Google has more good news for everyone with early access to Stadia. In a tweet last week, the official Google Stadia account announced an over-the-air firmware update that will allow for existing Chromecast Ultra devices to work with Stadia. This is great news for Stadia users like me who have received a Buddy Pass, already have a Chromecast Ultra, and just want to purchase a Stadia controller to play games.
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
Up until this point, Google’s cloud gaming service could only be streamed to your TV with the Chromecast Ultra that was shipped with the Stadia Founder’s and Premier Edition bundles. With this new change, now you can simply update an existing Chromecast Ultra, sync your Stadia Controller, and start playing. Those who purchased a bundle can now play on multiple screens if they have an existing Chromecast Ultra or want to buy additional Chromecast Ultras (~$69) for other TVs around the house.
The update is more significant for users who have received a Buddy Pass and already own a Chromecast Ultra. Since these gamers didn’t receive a Stadia Controller or compatible Chromecast Ultra, gameplay has been limited to desktop or mobile with third-party accessories. But now these gamers who have an existing Chromecast Ultra can borrow a Stadia Controller or purchase one from the Google Store and start playing on their TVs.
As for regular Chromecast devices or TVs with Chromecast built-in, the Stadia team has stated, “we’re starting with Chromecast Ultra and will continue to add more compatible options down the road.” As we have discussed, the 3rd Gen Chromecast, which can be had for $35, seems to have all the necessary components for Stadia and could make for a very affordable gaming setup once Stadia Base launches in February of 2020.
The firmware update should be fully rolled out by this point and your device will update automatically, but you can also reboot the device to force the update. This update is great for Stadia gamers who want more streaming options and is part of a big push by the Stadia team to iron out all the kinks ahead of the Base edition launch in early 2020.