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Google responds to claims it misled consumers over Stadia launch performance

Google responds to claims it misled consumers over Stadia launch performance

November 25, 2019 | By Chris Kerr

Google has responded to accusations it deceived consumers by making false promises about the performance of Stadia titles. 

As reported by Eurogamer, the company has been called out by journalists and consumers for claiming key titles would support 4K/60fps gameplay at launch, when in reality they’re missing the mark.

For example, the folks over at Digital Foundry found that Red Dead Redemption 2 renders at 1080p or 1440p on Stadia depending on the data rate, and is then upscaled to 4K on a Chromecast Ultra. 

It’s a similar story for Destiny 2, with Bungie’s planet-hopping shooter also rendering at native 1080p before being upscaled - although once again it never reaches true 4K quality. 

“First of all, 4K support was promised for all launch titles and while we're getting a 4K output video format from the Chromecast Ultra, I do feel it's a stretch to describe this as an ultra HD experience,” explains Digital Foundry.

"The small print on the Stadia website explains things more correctly, but even the 'up to 4K' claim is still problematic when a title like Destiny 2 runs at 1080p instead. For my money, the Pro sub is still a clear upgrade as it's the only way to get 5.1 surround sound, HDR and image quality that looks a lot better on the big screen owing to its higher bitrate."

Addressing those claims, Google said that Stadia has upheld its end of the bargain by streaming at 4K and 60fps, but that in certain instances developers have chosen to limit the capabilities of their ports (for the time being).

“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,” reads the Google statement. 

“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."

Ultimately, it looks to be a case of expectations vs. reality, with Google making big promises that have now caused a ruckus after developers opted for more conservative ports that prioritize steady performance.

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