You can buy a Google Stadia controller now, but it won’t grant you access to play

Google Stadia controller individual purchase available now

After all the pricing and game reveals ahead of E3 2019, we’re finally on a clear path toward the Stadia launch. If you are interested in trying out Google’s cloud gaming service, you’re likely trying to figure out the best way to access the new platform.

The only current option is through the Founder’s Bundle that’s available for pre-order in the Google Store. And if you’re a pal benefiting from the included Buddy Pass, you’ll be happy to hear that the Google Stadia controller is now available for individual purchase.

The $70 Stadia controller doesn’t look like an attempt to reinvent the wheel and closely resembles the gamepads PlayStation and Xbox players know very well. The controller, which comes in white, black or wasabi, will connect to Wi-Fi and be able to use a cross-screen function to switch quickly between TVs with attached Chromecasts, PCs, and mobile devices.

Users will be able to connect to Google Assistant with a button press and voice input using the integrated microphone, though the scope of this function as it relates specifically to Stadia isn’t known just yet. There’s a 3.5mm headset jack for the controller, and it also has a capture button so you can save images or video.

As we reported when the pricing was revealed, you can’t play Stadia right away by just purchasing a controller alone. Google suggests purchasing an individual Stadia controller if you want to have a spare handy or if you’ll have access to the service via a Buddy Pass. The Buddy Pass allows owners of the Founder’s Bundle to give a friend access to three months of Stadia Pro.

If you don’t have any friends willing to hand over their Buddy Pass and you want access to Stadia this year, you’ll have to fork over the money for the Founder’s Edition bundle. Along with the 3-month Buddy Pass, it includes a controller, three months of Stadia Pro, a founder’s badge, and a unique Stadia name. Stadia Pro will include access to games like Destiny 2, The Division 2, and Ghost Recon Breakpoint. Once it expires, you can use Stadia Base and purchase games individually if you don’t want to resubscribe.

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