Google Stadia Founder's Edition Unboxing: Controller, Chromecast, And More
What's In The Box?
Google Stadia's official launch is only a few days away, and we've been busy behind the scenes putting the service, and Google's Stadia Controller, to the test. While we aren't yet ready to share our impressions of Google's big push into cloud gaming, we can show you what the early-adopter package, AKA the Founder's Edition bundle, will include.
These shipments will start arriving on doorsteps for pre-order customers next week. Google promises that Founder's Edition packages, as long as those for customers who ordered the Premier Edition, will all arrive within two weeks--shipments are rolling out in the order that they were received.
First things first, let's take a look at the box itself.
And What A Box It Is
Stadia Founder's Edition ships in a big ol' box--big enough to include a controller, a Chromecast Ultra, and other goodies.
But Wait, What's That?
Ah, our inquisitiveness pays off! On the underside of the box, Google has imprinted a mission statement of sorts for Stadia as a whole: "One place for all the ways we play." Sounds nice.
Anyways, let's continue unboxin'!
There It Is!
Exclusive to customers who purchased the Founder's Edition of Stadia, this dark-blue controller is the official device of Stadia, and will eventually be the key to utilizing many of the fancy bells and whistles Google first flaunted at GDC 2019. It's equipped with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios, though at launch, Bluetooth is limited to use with the Chromecast Ultra only.
Dig A Little Deeper
Beneath the controller and the cardboard support holding it in place lies a USB-A-to-USB-C cable and a USB power adapter. The cable is useful for both charging the controller and connecting it to your PC for use with Stadia via a Chrome browser tab. (You can also use mouse and keyboard, or PS4 and Xbox controllers wirelessly, when playing in Chrome.)
And under that cardboard divider lies the remainder of the contents: the Chromecast Ultra and its associated AC adapter.
Let's Take A Closer Look
Here lies the Chromecast Ultra, the upgraded version of Google's video streaming dongle, and the only means of playing Stadia games in 4K at launch--that resolution won't be available on browser-based Stadia sessions until 2020. You can power it via a Micro USB cable and connect wirelessly to your local Wi-Fi network, but there's a good reason why you might consider using the included power brick instead.
When it comes to streaming games from Google's servers, signal bandwidth is a critical component of the relative quality you can expect. For a lot of us, that means a wired internet connection will be preferred over Wi-Fi. Because the Chromecast is so small, it's not surprising to see the ethernet port end up on the power brick, though it certainly is an unusual solution. If you're going this route, prepare for some potential rewiring around your TV.
Everything Included In The Stadia Founder's Edition Package
Pictured above is every physical item included in the $130 Stadia Founder's Edition, which is long since sold out. Unpictured: the buddy pass invite and a three-month subscription to Stadia Pro (normally $9.99 a month), the service required for 4K gameplay.
As mentioned before, this is just the start of our Google Stadia coverage. Come back next week for lots more, including our impressions of Google's first major push into mainstream gaming.