Oh, Google Stadia. I’d feel bad for the thing, if it wasn’t an absolutely naff concept from a data-hungry megacorp. In the latest in a long line of launch blunders, some users are now reporting that playing games on the dang thing is burning up their Chromecast Ultras, running the plug-in devices hot enough to shut down during play. Finding and keeping a stable connection doesn’t matter so much if the thing you’re streaming on can’t keep it cool under pressure.
One concerned Redditor reports being booted from a Destiny 2 firefight, finding their Chromecast Ultra hot to the touch. Other Stadia users appear to be experiencing similar issues further down the thread, with one suggesting they have “not successfully run a game on the chromecast longer than 10 minutes”. Another claims to have only lasted three.
Speaking to CNN, Google insist that there are no known overheating issues on Chromecast Ultra devices. “We can confirm there is no thermal overheating issue with Chromecast Ultra. During normal usage (like watching cat videos on YouTube), the surface of the device may get warm to the touch, but this is working as designed.”
That line was echoed by Stadia employees in the above Reddit thread. Rather frustratingly to folk who may be experiencing these sudden shutdowns, they don’t suggest possible alternative causes. It’s hard to tell how widespread this problem may be, though Google have told CNN that they’ll “happily work with users to understand their particular experience better.”
Stadia Founders editions shipped with a Chromecast Ultra, a device designed to stream telly and movies and such. They’re tiny wee things, with very little in the way of obvious ventilation or cooling. Streaming games means funnelling much more data through the device than it may be able to handle, and it’s possible the hardware simply might not be up to snuff.
Even so, Stadia was already burning early adopters by missing key features at launch, including 4K resolutions, HDR, and 5.1 surround sound. It also wouldn’t work on any old Chromecast Ultra at launch, only those shipped with the Stadia Founder’s Edition. It was also missing a ton of planned launch games, and even the last-minute filling out of the release lineup lacked real weight.
For some early adopters, “doesn’t melt” might soon be added to that list of things missing from Stadia’s release.