Stadia controllers aren't going to be a requirement for anyone interested in playing games through Google's upcoming game streaming service, but Google insists that they will provide users with the best experience, and you can now pick them up all by their lonesome at the Google Store without the Founder's Edition Bundle.
This is great news for anyone that is looking at Stadia as a possible subscription, but users should be aware that you will still need to have the Founder's Edition Bundle if you want to play games on Stadia from day one of the launch which comes up in November.
If you still need the Founder's Edition then why purchase the controller by itself? Simple. Now subscribers will have a way to buy additional controllers if they want more than one. This is perfect if you have more than one person in the home who will want to play and will make it possible to play couch co-op games.
The Stadia Founder's Edition Bundle also comes with a buddy pass which allows one of your friends to have Stadia Pro for free for a three-month period, but the Founder's Edition only comes with one single controller. This means your buddy will need to have a controller to play with you and this is where a la carte controller purchases come in.
At $69 for the controller price it certainly won't be cheap, but that's about the standard price for a DualShock 4 controller for the PS4 when you can't find them on sale as those usually run $60. If you're planning on buying a controller all three colors are available which includes the Just Black, Clearly White, and Wasabi (green).
Controllers are still pre-order only just like the Founder's Edition Bundle so this means they won't be shipping out until November, and remember you can only get the Limited Edition Night Blue color if you purchase the bundle.
Though Google states that you can't access Stadia with just the controller right now that will eventually change. Google is going to open up Stadia access to people for free with the Stadia Base service sometime in 2020, and you'll even be able to play Stadia with the Pro service by just buying the controller sometime after the service launches. How long customers will have to wait before Google no longer requires you to buy the Founder's Edition is still unclear.
Stadia will work with other peripherals from the beginning so even if you are a Stadia Founder you won't need to use the controller to play unless you're playing on your TV with the Chromecast Ultra. If you're playing on a PC then you can use can use a mouse and keyboard or other types of controller that will connect to your PC, however Google doesn't mention specifically which ones will work.
It's worth remembering that the Stadia controller also has features designed specifically for Stadia, like the Stadia share button, the built-in Google Assistant access and the ability to connect directly to the Stadia data centers for the smoothest gameplay according to Google.