Google revealed its new Chromecast device yesterday and it does a lot more than the previous versions. One thing it doesn’t do, however, is stream Stadia games.
Officially called ‘Chromecast with Google TV’, the new device comes with a remote and functions more like a standard streaming box, letting you watch stuff on Netflix or Hulu directly rather than having to stream it from your phone. Despite this upgrade, or maybe even because of it, the new Chromecast can’t stream games off Google’s Stadia service. According to The Verge, that feature won’t become available until some time next year.
It’s a bizarre move to have your new flagship streaming device not support your flagship video game streaming service, but what makes it even weirder is that Google has discontinued the current Chromecast Ultra that can play Stadia games on your TV. You can still get one by purchasing an entire Stadia starter kit complete with Google’s gaming controller for $100, but if you just want to pick up the dongle itself you’re out of luck.
While still suffering from the fatal flaw of requiring people to buy most games individually, Stadia has improved over the summer by expanding its library of games that come free with the paid version. Just today Dead By Daylight, Human: Fall Flat, and Risk of Rain 2 were added. But stuff like Chromecast with Google TV not launching with that integration built in completely undercuts my confidence that Google is or ever will get serious about making Stadia good.