Google's video game streaming service didn't start off strong. Unfortunately for Google, it also has been shuffling along instead of having the running start Google dreamed of. For Stadia fans at least, Google isn't shying on improving the experience through new features, despite the closure of internal studios. With that said, Google Stadia Direct Touch controls are on the horizon.
Reported by 9to5Google, Google Stadia Direct Touch controls are on the way. Just as exciting, Google is finally expanding the service onto Android TV devices and a dedicated party chat function.
When are we getting Google Stadia touch controls?
The 9to5Google report explains that there are currently references to new Google Stadia touch controls in the latest build of the mobile app. After decompiling the app's APK, the outlet discovered that players will eventually have the ability to play Stadia games in a new way.
While the current version of Stadia allows players to use a virtual gamepad to play on a touchscreen, these are different. Instead, the new Google Stadia touch controls involve the typical swipes, pinches and taps the traditional mobile games use.
Stadia competitor Xbox Game Pass has a similar method of playing games. Certain touch capable games can benefit from individual control schemes more suited to smartphones and tablets. Of course, most games on both streaming services will play better with a physical gamepad. However, touch controls will always be a faster way of getting into games.
Google Stadia Android TV update
Alongside the leak of Google Stadia Direct Touch controls, 9to5Google discovered a reference to Android TV support for the service. Currently, Stadia is only compatible with specific Chromecast devices, but that is set to expand into Smart TVs this year. While the Stadia app can be sideloaded onto Android TV boxes, the unoptomised state results in horrid performance.
In Google the Stadia 3.9 update, references to an Android TV app can be found. The code has lines that refer to installing the application on an Android TV device as well as purchasing games. One line in particular is an error code for the app starting stating, "Stadia payments aren’t working on this TV right now. Open Stadia on your mobile device or computer and buy this item in the store."
Where is Stadia Party Chat?
Despite being an online experience, Google Stadia doesn't have any kind of online party chat. It's a staple feature on online game. Since the Xbox 360, most mainstream gaming platforms have included a party chat feature. Stadia players will finally be getting that feature.
Multiple lines of code refer to joining a party or inviting a friend to a party. There are also various detail pages for party members and the party in general. There's no news on how soon this feature will be implemented.