What you need to know
- One early owner of the new Chromecast with Google TV has sideloaded the Xbox Game Pass app and successfully streamed Xbox Game Pass games to the TV.
- Google TV is a newer version of Android TV, which has already been successful in streaming Xbox games during the beta phase.
- At $50 the new Chromecast with Google TV is an extremely attractive living room product.
Google has just officially revealed its fall hardware lineup, which initially at least felt like an anti-climax since the whole lot had essentially leaked out in full before hand. But there's always some surprises in store, and this time it's from an old friend.
Former Windows Central writer, Jon Dollison, is one of the first people to have their hands on the new Chromecast with Google TV and would you believe it, streaming Xbox Game Pass games to the TV works like a charm.
Is this that surprising? Yes and no. I've previously played around with this on the NVIDIA Shield and Amazon Fire TV Stick with varying levels of success, with the NVIDIA Android TV box working so well it was almost like being an actual Xbox console. But it's never worked with a Chromecast before, and given how bad it was in the past on the cheap Fire TV Stick it's certainly a pleasant surprise.
The new Chromecast isn't like any other Chromecast, though. It runs Google TV, a newer, sleeker version of Android TV, and since it's based on Android and has some internal storage that means you can put apps on there. Paired with an Xbox controller, and what you have is a $50 Xbox streamer.
There's a big caveat with this, of course. This is entirely unsupported and there's always a chance it'll stop working. Microsoft officially only supports Android phones and tablets, ruling out Amazon Fire devices, Chromebooks and TV boxes. But if it works, it works. Just don't buy one specifically for this because if it does break in the future you're out 50 bucks.
If you're looking for a cheap media streamer for your living room though, right now this is probably the best you're going to get. I've got one ordered and will definitely be giving this a shot when it arrives, albeit in a couple of weeks since U.S. availability comes first.
This little streamer looks like it was worth the wait, with 4K HDR support, a nice remote with quick access buttons, and a new Google TV user interface.
With Project xCloud out of beta, Game Pass Ultimate owners can stream over 100 titles on Android phones. While not the full library, you'll at least have access to the main first-party Microsoft titles on the road or away from the TV, an awesome new perk for the service. Your game saves transfer between your phone and console for one seamless playthrough.
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