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Google responds to criticism over Stadia performance issues

Google once said that Stadia would stream all launch games in 4K 60fps, but it may actually be entirely up to game developers to deliver on Google's promise.


The Stadia has not had a very good launch. Between a pretty limited set of day one titles and various technical issues including visuals, performance, and connectivity, Google’s video game streaming platform is getting hammered left and right by players. When it comes to the visuals in particular, the outcry has been particularly heavy. Where previous to launch Google stated that games would play at 4K resolution in at 60 frames-per-second in its reported specs, the company has about-faced to say that it may be more up to game developers to deliver on that promise than the Stadia itself.

Google released a statement answering Stadia game performance issues on November 25, 2019, first reported in an article on Eurogamer. In the statement, Google answered specifically to the issue of many games on Stadia not playing at high-end settings the way that Google Vice President, GM, and Stadia chief Phil Harrison had promised they would. Many players have taken issue with the fact that instead of playing at true 4K 60FPS, there are titles like Destiny 2 that are instead rendered at a lower video quality and then upscaled.

To this, Google answered that while the Stadia is entirely capable of the visual performance that Harrison promised, it will seemingly be more up to developers of Stadia titles than Stadia devs themselves to make those performance levels a reality.

“Stadia streams at 4K and 60 FPS,” Google wrote. “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."

Red Dead Redemption 2 is among the titles on Stadia that don't live up to the standard of visual performance originally promised by Google.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is among the titles on Stadia that don't live up to the standard of visual performance originally promised by Google.

Not only does the above statement seem to fly in the face of what was arguably prematurely promised by Harrison, but it would seem that the official Google stance on the Stadia’s performance issues is that the “freedom,” and by extension responsibility of game performance, ultimately lies entirely with developers creating for the platform. Where much of that is certainly true (a game developer certainly decides what their final product will look like), it also seems to speak to a certain lack of quality control or awareness on the part of Google in its launch titles, which isn’t doing the Stadia any favors.

Early adopters always take the risk on new technology, and it would appear they’re in for a rough time in the early runnings of Stadia, but it’s certainly not an unredeemable concept. Hopefully, with criticism lighting a fire underneath Google, it will ultimately lead to improvements on this and other game streaming platforms.

[Featured Image by Computer Base]

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 25, 2019 8:50 AM

    TJ Denzer posted a new article, Google responds to criticism over Stadia performance issues

    • reply
      November 25, 2019 8:53 AM

      Tl;DR it's on devs I guess?

      • reply
        November 25, 2019 8:56 AM

        It would definitely appear that's the stance Google is taking on this one. TBH, it pretty much is, but it's also on Google to have some quality control and awareness of products launching on their platform.

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          November 25, 2019 9:14 AM

          Them not policing devs on their products seems like a good stance to take as a platform tbh but idk

        • Zek legacy 10 years
          November 25, 2019 9:16 AM

          To be fair I don't think any of the platform holders really police the devs on this particular issue.

        • reply
          November 25, 2019 9:20 AM

          They shouldn't have made the claims if they couldn't fulfill them. That's not on anyone but Google.

        • reply
          November 25, 2019 9:27 AM

          The tell is when that chucklehead in marketing spouted that malarkey about super-low latency and AI predicting your input before you do it, blah blah... whoever he/she takes orders from, whatever meeting he/she was in where these were the talking points that got green-lit, THAT is the source of the problem.

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          November 25, 2019 10:15 AM

          I'm curious to know what their QA certification process is like. I would that they have one, but I imagine it is still a work in progress at this point. When the PS3 came out I remember that we didn't have a thorough certification process for titles for quite some time after the system launched and, as a result, Sony was constantly making changes to address new problems. I imagine it will be similar for Stadia as more titles show up on the service and new problems arise.

      • reply
        November 25, 2019 10:26 AM

        It's not really on devs if they're not throwing enough hardware at it.

        • reply
          November 25, 2019 10:46 AM

          But we don't know that is the problem?

    • reply
      November 25, 2019 9:12 AM

      Investor fools gold.

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