Google Stadia is one of the hottest new cloud gaming services on the market. Google has already added popular games from series like Destiny and Assassin’s Creed with more titles being added each month. The best part of cloud gaming is that, with a simple server-side and app update, the user experience can be drastically enhanced. With today’s updates, Google has announced loads of anticipated features!
Mobile Touch Controls
In today’s “This Week on Stadia” blog post, Google announced a few new features for Stadia. The first and one of the more interesting ones are mobile touch controls. Google is adding a virtual controller overlay to the Stadia mobile app so you no longer need to use the Stadia controller connected with USB, third-party controller connected through USB or Bluetooth, or a hack like TouchStadia or Cloverplay. This on-screen controller makes the Android gaming experience more mobile rather than an extension of a console or PC.
Official Support for more OnePlus phones
With this update, Google has also added a few new OnePlus phones to the officially supported device list. These include the OnePlus 5/5T, OnePlus 6/6T, OnePlus 7, 7 Pro 5G, 7 Pro, 7T, 7T Pro, and 7T Pro 5G. These are added to the list of others including Samsung’s flagships from the Galaxy S8 to the Galaxy S20, the ASUS ROG Phone 1 and II, Google Pixel 2 through 4, and the Razer Phone 1 and 2.
…and experimental support for any Android device!
If your phone isn’t one of the 38 fully supported Android devices, then don’t worry. Google Stadia is adding a new “Experiments” section in settings that will allow you to enable support on any Android device that you can install the app on. Those with large phones like the Samsung Galaxy Fold or Huawei Mate 20 X will now be able to use Stadia on their phones. It is worth noting that Stadia still requires Wi-Fi to play. Mobile data through 5G NR or LTE are, unfortunately, still not supported yet.
If you’re daring, you can even install Google Stadia on an Android TV device! As @AndroidTV_rumor points out on Twitter, Stadia works after you sideload the app. The app runs in portrait mode, so you’ll need to plug a controller in and use a mouse or remote app to accept the prompts.
Google Stadia on Android TV. Credits: @AndroidTV_rumor
Per-Device Resolution Settings
Along with these changes on mobile, Google is also adding support for a per-device resolution setting. That means you can have a different resolution set on your Chromecast Ultra, PC with Google Chrome, and phone. Before this, whatever resolution setting you had set was synced across all devices. If you only had a 1080p TV but a 4K monitor, you would have needed to switch between 1080p and 4K every time you play the game on your TV and PC. Luckily, this is no longer an issue.
To learn more about this feature, check out the instructions here.
As a nice bonus, Google is also giving all Stadia Pro subscribers, past and current, a $10 discount on their next game purchase, no matter the game. And anyone who signs up for Stadia will now receive one free month of Pro! This month’s free games include 5 titles: SUPERHOT, Get Packed, Little Nightmares, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid, and Panzer Dragoon: Remake, so be sure to claim them!
These are all really great improvements and what Google Stadia needs to keep it in the minds of its subscribers and consumers in general. I should note that none of the improvements mentioned here has rolled out to my devices, but these features should be rolling out soon.
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