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Confirmed – Stadia won’t run on mobile connections – perhaps until 5G

Google Stadia is pitched as a bold step into a new era of limitless gaming, but as the launch of the platform is approaching, we’re hearing more about those initial limits.

The company has confirmed Google Stadia games will require users to be on a Wi-Fi connection, rather than a mobile network, at least initially.

In an interview on The Vergecast, Google’s head of devices Rick Osterloh, said “it’s just going to run on Wi-Fi to start” before the company clarified.

A Google spokesperson said the gaming unit was “focused on making sure Stadia Founders receive the best possible experience at launch over a WiFi connection.”

Until now Google had only said a “reliable” internet connection was required, with speeds of 10Mbps or greater recommended. It had not specified the type of connection required, so today’s news will come as a surprise to many.

Related: Best PC games

When Google will open the platform up to mobile connections remains to be seen, but it does seem that widespread availability of 5G connectivity will be decisive.

“Frankly, I think Stadia is one of the things that would be most interesting on 5G because of reduced latency and things like that, like cloud gaming,” he added. “But it’s different than with 4G where it’s sort of like you couldn’t watch video on 3G, but you could on 4G. And you couldn’t really browse on 3G, but you could on 4G.”

This isn’t the only limitation Stadia-fanciers have learned of this week. It has also emerged the controller will require a wired connection if you’re playing from your phone or computer. The news came via a video primer designed to bring people up to speed with what to expect from Stadia

From launch, wireless support will only be possible if using a Chromecast Ultra device. Others will need to be tethered to their phone or computer’s USB outlet in order to enjoy those AAA titles.

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