One of the big promises Google made for its Stadia streaming service was the chance to play games at their most technically powerful, with 4K resolutions and 60 frames-per-second being one of the company’s regular talking points. No need to pay for an expensive PC!
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bjwqb4/google-points-finger-at-developers-for-stadia-games-not-streaming-at-4k
Even if it’s true, this is a hilariously self-sabotaging thing for Google to say. What developer wants to get thrown under the bus like this?
With regards to Stadia more broadly, I think it’s funny that Phil Harrison gets held up as some kind of video game visionary when both the PS3 and the Xbox One improved significantly after he left.
Google are begging a lot of questions here. Are developers given a build of their server racks and told to hit a certain level of performance and resolution scale? Are those developers expected to design the infrastructure for the client-to-server interactions for reducing input lag?
And namely, how much work is Google doing in-house to facilitate these ports to their servers? We don’t know anywhere near enough to possibly take their word on a vague statement of “it’s up to the developers here”.
Platform holders like Sony and Microsoft will often work directly with their first-party studios to make sure that those developers are able to represent their hardware at its best. I get the feeling that Google has been taking a hands-off approach, and they’re now using it as an excuse for why these games aren’t hitting their promised targets.
This is up there with “don’t worry the ISPs will handle bandwidth caps.”
Anyways if there’s a significant hurdle when it comes to porting your stuff to Stadia then this thing is even less likely to succeed, as it’ll hit the same chicken-and-egg supply-and-demand wall that something like VR hit, where nobody wants to invest development time because the install base isn’t big enough to make it worthwhile, but the install base isn’t growing because nobody is investing development time.