Google explains why so many Stadia games aren’t hitting the promised 4K60

By Sherif Saed, Monday, 25 November 2019 15:29 GMT

With so many games on Google Stadia falling short of the advertised 4K, 60fps dream, the company has released a statement on why that is.

If you’ve been keeping up with Stadia news, you’ll no doubt be aware that the platform’s launch has been marred by missing features, and broken promises for an overall lacklustre package.

But one of the biggest sticking points for players and pundits has been that the experience itself is compromised. Google pitched Stadia Pro as capable of 4K, 60fps streaming. We know that hardware at Google’s data centres is more powerful than current-gen consoles, so the experience many expected was that of a high-end PC.

Unfortunately, as reports later revealed, games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Destiny 2 are making compromises that they shouldn’t have to. In the case of Red Dead Redemption 2, the game’s 4K stream isn’t even on par with the Xbox One X.

When asked to justify this state of affairs, Google told 9to5Google that all streams run at 4K at 60fps, regardless of what resolution the game is actually rendering at, shifting the blame instead to developers and their choice of resolution and framerate.

“Stadia streams at 4K and 60 FPS – and that includes all aspects of our graphics pipeline from game to screen: GPU, encoder and Chromecast Ultra all outputting at 4k to 4k TVs, with the appropriate internet connection,” the statement reads.

“Developers making Stadia games work hard to deliver the best streaming experience for every game. Like you see on all platforms, this includes a variety of techniques to achieve the best overall quality. We give developers the freedom of how to achieve the best image quality and frame rate on Stadia and we are impressed with what they have been able to achieve for day one.

“We expect that many developers can, and in most cases will, continue to improve their games on Stadia. And because Stadia lives in our data centers, developers are able to innovate quickly while delivering even better experiences directly to you without the need for game patches or downloads.”

These developer decisions may just have been entirely of their own volition, and future games could well take better advantage of the hardware. But right now, the lofty 4K 60fps goal is seemingly out of reach.

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