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The new Chromecast won’t support Stadia at launch

Google Stadia
  • The game streaming service will be supported in the first half of 2021.

The new Chromecast will be a $50 dongle with Google TV support, but one thing is missing. The bungled launch of Gooogle Stadia is pretty much guaranteed at this point to have implications for the future of the streaming service. The new Chromecast with Google TV offers a different experience to the Chromecast Ultra that was the basis of Google Stadia. It looks like Google is gunning for a less gaming-focused experience here. Still, if you want to get Stadia running, you can on some setups. And Google says support will come sometime in the first half of 2021 for the new Chromecast devices.

The service is technically supported on Android TV, which is the basis of Google TV. Trouble is, the whole thing is very hacked together. According to 9to5Google who tested controllers on the platform, the version here is “still a shoehorned version of the phone UI that really isn’t great for a non-touchscreen.”

The upside here is that the service being bolted onto Android TV will allow users to access thousands of Android apps natively on their devices. You will also have support for casting videos to other devices and various functions that mimic those of Android devices.

Google has now moved to a new strategy, and it seems like pushing an Android-based device over the simpler Chromecast Ultra, what that means for the future is uncertain. Google has a long history of shutting down services that failed to gain adoption levels that satisfy their expectations. There’s a literal graveyard of dozens of services that Google either bought or launched to shut down in a few months.

It may not be as insidious as that though. The considerations of latency may pose a major problem from the cheaper device. The OS is more complex and that could cause issues. It could also be the basis for other technical issues that Google is dealing with that we’re not aware of. Google has been struggling with latency for Stadia for months, and there’s been a lot of users who feel that the lag is untenable. Even as more games and patches are brought to the service, the input lag issues are still widely reported.

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