Google has been telling us that their new gaming service Stadia is the hottest thing in gaming, and it seems like this is truth in advertising. Gamers have reported that accessing Stadia using their Google Chromecast Ultra dongle for more than a few hours causes the device to overheat and crash.
Stadia is Google’s attempt to break into – or even revolutionize – the gaming industry. It launched last week, and has been called the Netflix of video games. The business model is slightly different – the Stadia Pro subscription works like Netflix, allowing access to certain games, but other games must be bought separately – but the real similarity comes from the fact that Stadia includes downloads — it’s a streaming service. It has even been advertised as eliminating the need for console boxes that take up space.
However, this model may be the reason that Chromecasts are overheating. It turns out that streaming entire games via WiFi may not be the best idea. The constant data transmission required to play games with complex graphics puts a massive strain on the Chromcast dongle, which is smaller than the palm of your hand.
One user on reddit claimed that while playing Destiny 2, their Chromecast died and disconnected from their home network. When they felt the Chromecast, it was hot to the touch. Other reddit users added their similar experiences with Stadia, some claiming that their Chromecast has shut down multiple times due to overheating.
Google told CNN that it is trying to resolve the problem, but that they did not experience this problem at all during testing. However, they also said that the device heating up is normal, and that the Chromecast becoming warm to the touch is “working as designed.” They claim that streaming using Stadia is the same as using the Chromecast to stream movies or TV shows. Still, given that Google developed both the Chromecast and the Stadia service, it seems like an oversight by Google that this was never found and corrected. Hopefully this can be fixed, but it may be that streaming intense video games may be too much for the Chromecast’s hardware.