Stadia is already off to a rough start and the last thing it needs are reports of potential hardware problems with its “primary” device. While the appeal of Google’s Stadia game streaming platform is that you can play on almost any device and operating system, the tech giant is positioning the Chromecast Ultra and the Stadia Controller as the best way to enjoy the service. That, however, flies in the face of reports that the Chromecast Ultra gets too hot to touch until its forcibly shuts down and boots users out of their game.
The Chromecast Ultra has always been Stadia’s equivalent of a console and it is a rather smart strategy on Google’s part. For one, it is easier to get gamers to invest in a device they may not need (since they can play on a phone or Chrome browser anyway) if it’s something as cheap as an HDMI dongle. It also perfectly demonstrates the Stadia’s power when such a tiny and almost powerless device is all that you need to play AAA games. Aside from a blazing fast Internet connection, of course.
Unfortunately, it seems that the 4K dongle might not be enough to handle Stadia at all. A few users have chimed on Reddit to complain about how their game abruptly ended because the Chromecast shut down from overheating. Given the rocky start of the Stadia service, users were naturally not amused.
Speaking to CNN, Google insists that it has not encountered such problems during its testing of Stadia with the Chromecast Ultra. That the dongle gets warm is known and expected but nothing that would make the device shut down. On paper, it would be surprising if it did overheat because of Stadia since it was simply streaming 4K video as normal. Then again, the Stadia Founders’ Edition Chromecast Ultra is running special firmware not yet available on regular models so the comparison might not be accurate.
Unfortunately, it seems that Google is unable to offer any quick fix for affected Stadia users. Some more courageous users have taken it upon themselves to make their own solutions, which basically involves adding heatsinks to the Chromecast Ultra. While effective, it isn’t exactly the answer owners need.