecast Ultra update requirement, and more

With Google’s Stadia launch just a week away, the team decided to host an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit to answer all the questions the community might have, and of course, there were a lot. During the AMA, we learned plenty of new information about what to expect when the cloud gaming service launches. Here’s a summary:

  • Google will be releasing a grip for the Stadia controller and Pixel called the “Claw.” It will be made by Google’s partner PowerSupport and will be available soon on the Google Store.

    • Google teased the Chromecast UI and what it will look like when casting Stadia to your TV.
  • You’ll be able to start playing a game on Stadia through Google Assistant on a Google Nest device. You’ll also be able to cast through the iOS or Android app.
  • A phone is required to set up Stadia and to buy games at launch.
  • Google Assistant will be available through the Stadia controller starting 1 week after launch. At first, it will only be able to launch games, but Google wants to extend it with more functionality later on. They will slowly expand the Assistant integration with weekly updates.
  • Shipments for Stadia Founders will start leaving the warehouse on November 18th and are expected to arrive by the 19th for the first people that ordered. You’ll get your Stadia invite code as soon as it ships. If your Stadia Founders pack ships before the 19th, you’ll get the invite code on the 19th at 9 AM PST. You can play using a supported Pixel phone or PC with Google Chrome as soon as you get your invite code.
  • Stadia Buddy passes for Google Stadia Pro will be sent out 2 weeks after you receive your bundle.
  • You’ll be able to use Google Play gift cards or Credit to buy games for Stadia.
  • New features will be rolling out to Stadia on a weekly basis as the team develops and tests features.
  • You can choose the streaming quality you want depending on the Internet stability or data caps. “Balanced” will limit your resolution to 1080p while “best visual quality” will be 4K. “Limited data usage” will be 720p.
  • Current Chromecast Ultra devices will require a firmware update that will roll out soon after Google Stadia is delivered. Chromecast Ultra devices included in the Stadia Founders bundle will have the up-to-date firmware pre-installed.
  • Google Stadia will be forced to a 16:9 aspect ratio and will pillar box or letterbox to fit into 1080p or 4k aspect ratios.
  • PCs will not support 4K, 5.1 surround sound, or HDR at launch. Support will be available sometime in 2020.
  • Founders will be able to change Stadia gamer tags through Stadia support.
  • Stadia gamer tags can be between 3 and 15 characters. This includes only numbers and letters in the name.
  • There will be achievements support and Stadia will be tracking them at launch, but there is no UI to show your achievements at launch. All achievements will be awarded once the UI is added.
  • Family Link will be supported at launch so parents can control their children’s games and screen time. It will be available on both the Stadia parental dashboard and Family Link app on the phone.
  • Family Sharing will not be available at launch, so Google recommends you buy multiple copies of games for multiple people in your household. Google is planning on adding this for 2020.

That’s a lot of new information about Google Stadia considering that it’s coming in just under a week. After reading through the AMA, I definitely feel it’s worth waiting a few weeks or months before jumping on board the service. If you do take the plunge, be aware that not every feature that was initially announced will be available at launch. Many features will be coming through updates in the next few weeks, months, or even years.

Source: Google Stadia team on Reddit

About author

Max Weinbach
Max Weinbach

Former Contributor to the XDA-Developers Portal.