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Google Stadia Will Support Very Few Smartphones At Launch

The promise Google Stadia sells is a world where you can play your games no matter where you are or what device you're using. Unfortunately, that promise won't be kept at launch.

According to Game Rant, Google's Stadia Support page has been refreshed with new information about which smartphones will work with Stadia come November. As it happens, there are remarkably few. Google states that only the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a will be supported at Stadia's Founder's Edition launch later this year, keeping the service limited to just two different smartphone models. The Pixel 3 came out late last year, by the way, and the Pixel 3a just launched this year. So if you have an Android device that isn't one of those two — or even a Pixel model that launched before October 2018 — you are basically locked out of Stadia for a few months.

Not that you won't have a way to access Stadia at all. The Founder's Edition does come with a Chromecast Ultra and a Stadia controller, which means you could plug into a TV or monitor and do your gaming that way. But it seems unhelpful for Stadia to be pushing Google products instead of opening up to a wider audience. Stadia is asking a lot of those who've grown up on consoles and owned their games in the traditional way. There are a lot of skeptics about the service and how much effort Google will put into it. It makes sense to use the Founder's period as sort of a beta test period, but why limit things even more?

We'll be checking back in periodically to see if Google's made any mention of supporting other mobile devices. In the meantime, you might want to reconsider your pre-order if you were hoping to play on your smartphone and you don't own a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3a. Your phone will be good for account management and buying Stadia games, but that's about it.