Google Stadia is scheduled to launch this week. The service is dying on January 18th, and while it will result in tons of rejected developers and hours of lost game progress, Stadia’s shutdown is going about as smooth as it gets. After refunding every game purchase made on the service, Google is now responding to calls to open up the service’s controller so it can function as a shared Bluetooth device after Stadia’s demise. In a post on the official Stadia forums, the community manager wrote on Friday: “Next week we’ll release a self-service tool to enable Bluetooth connections on your Stadia controller. We’ll share details on how to enable this next week. character”.
Giving the controller a second life is one of the last things people were asking for from Stadia’s shutdown. As a Stadia product, the controller took the unique approach of connecting directly to the internet via Wi-Fi, rather than the usual route of connecting to the device you’re playing on and then to the internet. This is believed to be a way to shave a few milliseconds off the lag inherent in game streaming. Nothing else in the world uses a Wi-Fi video game controller, so once Stadia’s servers shut down, the controller was about to become e-waste. It was technically usable as a general controller if you connected it to a computer via USB, but no one wants a wired controller anymore.
Google’s product listing was always upfront about the controller having a Bluetooth chip, though it did state that “Bluetooth Classic functionality is currently not enabled.” All the pieces are in place to save the controller from the junk heap, and now Google is promising a firmware update to do just that.
In our Stadia review, Ars senior editor Kyle Orland called the controller “one of the highlights of the Stadia launch kit,” saying it “boasts a solid, balanced weight, comfortable, clicky face buttons and analog sticks, and quality ergonomics. design on the d-pad and shoulder triggers, and strong, distinctly rumbling motors.” Stadia sales have been far below expectations, and these controllers have been sitting in warehouses for years; All Stadia controllers display a manufacturing date on the back, and all known models were manufactured in 2019 during initial production. The controllers were originally pulled from stores after the shutdown announcement, but now that they’re getting a second lease on life, we’ll be looking for a fire sale.
Google announced not only that the controller will be getting an update, but also… a new game. Yes, on Friday, with about four days to go, Stadia got a new game. It is called Worm game, and it was used as a test platform for the development of Stadia. You can play it right now for free. Here’s how Google describes the game:
Play the game that came to Stadia before Stadia came to the world. Worm game It’s a humble title that we’ve used to test many of Stadia’s features from well in advance of our public launch in 2019, all the way to 2022. It won’t win Game of the Year, but the Stadia team spent a lot of time playing it, and we thought so. we would share it with you. Thanks for playing and everything.
Worm game is just a clone of the classic game Snake. It’s a top-down view of a snake that can move in four directions, you grow every time you eat an apple, and the goal is not to hit anything. Worm game actually a great reminder of why Stadia was such a bad service. I ran the game and it immediately told me that my 600mb/s connection was “unstable”. The game was also blurry the whole time, like a low-res YouTube video. The lag inherent in the game stream makes for a quick response game Snake It feels terrible and you spend a lot of time trying to figure out how soon to press the button to make a tight turn. This simple 2D game is probably only a few MB and any device can install it in a minute or run it directly in the browser with no installation at all. Instead, streaming it over the Internet will consume gigabytes of data. Just compare to Stadia Worm game The built-in version of Google Search, and the “native” search version is much nicer.
As for some other Stadia odds and ends; if you have any data on the Service, some games allow you to transfer your game data to other platforms. 9to5Google has a great overview of which games support data export. Phil Harrison, the former Microsoft and Sony executive who joined Google as “Vice President of Stadia,” still technically works at Google. If Google doesn’t have any other gaming projects it can pursue, you have to wonder what its future is at the company. Maybe we’ll see an announcement that Wednesday.