Google Stadia controller could be extremely difficult to repair

Ewdison Then - Nov 20, 2019, 9:51 pm CST
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Google Stadia controller could be extremely difficult to repair

When smartphones started to sport metal unibody designs or, more recently, glass-metal-glass sandwiches, they also become more difficult to open up for repairs. Even authorized service centers would need specialized tools and training which were, naturally, unavailable to third-parties or DIYers. It seems that Google is using that same design philosophy on its Stadia controller, making it almost impossible to open up, at least for untrained hands, all for the sake of having a nearly seamless and blemish-free appearance.

Almost like channeling the spirit of certain Apple executives, Google spent a lot of its spiel on how the Stadia controller was designed. It poured hours and money on making a controller that wouldn’t just be comfortable to hold but also a beauty to behold. That meant banishing all screws and, with them, all direct ways of opening the controller up.

If it were possible, Google would have probably gone for a design that also made any seam invisible and inaccessible. Unfortunately, even if there was one that separated the top and bottom halves of the Stadia controller, it was pretty useless as far as trying to pry the two apart. The folks over at Gamers Nexus resorted to every trick in the book and ended up using a Dremel saw to break through.

Finally opening the controller revealed larger than normal clips that kept the two halves close together, making it impossible to simply shimmy the thing open with picks and screwdrivers. Other than that, the Stadia Controller was ironically normal inside.

Google took great pains to remove the need for any external screw and keep people out of the otherwise ordinary parts inside. This does mean that it might be a huge pain to repair the accessory, even with some secret knowledge or tool. That doesn’t bode well not just for its repairability but also for the environment.


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