November 25, 2019

Google Stadia offers a tantalizing glimpse of a future where you don’t need an expensive console or PC to play AAA games at 4K and 60 frames per second. Google wants everyone to get in on that experience, but at launch, only a select few phones can actually be used to stream games.

To say that Stadia has had a rocky launch is a bit of an understatement. From revelations that you aren’t really getting the claimed 4K experience to users dealing with overheating Chromecasts, it’s not pretty.

That doesn’t mean Stadia isn’t still pretty exciting. The technological hurdles that had to be overcome to create any sort of playable experience are laudable. That being said, Google has limited the devices that can actually be used to play Stadia games at launch. It’s presumably to avoid total chaos as people with wildly different hardware all try to log on to their service.

Which phones work with Stadia at launch?

If you want to play Stadia on a big-screen TV, you need a Chromecast Ultra. Not just any Chromecast Ultra, but specifically the one that comes in the Stadia Founder’s Edition. You can check out Damien Wilde’s excellent unboxing video here.

If you want to try Stadia on a phone, well, you better have a phone with a name that starts with “P” and ends with “L”. That’s right, at launch only these are Google Stadia phones:

Android and iOS devices can however download the Stadia app, to help set up and manage the TV-based experience, but that’s as far as it goes for now. Google Stadia phones are Pixel phones until Google tells us otherwise.

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