Founder’s Edition started arriving for pre-orderers on Tuesday, and the first Stadia Controller teardown has already been conducted. While leveraging clips, the Made by Google accessory proves difficult to disassemble.
During October’s hardware event, Google provided some insight into the design inspiration behind the device. Notably, the team did not want any visible screws on the Controller to maintain a “nice clean look,” and make it “very comfortable in the hand.” As a result, it was “one of the biggest challenges for product design.”
A video from Gamers Nexus offers the first Stadia Controller teardown, though there’s one inaccuracy right off the bat concerning phone requirements. Any Android and iOS device can be used to register the Controller and manage Stadia, though mobile gameplay is only possible on Pixel 2 and later.
Moving along, getting into the Controller was extremely difficult. Clips are used to secure the front plate — which has the buttons and D-pad, but they are described as monstrous in size, meaning that just shimmying a flat edge might not work to unclip. People’s accuracy with disassembly might improve overtime.
Once removed, everything is straightforward. As a warning, there is a ribbon cable on top that relays inputs and power to the sole LED for the Stadia button. In order to have a non-visible screw design, Google used an internal frame/undercarriage to provide structural support.
There is a hidden screw underneath the plate that contains the FCC label on the back to secure the board. The rumble motors and one or two cables are secured with glue. Lastly, there’s a 2,000 mAh battery, which Google has yet to provide official guidance for beyond offhandedly remarking that it lasts longer than the DualShock 4 (1,000 mAh), but less than the Switch Pro Controller (1,300 mAh). While larger in capacity, the Stadia Controller has to constantly power a Wi-Fi connection for wireless gameplay.
Officially, Google says to “not attempt to repair your Stadia Controller yourself. Disassembling the device may cause injury to you,” and recommends contacting support.
Update 11/27: The FCC has published high-resolution internal photos of the Stadia Controller after filing confidentiality ended today. This Made by Google accessory is ID’ed A4R-H2B, which we spotted in May. We get a clear look at various components, including key chipsets, antenna, and button mechanisms.
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