Google’s flagship streaming device, Chromecast with Google TV, just received support for Stadia a few weeks ago. I decided to pick it up last weekend to see how the Stadia experience compares to PC, Android, and Chromecast Ultra – three common devices I use to play Stadia – and quickly discovered that not only does the latest Chromecast offer the best Stadia experience, it also has various options for streaming, emulation, and Android games as well. Priced at $ 50, the Chromecast with Google TV is actually probably the best value gaming console on the market.
If you’re not following Google’s growing menu of streaming devices, you may not be alone. The beloved Chromecast with Google TV is the latest 4K streaming device released late last year, and has an experience similar to what you find in Google’s Android TV app. This device differs from previous Chromecast dongles in that it is stand -alone and does not require a phone to operate. It comes with its own remote control that can be easily programmed to replace your TV’s remote control, making Chromecast with Google TV the best streaming solution for non -smart television and travel. It also has Bluetooth, so you can pair headphones, speakers, and a gamepad, including PlayStation and Xbox controllers.
Plus, the new Chromecast has a pretty solid app store. Outside of all the streaming apps you’d expect like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max, you’ll also find plenty of emulators, game streaming services, and native Android games. The incomplete list of games and services I can play perfectly on Chromecast includes Super Nintendo, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation, PSP, Dreamcast, Stadia, PS4 / PS5 remote games, Geforce Now, Steam Link, and a handful of Android Games.
The streaming options are the most appealing to me, and I’m happy to report that the Stadia experience on the new Chromecast is practically imperfect if you use the Stadia wifi controller. The Chromecast is a wifi -only device, but even so, I found the Stadia to play great in 4K with little hiccup and almost no input delays. This is the best Stadia experience you can get, in my opinion, unless you’re willing to do a lot of desktop solutions with special browsers and plug -ins to take full advantage of it.
I am less interested in the Bluetooth option. As much as I love using my Xbox controller, the input delays I experience with Stadia, Steam Link, and Geforce Now make most games virtually unplayable. I have a much better experience with emulators and native Android games, but I can’t recommend streaming FPS or any racing games with Bluetooth controllers. Of course your mileage may vary, and there are some suggestions online that limiting the number of nearby Bluetooth devices can help, but I find it hard to enjoy fast-paced gaming with anything other than a Stadia controller. On the positive side, any controller you connect can also be used to control the Google TV menu.
There’s still a lot to be said about the amount of access you have to the game here. I was able to stream my entire Steam library to Chromecast via Steam Link, as well as my PS5 and PS4 with the PSPlay app. My computer was in my office while my PlayStation was downstairs in the living room, so I put a Chromecast on the TV in my bedroom. It now serves as a hub for all my game libraries around the house, and I love the options it provides for streaming games.
Emulation and Android games are just as great, though getting started is a little more complicated. The Chromecast only comes with 8GB of storage, which is about 5GB out of the box, and less than 1GB once you’ve downloaded all of your streaming apps. While there are many great games available for download in the app store, such as Grand Theft Auto, Knights of the Old Republic, and Tell Tale’s The Walking Dead, you won’t have room to download any of them without additional storage. There’s no SD slot on the Chromecast, so you’ll need to connect it to a USB hub that also has USB-C power, then plug in the flash drive. This was the unfortunate solution path required to download the game and run the ROM, but it worked.
While the spaghetti wire is sure to make you for this storage solution, it’s probably the best method to run the Emulator on your TV without connecting a PC directly. I personally tested the Game Boy Advance and SNES emulations and both were perfect, but you can also find many YouTube videos featuring PSP, PlayStation 1, and Dreamcast emulations as well.
Chromecasts with Google TV are far from perfect. I hope Bluetooth has lower latency for gamepads and the lack of external storage is a bit unforgivable, but you should give it to Chromecast for the amount of variation it offers for just $ 50. This is an incredible gaming console if you have the right requirements for streaming , and if you like to imitate, I think there is no better option to play on TV. If you’re a Stadia player, a Chromecast with Google TV performs better than a Chromecast Ultra with a Stadia Controller. The only major app missing is Game Pass, but I can’t imagine we’ll have to wait too long, given that Game Pass looks like it will be coming to every other device this year.
Next: Stadia Offers More Value Than Ever, But Still Still Has More
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