Google Stadia seems to be having a rough run since its release on November 19th. While the cloud gaming service's core offering for Pro users was delivering games at 4k 60fps or 4k 30fps resolution at the worst, several users are now disgruntled over the fact that several games don't support 4k inherently and are merely upscaled from native 1080p or 1440p.
Here's what Google had to say about Stadia:
“…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.”
Though Google claims that all games at launch supported 4K, the developers of games such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and Destiny 2 simply admitted the fact that their games were natively running at either 1080p or 1440p and were upscaled to 4K.
Many PC gamers tend to prefer PC over console as the latter cannot offer the silky smooth texture that is a result of the high frame rate of PCs. At such a juncture, when Google advertised Stadia as offering a high frame rate and resolution some users were eager to try for the service – assuming that it would work.
However, after knowing that some games aren't inherently built for 4k and were merely being upscaled, a sizable chunk of Stadia users expressed their disappointment followed by a heavy backlash against Google.
As a response to the backlash, Google released a statement saying that Stadia's responsibility was to simply output a 4K resolution visual through Chromecast, the techniques for achieving 4K resolution was solely dependent on the game developers and they can choose whatever technique they find most suitable.
In essence, this means that Google says it takes no responsibility for how the games are converted to 4k, even if it involves a method such as upscaling. But then, users didn't think it would be so and were genuinely expecting a 4K 60fps gameplay for all big titles.
Google did assure that the gaming experience would improve over time, which may very well hint that titles may someday be available in full 4k 60fps gameplay. Nonetheless, users expected to have such a feature from start, as announced in the platform launch.
Though Google is technically right by stating that “all games support 4k,” without considering whether practices such as upscaling were being implemented, some fans are heavily disappointed with the current gameplay experience.
Events such as these paint a bleak picture of Google Stadia's future.