The new Chromecast with Google TV launched all the way back on September 30 last year – that’s almost 7 months ago. To date, Google Stadia remains unavailable for every user’s television who decided to upgrade to the new dongle. For those passionate about Stadia, that has felt like quite a punishment for remaining on the bleeding edge of technology and being excited about the latest innovations.
I’ve been continually astounded at the fact that such an important streaming device wouldn’t launch with support for Google’s own gaming service – because it’s Google’s own hardware! Whatever the mixup was behind the scenes, I still can’t understand how this happened. If Google wants Stadia to be the console that requires no hardware and is physically nowhere, it needs to be digitally everywhere – not absent on its own device.
With all of that complaining out of the way, I know that the Stadia development team has been hard at work on so many things, and I’m constantly impressed at how much they’ve done over the past year. According to a new APK Insights report posted by 9to5Google, that may finally be changing very soon. Version 3.12 of the Stadia app for Android presents several strings that mention ‘Google TV’. Now, for those unfamiliar, Google TV and Android TV are completely different nowadays, so while Stadia has increased in support for Android TV a lot lately, Google TV has been left out in the cold.
Your Stadia Controller won’t open the Google Assistant when you’re playing on a Google TV
For Google TVs, use the remote to access the Google Assistant
Mentions of Google TV here and even of a remote with Assistant built-in most likely mean that the new Chromecast with Google TV will soon see an official Stadia app and support! This will be a relief to me and others because many of us have over a hundred games and not being able to play them on the living room TV is just ridiculous. It truly feels as though I don’t have the games half of the time because I hardly think to boot up the web app on my Chromebook or phone.
Being primarily a Playstation gamer, the living room has always served as a source for family gatherings and entertainment. If I want to play a game, I generally sit on the couch and pick up a controller. You could argue that I should have just plugged my Chromecast Ultra back in, but no – doing so would cause me to sacrifice the beautiful and functional UX design of the new Chromecast and even the tactile buttons on the remote. I’m not about to go back to casting everything and having no interface!
Another string in the app’s code references the Stadia app only being optimized for specific televisions – uh oh. It sounds like it won’t be fully supported at launch. We know that Sony Bravia, TCL, and Vizio TVs are gearing up with their own custom-built Stadia app that works in conjunction with their native software, so I’m thinking that these will be the instances where support may not be fully implemented. I hope above all things that we don’t see app limitations or game performance issues while running Stadia on a Chromecast with Google TV – that would be absurd.
The Stadia app is not optimized for this TV. You may have game performance issues while playing.
Lastly, the new app update references a few other things that I chose not to cover in detail here. I’ll let you read all about Party Chat progress, referral bonuses, batch deleting captures, and an exclusive, new avatar on Kyle Bradshaw’s piece. In the meantime, I’d love to discuss how you’ve been playing Stadia since launch. Are you the type of person that prefers to play on your TV like I am?
Are you willing to sacrifice the Google TV interface just to play games, or do you jump back and forth by keeping both Chromecasts plugged in? Do you swap them constantly or can you not be bothered to do so? The whole thing is just a mess and Google’s knack for botched communication and launches is beginning to get under my skin. Regardless, I still love Stadia and can’t wait to play it on my 65″ TV!