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Google responds to criticisms of Stadia's 4K support

After Red Dead Redemption 2 and Destiny 2 found to be upscaling lower resolutions, company says it expects developers to improve their games' performance

Leading up to the launch of Google Stadia, one of the on-demand streaming service's big selling points was streaming in 4K resolution. However, one of the complaints multiple critics had with Stadia upon launch was that Stadia wasn't delivering on that promise.

For example, Eurogamer's Digital Foundry editor Richard Leadbetter found that while the Chromecast Ultra TV dongle would output a Stadia stream of Destiny 2 in 4K resolution, it was actually upscaling the game running in a lower 1080p resolution. Leadbetter noted a similar issue for Red Dead Redemption 2, with the game apparently rendered at 1440p and then upscaled to 4K. Meanwhile, The Verge's Sean Hollister said Destiny 2 looked like 1080p on a TV through the Chromcast Ultra, and closer to 720p when playing through a Chrome web browser.

Today, Eurogamer reported that it received a statement from Google in regards to the discrepancy between what people expected based on marketing promises that all Stadia games would support 4K resolution and what people are getting.

"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," the company said. "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."