Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
One of the novel ways you might want to play Stadia, Google’s cloud gaming service, is by connecting your Stadia Controller to a Pixel phone — but Google hasn’t had the accessories ready to make that an easy reality. Shortly before Stadia’s launch, the company mentioned that it was working on a small plastic attachment it called “the claw” that you could clip onto your controller to mount a phone and play your games. Now, a month after Stadia’s launch, the claw is listed for $14.99 on Power Support’s website. Even though the listing says the claw will be “available soon,” you can add it to your cart and buy it right now (via 9to5Google).
The Power Support Claw, as it’s officially called, is custom-designed to grip the Stadia Controller, has a space between the front prongs to let you plug headphones into the 3.5mm audio jack, and a small hole in the back for a USB-C cable. And you’ll need that USB-C port available, at least for now, since you can’t connect your Stadia Controller to your Pixel over Bluetooth yet — you have to plug Stadia Controller into your phone with a USB-C to USB-C cable to play games.
Image: Power Support
The claw is also listed on the Google Store, but for some reason, you can’t actually buy it there yet. Interestingly, in a footnote on this listing, Google says that the claw “may mark the Stadia Controller during installation and removal.” We can confirm from testing that what Google’s referring to is actually scratches, because the claw has an extremely snug fit and there’s no easy way to take it off without scraping plastic on plastic. I guess it’s reassuring to know the claw has a strong grip, but I’d be disappointed to see my controller get scratched up from an official accessory.
There’s nothing stopping you from using other controllers or mounts to play Stadia, though. During his Stadia review, my colleague Sean Hollister played some games with his phone mounted to a PS4 controller with a Nyko Smart Clip, and by slotting it into a larger goose neck mount.
Google had additional news for Stadia players today, too. Previously, if you wanted to play Stadia on a TV, you could only play via the Chromecast Ultra that came with your Stadia purchase. So, for example, if you were playing Stadia using a friend’s buddy pass, you could only play on a Chrome browser or your phone. Now you should be able to play Stadia on any Chromecast Ultra, according to Google:
If you have access to Stadia already, we have some good news to share. We have rolled out an update to existing Chromecast Ultras that allow them to work with Stadia. Grab your Stadia Controller, sync it to any Chromecast Ultra & start playing on an additional TV in your house.— Stadia (@GoogleStadia) December 18, 2019
Small updates like these are nice, but Google still has a lot of work to do to fulfill all of the promises it made. Perhaps, as my colleague Dieter Bohn argues, it should have stayed in beta until everything was ready.