Google Stadia might soon support motion controls on phones
Google has been expanding its Stadia game streaming service over the past year, with support for more smart TVs and more games included in the Stadia Pro subscription than ever. The news isn’t all good, though — the company is reportedly deprioritizing Stadia in favor of selling its technology to other companies. Google is now experimenting with some new features, according to a new teardown of the latest Android app.
9to5Google dug through the latest Stadia application for Android, and discovered references to a new control method called “Device Motion.” In addition to the existing control options, such as plugging in a controller or using on-screen buttons, the Stadia app will apparently allow your phone’s motion sensors to be used for gameplay.
However, this isn’t your usual motion controls setup — references like “DeviceMotionConfig _ SensorToGamepadFieldConfig” seem to imply the app will translate motion into virtual gamepad presses. This might allow games to be played with motion controls without game developers adding direct support for motion controls. For example, existing racing games on Stadia might be playable with Mario Kart Wii-like motion controls.
9to5Google also found a file called “game_specific_devicemotion_configs.dart” in the application, seemingly indicating games could handle motion support on their own if the developers are interested. There’s also evidence of an updated touch gamepad in development, with tweaked font sizes and a few other minor visual changes, but the overall functionality seemingly won’t change much.
Google has been focusing on new control methods for Stadia over the past year. The company released ‘Phone Link’ in September of last year, which not only allowed phones to be used as touch controller for Stadia on another device, but also any controller connected to said phone. That’s especially useful for Stadia on smart TVs or other devices without USB or Bluetooth support.