To say that Google Stadia had a rocky start would be a bit of an understatement. Gamers had many initial concerns about the first exclusively streaming video game console, and the last week has done little to assuage those fears. On launch day, several gamers who pre-ordered the console did not receive their activation code, leaving many understandably upset. That issue seems to have been resolved, but a new one also seems to be taking shape: not all Stadia games are running in 4K, as advertised. Last month, Phil Harrison stated all Stadia games would run in 4K at launch, and several players have noted that not to be the case for some games, particularly Red Dead Redemption 2.
Yes, all games at launch support 4K. We designed Stadia to enable 4K/60 (with appropriate TV and bandwidth). We want all games to play 4K/60 but sometimes for artistic reasons a game is 4K/30 so Stadia always streams at 4K/60 via 2x encode.— Phil Harrison (@MrPhilHarrison) October 9, 2019
In response, Google has issued a statement, claiming that developers have the freedom to make games on Stadia look as strong as possible, using whatever means work best for them.
"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. 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."
The promise of improved experiences down the line would normally help ease the fears of consumers. After all, it's very much a reality of the current video game industry, and it's not uncommon for new consoles to have issues at launch. Unfortunately, given Harrison's prior statement, rumors of overheating Chromecasts, and the mounting public perception issues Stadia faces, it's anyone's guess how this response will be received.
Have you purchased Stadia? What has your experience been like with the system thus far? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!