Google Stadia is finally getting an upgrade…sort of. Google’s cloud gaming service is coming to a whole new slew of phones and for once they’re not Google-made ones.
Google Stadia has had some issues. There’s been connectivity problems and communication problems aplenty. Yet when Stadia works, it really does feel like a magical future for gaming—provided you’re OK using Google products. Currently one of the more frustrating issues with Stadia is how few devices it works with.
There’s the Windows 10 or macOS Chrome browsers—which are admittedly very handy—the Chromecast Ultra, and a small assortment of Google Pixel phones. By comparison, Nvidia’s GeForce Now works on nearly any Android device, and Microsoft Project xCloud, which is still in beta, works on any Android device running at least Android 6.0 with Bluetooth 4.0.
Stadia, which is built by the same company that maintains Android, seems kind of terrible in its support by comparison. However, starting this week Stadia will be available on 17 additional phones.
- Samsung S8
- Samsung S8+
- Samsung S8 Active
- Samsung Note 8
- Samsung S9
- Samsung S9+
- Samsung Note 9
- Samsung S10
- Samsung S10+
- Samsung Note 10
- Samsung S20
- Samsung S20+
- Samsung S20 Ultra
- Asus ROG Phone
- Asus ROG Phone II
- Razer Phone
- Razer Phone II
That’s a lot of new devices to play on.
Notably absent are devices from Huawei and Apple. Huawei’s exclusion makes sense given the U.S. ban on tech companies working with Huawei. Apple makes a little less sense. Andrey Doronichev, Stadia’s director of product management, assured me that iOS support is definitely part of the plan.
“We are excited about it,” he told me over video chat. “Just not yet ready to talk about it.”
iOS support is pointedly absent from nearly all cloud streaming services. When I asked Nvidia about the issue, its rep demured and suggested I ask Apple, while Google has repeatedly told me it’s happening but has refused to discuss timelines. Microsoft, meanwhile, quietly started an iOS beta for Project xCloud last week.
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