Google is making a new controller for its video game streaming service, and it can actually help you beat tricky levels

  • Google unveiled a new controller for its Stadia gaming service on Tuesday, which connects to Google’s data centres and pairs with whichever device the game is being played on.
  • The controller also includes a button for the Google Assistant, which makes it possible to ask for tips when playing a difficult level without having to reach for your phone or laptop.
  • The controller was announced alongside Google’s Stadia gaming service, which is powered by the company’s data centres and is designed to run across TVs, phones, laptops, and tablets.

Google on Tuesday introduced Stadia, its new video game streaming platform – and a new controller to go with it.

This controller, expected to launch alongside the service later this year, includes special features specifically designed for Google’s game service. Google did not immediately share a price for this controller.

Unlike controllers designed by Microsoft, Sony, and other third-party accessory makers, Google’s new remote isn’t designed to work with any particular device, like a console or a PC. Since Stadia is meant to stream games to TVs, phones, laptops, and other gadgets, the controller connects directly to Google’s data center via Wi-Fi. The controller then identifies which screen or device you’d like to play on and links with your game session running in the cloud.

That’s a new way of thinking about video game controllers: Generally speaking, the traditional controller, as you’d find on an Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo Switch, connects either physically or over Bluetooth directly to the gadget. The idea that the controller itself syncs up to Google’s cloud is pretty novel – though it remains to be seen how well it will work.

Google’s Stadia gamepad also has another unique characteristic not found on other controllers: it can provide tips when you get stuck. The controller includes a button for launching the Google Assistant, which can be used to quickly pull up video tutorials from YouTube without exiting the game or reaching for your phone or laptop when you’re stumped. During the keynote presentation, Google showcased how this works with “Rise of the Tomb Raider.”

Google Assistant Tomb RaiderGoogle

Simply asking “How do I beat this tomb?” will prompt Google’s digital helper to find the top result on the company’s video platform. Google also says the its virtual helper will work with special in-game features created by developers, and the controller also includes a button for directly sharing to YouTube.

The Stadia gamepad will be available in three colours: black, white, and a mint green shade.

The controller was announced alongside Google’s Stadia game platform, which leverages Google’s cloud infrastructure to run high-fidelity games remotely on any device compatible with the Chrome web browser. The service is designed to make it easy for players to go from watching games being played in YouTube to jumping right into the game.

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