Wednesday's Stadia AMA confirmed that you would need to use the Chromecast Ultra included in the founder's edition on the first day. Stadia Controller pairing tonight already seems to be available on existing streaming dongles.
According to Google this week, the Chromecast Ultra version included the "latest firmware" to play with Stadia. That said, the company hopes to upgrade existing devices "soon after launch" to allow playback on any connected TV.
It appears that this is already underway with several Chromecast Ultra owners (via Reddit) running version 1.42.172094 – the current stable – reporting that a Stadia Controller linking code is appearing on the screen. It takes the form of a pill-shaped blister that says "Stadia Controller", followed by several button presses.
For those who do not use Stadia, the code can be disabled in the Google Home app under Environment Mode Settings. Until the release of Stadia on Tuesday, it is unclear whether game streaming already works with current Ultras or if another firmware update is required.
Google this week fully detailed the on-screen and in-app process for linking a Stadia Controller:
If you already have your Stadia account set up on your Chromecast Ultra, use Stadia Controller to choose the Stadia account you want to sign in with.
If you don't already have your Stadia account set up with Chromecast Ultra, continue with the remaining steps.
Use your controller to select "+" on the screen.
On your mobile device, tap your avatar in the upper right corner of the Stadia app.
Touch Add account to Chromecast [your stadia account] To allow.
Tap Done to complete the installation or tap Add a safety pin to add a pin to your Stadia account.
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