When Google Stadia was formally announced, its boss Phil Harrison claimed that all launch games would support 4K.
However, that has proved not to be the case. Instead, games are running at 1080p 30fps, and are upscaled to 4K with frame doubling in place to provide 60fps.
That is unlikely to be a major problem for many, especially those who play Stadia games using a free Stadia Base account, but Stadia Pro subscribers that might be more of an issue, as they are paying £8.99 / $9.99 per month for “up to 4K 60fps” gameplay.
It’s come to light that rather than the Stadia hardware being at fault, it is actually developer choice. Developers have seemingly chosen to opt to restrict the resolution of their games – presumably to ensure they run smoothly on new equipment.
Claims are that Bungie has purposely restricted the Stadia version of Destiny 2 to 1080p 30fps, while Rockstar seems to have limited Red Dead Redemption 2 to 1440p.
Google have been quick to comment on this news, as in a statement posted by Eurogamer they said:
“Stadia streams at 4K and 60fps – 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 framerate 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.”
In short, it means that eventhough the games might not be running at 4K now, doesn’t mean they won’t in the future.