Google isn’t scheduled to announce the new Chromecast with Google TV dongle until the Pixel event on September 30. However, US retailer Walmart seems to have jumped the gun and put the thing up for sale.
One Redditor was able to snap up the new smart TV product from their local store and, in true Reddit style, was on hand to share photos tell everyone all about it and conduct a little AMA Q&A.
The dongle and remote – a first for the Chromecast range – lines up perfectly with the leaked images thus far, but it’s the interface and apps everyone’s been waiting to hear about.
This is the first Chromecast with functioning operating system and the ability to download apps. The Redditor, u/fuzztub07 (via The Verge), said they were able to access Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, YouTube TV, Sling, Hulu, Peacock, and HBO Max, as well as Spotify.
While there are some games that can be played with the remote and a connected game pad, surprisingly the dongle doesn’t offer native support for the Stadia cloud gaming platform. When asked about Stadia availability, the Redditor wrote: “No, and trying to download it says it’s not supported.”
That’s not the biggest deal in the world seeing as Android device owners can still cast Stadia from the mobile app to the TV. However, it is surprising and might be a sign of Google’s wavering commitment to the Stadia platform.
According to the early adopter it’s 4K HDR compatible, runs on Android 10, supports multiple accounts, has no Ethernet port and supports Bluetooth headphones. As earlier leaks suggested, the remote has dedicated buttons for YouTube and Netflix as well as the Google Assistant.
The Chromecast with Google TV dongle costs $50 and will be detailed in full on September 30 during the ‘Launch Night In’ stream, which will feature the unveiling of the Pixel 5, Pixel 4a 5G and a new Nest speaker.