Today, Google has removed its Stage Cloud game platform and shows a bold but largely untested vision of the future of games that involve real-time deploying and playing software over the Internet. We still don't know much about how Stadia will work, how much it can cost, whether it will act as a Netflix subscription service for consumers or use a different business model, or when it will be later on. But we got the hands of the custom control Google built, the only physical part of the stage package.
Surprisingly, the stage controller feels good and looks good. Granted, we did not try a live Stadia demo, but we had to go hand in hand with the same white and orange model that was used on the stage during the disclosure. It has a booklet and a texture similar to the latest Xbox One players ̵
According to Phil Harrison, formerly Sony and Xbox Exec and current vice president of Google, the controller connects directly to Google's data centers – instead of any specific screens you might use – so you don't have to sync it to, say, your laptop when you stop playing on the TV. In an interview with The Verge Harrison says you pair it with the Studia network using a companion mobile app , which will connect the controller first to your local Wi-Fi network and from there to the Google Stages service.
We do not know how much the regulator will cost, or if it will come with a Stadia plan. (Assuming there will be a subscription plan of some kind, which is still not clear.) But it does not seem like Google ran on this regulator, which is a good sign for those who were worried that it would be cheaper, lower-quality gamepad compared to devices delivering with Microsoft and Sony consoles.
And if you don't want to use this control unit you don't need: According to Harrison, the service will also support other gamepads. It sounds like the integration of Google Assistant may be the only thing you will miss.