Now available, the Cloud Gaming service is struggling to keep its promises. And among these, one, in particular, is the subject of intense criticism from subscribers and specialists: that of a catalog fully available in 4K 60fps.
Display resolution and framerate sometimes lower than consoles
Stadia may have bragged by announcing a theoretical power of 10.7 teraflops at the official presentation of its product, but in reality, this striking power is far from being properly used.
In any case, this is the observation of the specialists at Digital Foundry who, after weeks of testing the Google stamped product, affirm that out of the 22 titles currently in the catalog, few are running in 4K, and even less at 60 frames per second. Some games like Destiny 2 run in 1080p60 – which is a lower framerate than on PS4 Pro, for example.
Red Dead Redemption 2, a real product seller of Google technology, is also far below what the Xbox One X offers. Rockstar’s game never reaches 60 frames per second and seems to be capped at 1440p. A stinging setback, which directly contradicts what Stadia proudly announced on her Twitter account just a few months ago (a tweet deleted since).
Google blames the developers
Google then went to the front to clarify the situation with 9to5Google. According to Google, Stadia streams 4K at 60 frames per second, and this includes all aspects of our graphics pipeline from the game to the screen: GPU, encoder and Chromecast Ultra, everything comes out in 4K on 4K TVs, if the Internet connection is powerful enough.
Developers working on Stadia games work hard to provide the best streaming experience. As you can see on a variety of platforms, this includes a wide range of techniques to achieve the best overall quality. According to Google, it gives developers complete freedom in how to get this best quality, as much image as framerate. Google expects developers to continue to improve their games on Stadia.
Google states that while its infrastructure is theoretically capable of producing 4K at 60 fps on all games, it is only up to developers to appropriate this technology and rework the sauce in their way, whether it involves violent upscaling, or even capping at 30 frames per second.
It is also worth recalling that the games offered on Stadia are not PC versions, nor console versions of the games. These are versions developed for Google’s Cloud Gaming service. The recency of this one, and the probably frantic pace at which development teams had to adapt to this new platform, undoubtedly explain the wanderings of the launch.