Since all of Google Stadia’s power is up in the cloud it can run on even super low-end hardware including Google’s Chromecast streaming dongle. However, some early Stadia players are reporting that their Chromecast Ultra units are overheating to the point of turning off while playing games.

Quite a few Stadia players have chimed in on a Reddit thread with the same experience. While playing games on the new streaming service, Google’s dongle simply shuts down without warning. When going to manually reboot the device by unplugging and then plugging it back in, it’s extremely hot to the touch.

What’s going on here? Well, Chromecast Ultra running hot to the touch is nothing new. While streaming 4K video the Ultra can heat up quite dramatically and has done so since it launched a few years ago. The device can even stay warm to the touch when left completely idle overnight.

The concern, in this case, is that extended Stadia sessions on Chromecast Ultra are causing the device to overheat to the point where it can no longer safely run and shuts off. The user who started this Reddit thread mentions that their session was reaching 4 hours at the time when the Ultra shut down.

This would be concerning while streaming video too, but in that case, it appears to be at least less common. Google has yet to comment on this overheating issue, but this might be something to keep in mind if you were planning to play Stadia on a Chromecast. Hopefully, a firmware update can help allay this problem going forward. If not, perhaps some third-party cooling solutions or a ridiculous modification could help Stadia users out.

Update: Google explains in an email to 9to5Google that there is “no thermal throttling issue with Chromecast Ultra.” Apparently, Google has not observed this shutdown issue due to overheating during “extensive testing” but did not offer a reason why these Chromecast units may have shutdown while playing Stadia.

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Ben Schoon

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