As part of today’s announcements, Google confirmed Stadia will be accessible via select smartphones, Windows and MacOS devices, and TVs. The later of which is made possible through the use of a Chromecast device.
Technically, Android TV devices come with Chromecast built-in so one might presume that those devices will also be able to take advantage of the same support, but that does not seem to be the case.
The press materials released by Google provide more technical information than we knew before such as the minimum OS requirements for Android, Windows and MacOS. However, there was no mention of Android TV.
Furthermore, Android Headlines did reach out to Google for clarification on this and although no direct denial of Android TV support was provided, the Google representative stated Stadia will work with Chromecast Ultra “with more devices to soon follow.”
Reading between the lines it looks likely Android TV owners will not gain access to Stadia at launch. It is highly suggested support for the Android TV platform will become available at some point, but how long after launch is another question entirely.
Android TV device owners can of course buy a Chromecast and then use it to play Stadia games when the service launches in November, however, that will largely be buying the hardware for the sole purpose of Stadia - which somewhat ironically goes against the ‘you don’t need to buy devices’ mantra set out by the service.
Moving beyond the Android TV support and the new Stadia service looks like an interesting proposition for gamers. Google has now confirmed the standard “Pro” subscription will cost just $9.99 per month and for that users will gain access to a selection of games for free as well as the option to game in 4K at 60fps.
One of the promotions for the launch is a new “Stadia Founder’s Edition” bundle. This one costs $129 and not only includes the service’s dedicated Stadia Controller, as well as a three-month Pro subscription, but also a Chromecast Ultra.
For those Android TV device owners who are looking to get in on the Stadia action from day one, this is likely to be the best solution.
For example, the controller itself costs $69 and with the the three-month subscription costing $29.97 (when subscribed to on a month-to-month basis for three months), that brings the cost of the Chromecast Ultra down to about $30.
Arguably, that cost might be lower if you place any additional value on the other perks of the Stadia Founder’s Edition bundle, such as the option to choose one of the first Stadia names, a “Founder’s badge,” and a second three-month Pro subscription you can give to someone else.
Alternatively, Android TV device owners can simply use a alternative device in the meantime while waiting for Google to flick the switch on Android TV support.