Some Stadia users say their Chromecast Ultra is overheating and abruptly dying

One of the cheapest ways to play games in 4K resolution on Google’s new cloud gaming platform, Stadia, is through the Chromecast Ultra streaming stick. However, a few of Stadia’s early adopters report that their Chromecast Ultra has been abruptly shutting down and overheating while in an active game session.

The users, which shared their experiences in a fairly popular Reddit thread, say that when they tried to manually reboot their Chromecast Ultra by unplugging and plugging it back again, they noticed that it was unbearably warm. The device is most likely suffering from thermal issues and getting overheated to the point where the only fallback is for it to switch off entirely. It doesn’t throw any warning either leaving players no option to save their progress in the game.

“I was in the middle of a fight in Destiny 2 when suddenly my Chromecast died and lost connectivity to the network. I went to unplug it from the power and it was extremely hot,” wrote the thread’s original author.

Even though you’re technically streaming games on Stadia, it does require a decent set of modern hardware to run. The Chromecast Ultra was launched three years ago and possibly never designed with a cloud gaming platform in mind. Most of the complaints on Reddit are from people who bought the Founder’s edition and are employing a brand-new Chromecast Ultra which essentially means Google has done no additional optimization either.

Google’s Chromecast devices were already notorious for running hot in prolonged video streaming sessions. Given that playing 4K games on Stadia consumes 10 gigs of data every hour, the Chromecast Ultra may simply not have enough power to hold up against several hours of rendering MMO games like Destiny 2. Netflix in 4K resolution, in comparison, takes about 7GB/hour. A bunch of users on the Reddit thread pointed out their Chromecast Ultra was shutting down after 3 to 4 hours of continuous gameplay.

There’s little Google can do here other than roll out a fix and offer refunds to affected customers since it bundles a Chromecast Ultra in the Founder’s Edition package, too. The Chromecast Ultra is an outdated device and clearly not fit for processing so much bandwidth for hours.

Google Stadia itself is off to a bumpy start. The Chromecast concern adds to a long-running list of issues that have plagued the cloud gaming platform since launch. In addition to expected latency delays and a narrow library of games, hundreds of early buyers are also still waiting for their registration codes.

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