Google Stadia Celebrates Shutdown With Driver Update, New Game

Google Stadia Celebrates Shutdown With Driver Update, New Game
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Man removing the Stadia logo from a wall with a high pressure water jet
Expand / As if it never happened.

Aurich Lawson/Getty Images

Google Stadia is scheduled to go live this week. The service dies on January 18, and while there will be tons of stimulated developers and hours of game progress lost in its wake, the Stadia shutdown is being done in the best possible way. After refund Every game purchase made on the service, Google now responds to calls to to open the service controller so that it can function as a generic Bluetooth device after Stadia dies. In a post in the Official Stadia Forumsa community manager wrote on Friday: “Next week we will be releasing a self-service tool to enable Bluetooth connections on your Stadia controller. We will share details next week on how to enable this feature.”

Having the controller live a second life is one of the last things people were asking for from Stadia being shut down. As a Stadia product, the controller took the unique approach of connecting directly to the internet over Wi-Fi, rather than the usual route of connecting to whatever device you’re playing the game from and then to the internet. This was supposedly 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 would become e-waste. It was technically usable as a generic controller if you connected it to a computer via USB, but no one wants a wired controller anymore.

The Stadia controller is highly regarded, and we might see a clearance sale soon.
Expand / The Stadia controller is highly regarded, and we might see a clearance sale soon.

Google’s product listing was always upfront about the controller having a Bluetooth chip, though it noted that “there is no Bluetooth Classic functionality enabled at this time.” All the parts are there to save the controller from the garbage, and now Google is promising a firmware update to do just that.

In our stadium reviewArs Senior Games Editor Kyle Orland called the controller “one of the highlights of the Stadia launch package,” saying that it “features a solid, well-balanced weight; comfortable face buttons and analog sticks.” ;quality ergonomic design on the d-pad and shoulder triggers;and strong, distinctive motors.Stadia sales were far below expectationsand these controllers have been piling up in warehouses for years – all Stadia controllers show the date of manufacture on the back, and all known models were Made in 2019 during the initial manufacturing run. Controllers were originally pulled from stores after the closure announcement, but now that they’re getting a second lease on life, we’ll be looking for a clearance sale.

Google announced not only that the controller would receive an update, but also… a new game? Yes, on Friday, with about four days to live, Stadia got a new game. Is named game of worms, and was used as a test platform to develop Stadia. You can play it right now free! This is how Google describes the game:

Play the game that came to Stadia before Stadia came to the world. game of worms it’s a humble title that we use to test many of Stadia’s features, from long before our public release 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 we’d share it with you. . Thanks for playing and for everything.

game of worms It’s just a clone of the classic game. Snake. It’s a top-down view of a snake that can move in four directions, grows every time you eat an apple, and the goal is not to hit anything. game of worms it’s actually a great reminder of why Stadia was such a bad service. I tried the game and it immediately told me that my 600mb/s connection was “not stable”. The game was also blurry the whole time, like a low-res YouTube video. The lag inherent in game streaming makes a fast-reacting game like Snake it feels horrible, and you spend a lot of time trying to figure out how soon to press a button to execute a tight turn. This simple 2D game probably takes up only a few MB, and any device could install it in less than a minute or run it directly in a browser without any installation. Instead, transmitting it over the Internet will consume gigabytes of data. Just compare the Stadia ones game of worms to the embedded version in Google searchand the “native” search version is much better.

As for some other Stadia odds and ends: If you have data on the service, some games allow you to move your game data to other platforms. 9to5Google has a great rundown on which games support data export. Phil Harrison, the former Microsoft and Sony executive who joined Google as “VP of Stadia” is still technically employed in Google. Unless Google has some other gaming project it can take on, you have to wonder what your future at the company is. Maybe we’ll see an announcement about that Wednesday.

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