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The embarrassing launch of Google Stadia has been well documented. From fouling up pre-order shipments to rolling back on the features available at launch Stadia has made a lot of consumers regret their investment. And now, Stadia has overheating problems.
Google Stadia isn’t literally overheating, but the Chromecast Ultras that gamers must use to stream Stadia to their TVs are. Google Stadia team held a Reddit AMA ahead of launch day where one employee said, “We know from the feedback the Founders gave us that the 4K TV must be our top priority for launch.” We wouldn’t know it based on the user comments coming out through social media. Many Stadia users are reporting that their Chromecast Ultra gets extremely hot after a few hours of operation and will shut itself off. Not an ideal situation for a product that is aimed at gamers. Game sessions can range from just a couple of hours to over 4 hours.
This flood of new Chromecast Ultra complaints is bringing to light past complaints for the same issue. The Chromecast Ultra is not a unique peripheral for Stadia. Google first released this 4K capable Chromecast in November 2016. Since its launch there have been repeated reports of it overheating and shutting down after streaming 4K content through apps like Netflix and YouTube. Google implemented this hardware as one of the main physical aspects of Stadia specifically to stream in 4K. It would have been reasonable to expect them to address these overheating issues before Stadia made its first impression. But it would appear they just dragged it over to the Stadia project and made no significant improvements.
Many Chromecast Ultra owners and engineering enthusiasts have made their own work arounds to prevent their device from overheating. Users are installing heat sinks and fans to stop their Chromecast from shutting down. And they post their creations to Reddit to demonstrate the lengths necessary to keep it cool. When consumers have to intervene so severely to keep their product functioning the way it’s intended then something is very wrong.
The future of Google Stadia
Since 2016 there hasn’t been any word from Google about fixing the overheating of the Chromecast Ultra. However now with the extra attention put on the issue hopefully that will change. If the issue is software related maybe a simple firmware patch could get things running more cool. All we really have to hope is that it’s not a hardware problem.
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