Cloud-based game streaming promises to make gaming more or less universal, but we’re quite still far away from that reality. Internet requirements and regional availability still present high barriers to entry, and the ability to play on any device doesn’t really work if not all devices are treated equally. Fortunately for Stadia subscribers, the service is taking another major step in that direction and is now offering its Direct Touch feature to users on iOS and iPadOS devices.
Stadia started out more as a big-screen game streaming service, favoring the use of Google’s new Chromecast Ultra with a dedicated Stadia controller. It would only later gain support for Google’s own Android mobile platform, but even then, it still requires the use of game controllers connected to the phone. That might be OK for PC games designed with controllers in mind, but not all PC games are made like that.
Back in August, Stadia finally announced a feature that many had expected to be there since day one of Stadia’s availability on mobile. Stadia’s new Direct Touch feature allowed players to use familiar touch screen gestures to control games rather than fiddling with a controller. Finally, Stadia users can finally play anywhere without having to whip out a gamepad, at least if they’re playing on an Android device.
That same feature is finally arriving on iOS so that iPhone and iPad users can enjoy the same freedom. As before, HUMANKIND is the test case for this functionality. As a 4X game in the same vein as Sid Meier’s Civilization, it’s definitely the perfect example since playing it with a controller will be painful.
Stadia also announced a more social feature being added to the service. While Parties aren’t exactly new, Stadia now has public parties where you can connect with like-minded players. Of course, since it’s public, you might want to exercise some level of caution to avoid any privacy and safety problems with strangers.