Early adopters of game streaming across the globe have been distraught to discover that Google Stadia is causing Chromecasts to overheat. Alongside criticism about the difficulty of setting up the device, since its launch on November 19, multiple Reddit and Twitter users have complained about the overheating of their Chromecast Ultra media player dongle, which is required to use Stadia on a TV.
In some instances this supposedly leads to the Chromecast shutting down, which is a built-in safety feature to ensure internal components do not burn out. The time taken for this overheating ranges from a few hours to just several minutes, meaning that users are having their playtime severely limited.
When this happens, users have to restart the device and may be required to revert to their most recently saved game. VG24/7 reports that some Stadia Pro members have instead resorted to playing it on laptops instead of on TV via the Chromecast Ultra.
Responding to these complaints on Reddit, Google argues that the device is not causing shutdowns. The support team claim that Chromecast Ultra is working as intended, and stated that: “We know any sort of heat on a device can be worrisome, but we can confirm there is no thermal overheating issue with Chromecast Ultra. During normal usage [like watching ‘epic Fortnite compilations’ on YouTube], the surface of the device may get warm to the touch, but this is working as designed.”
“During normal usage [like watching epic Fortnite compilations on YouTube], the surface of the device may get warm to the touch, but this is working as designed.”Google Support
Problems with the Chromecast Ultra overheating have been persistent since the launch of the device. The Chromecast Ultra contains energy-efficient components which are robust enough for video streaming, but PC News suggests that Stadia could require such a large amount of continuous data streaming – several megabytes of data every second, according to Android Authority – that the hardware is unable to continue functioning fully.
If the malfunctioning is caused by the Chromecast Ultra being underpowered then a software update is unable to fix this; upgraded hardware would be required, which goes against the entire purpose of Stadia.
While Stadia functions without problems on supported Pixel phones and the Chrome web browser, the Chromecast Ultra is currently the only option to play Stadia on a TV.
Last modified: 9th December 2019