Best answer: Google has confirmed that Stadia will work with Chromecast Ultra. Those on the baseline Chromecast model will need to upgrade.

How does Stadia work?

With the advent of Stadia, Google ushers in a new era of gaming where players aren't bound by hardware. It's a game streaming service that makes use of low-latency technology to deliver triple-A games to any device that supports it.

Stadia works in the web browser, on your phones and tablets, on your computers, and even on Chromecast. You don't need to buy anything except a controller and whichever device you choose to stream it on if you don't already have one.

Google's chief goal with Stadia is knocking down the barriers of entry for gaming. They want people to be able to play popular games on their PCs, phones, tablets, and other devices they already have; that, or opt for low-cost alternatives so they can enjoy the games they love and not be deprived of one of the most popular forms of entertainment we have today.

You need Chromecast Ultra

If you don't want to do any of this on your phone, PC, or tablet, Google also has a slick option that'll let you game the way we've done since the beginning: on a good ol' TV. That's by way of Chromecast, the little HDMI streaming device that once won TIME's Gadget of the Year award.

Chromecast lets you stream movies, music, and games to your TV, and once Stadia launches it will be one of the primary options Google will push to go along with the service. The problem is that not all Chromecasts are created equally.

You'll need the Chromecast Ultra to play along, which is double the price of the baseline model. It's still just a $70 purchase, which is a lot better than the hundreds a traditional gaming console would cost. Be sure to check your device's product information if you're unsure which model you have.

Why can't I use regular Chromecast?

Google never stated why Stadia only works on the Chromecast Ultra and not the original, but we can try our hand at a good guess: it has beefier hardware. It has much faster Wi-Fi radios than the original, as well as offering ethernet connectivity and faster internal processing for a smooth experience.

Stadia also supports gaming content up to 4K at 60 frames per second. HDR support is along for the ride, too. The original Chromecast simply doesn't have the hardware necessary to support that. If you want to get your game on with Stadia on a nice big TV, get a Chromecast Ultra. You'll need a Stadia controller to go along with that, though those are not available as of this writing.

4K HDR power

Chromecast Ultra

The best Chromecast you can get

It's double the price of the standard Chromecast, but for that money, you can stream games and video in 4K HDR and get an ethernet adapter in the box. At this price, your options for 4K HDR streaming are limited, so the Chromecast Ultra is a great choice.

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