Google says developers need to address Stadia resolution issues

Stadia (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Stadia is a game streaming service that launched last week.
  • Google claims that all games run at 4K resolution and 60 frames per second on the system, but that's not the case.
  • Digital Foundry uncovered that Destiny 2 was 1080p 60 FPS and Red Dead Redemption 2 was 1440p 30 FPS on Chromecast Ultra.
  • Google says that it gives developers freedom when it comes to choosing the resolution and frame rate.

A few days ago, reports emerged that games like Destiny 2 and Red Dead Redemption 2 weren't running at 4K resolution on Google Stadia. We were able to verify this and discovered that Destiny 2 was rendering at 1080p 60 frames per second (FPS) and Red Ded Redemption 2 was at 1440p 30 FPS. This was from the Chromecast Ultra which the company promised would deliver a 4K 60 FPS experience with the right bandwidth.

It seems like there was a lot of confusion about whether Stadia would support 4K resolution for all games. Last month, Stadia's Phil Harrison said that the platform was designed to support 4K 60 FPS games, but if a game was sometimes 4K 30 FPS, it would stream it at 4K 60 FPS by possibly reencoding the image. You can look at the statement from October below.

Now that we know that all games aren't 4K 60 FPS on Stadia, Google has issued another statement saying that it gives developers complete freedom. If that's the case and the company isn't mandating 4K 60 FPS, it shouldn't advertise Stadia as a 4K 60 FPS service. The image quality you get on an Xbox One X is far superior. You can read the statement below Eurogamer compiled.

Stadia streams at 4K... 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. 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.

This is essentially putting the blame on developers. It's unclear what the issue is here, but it may be related to the development tools and the server setup. Do developers need to overhaul their games to support a multi-GPU model? We can only speculate at this point. Hopefully, Google will provide more information soon.

Are you playing Stadia on a 4K TV? What do you think about the image quality? Let us know.



Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.