Home Tech Stadia Controllers Could Become E-Waste Unless Google Issues Bluetooth Update – Slashdot

Stadia Controllers Could Become E-Waste Unless Google Issues Bluetooth Update – Slashdot

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With Stadia coming to an abrupt halt, gamers want Google to issue a software update for the controllers that unlocks Bluetooth to allow them to work wirelessly with other game systems. It would also “avoid a lot of plastic and circuit board trash,” adds Ars. From the report: Stadia’s controllers were custom-made to connect directly to the Internet, reducing lag and allowing for instant firmware updates and (sometimes painful) connections to smart TVs. There’s Bluetooth inside the Stadia controller, but it’s only used when you’re setting up Stadia, either with a TV, a computer with the Chrome browser, or a Chromecast Ultra. The Google Store’s page for the Stadia controller states in a footnote: “Product contains Bluetooth Classic radio. No Bluetooth Classic functionality is enabled at this time. Bluetooth Classic may be implemented at a later date.” (Bluetooth Classic is a more traditional version of Bluetooth than modern low-energy or mesh versions.) That potential later date can’t get much later for fans of the Stadia controller. Many cite the controller’s hand feel and claim it as their favorite. They’d like to see Google unlock Bluetooth to make their favorite something more than a USB-only controller and avoid a lot of plastic and circuit board trash.

“Now if you’d just enable Bluetooth on the controller, we could help the environment by not letting them become electronic waste,” writes Roadrunner571 on one of many controller-related threads on the r/Stadia subreddit. “They created trash and they at least owe it to me to do their best within reason to prevent millions of otherwise perfectly good controllers from filling landfills,” another wrote. Many have called for Google, if they’re not going to push a firmware update themselves to unlock the functionality, to open up access to the devices themselves, so the community can do it for them. That’s often a tricky scenario for large companies relying on a series of sub-contracted manufacturers to produce hardware. Some have suggested that the full refunds give Google more leeway to ignore the limited function of their devices post-shutdown. It’s worth noting that you can still plug a Stadia controller into the USB port on a Smart TV, computer, or gaming console and use it as a controller through a standard HID (Human Interface Device) connection. But, currently, it’s not possible to connect the controllers wirelessly, unless you go through a lot of effort.

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