Google Stadia Controller review

At Google I/O this week, the search giant finally let the Stadia hardware video game controller that will some day work with its streaming video game service.

Google has created a sturdy controller fit for a mainstream console that should easily handle long gaming sessions.  The Stadia Controller is exactly what you’d get if you mashed the Xbox One gamepad with Sony’s DualShock 4.

It’s identical to the one unveiled at Google’s Cloud Gaming Service although this time there is no Konami code printed on the bottom. The Stadia controller comes in three colors: black, green, and white. The white version has a textured plastic bottom, while the other two are smooth top and bottom.

Described by a Google representative as an amalgam between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 controllers, the Stadia controller has a wide, flat top and two angled grips. While all plastic, a Google spokesperson pointed out that the device has been weighted in the grips, to make it sit better in the hand. It didn’t feel quite as solid as a Playstation 4 controller or Xbox.

The device has two triggers, two shoulder switches, two analog switches, four buttons (labeled X, Y, A, and B), and a directional button. A Stadia logo button in between the analog switches is used for pairing the controller with whatever device you’re using to stream games.

What’s unique about the Stadia controller is on the inside. Unlike other controllers that connect via Bluetooth or some other local wireless option, the Stadia controller packs a Wi-Fi radio. With it, the controller communicates directly to Google’s cloud, instead of your local device, cutting down on latency.

According to Google, we’ll get more details about the controller and the streaming service itself at a ‘summer event’ that will be held sometime in the next few months. It will be at that event, a Google representative tells us, that we’ll get final details – things like battery life, price and game selection – on both products, and finally be able to use every feature on the controller.

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