There have been many concerns in regards to Google's launch of Stadia, but most of them were in regards to latency, especially since the company repeatedly doubled down on delivering 4K and 60 FPS. Unfortunately, not all is as it seems.
It turned out that Stadia's latency is much better than most expected it to be, which is a huge boon to Google'sconsole-less aspirations, but other promises could be called misleading given that not all games run true 4K at 60FPS. In fact, most of the heavy hitters seem to be getting there by upscaling.
In the simplest of terms - you don't get two glasses of milk out of one without watering it down. In the same manner, lower resolutions upscaled to 4K are neither the true 4K we expect when we see it advertised nor what Google were droning on about when they repeatedly pitched what is one of Stadia's main selling points.
Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption 2 and Bungie's Destiny 2 are prime examples of this, both running 4K that is an upscaled version of 1080p, or in former's case 1080p or 1440p, depending on the data rate you've got.
Several websites and Reddit posts ended up complaining about what they consider to be companies shoving deception that's legally backed by corporate small print, to which Google now responded.
"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. 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", they said.
To be fair though, we've sifted through many reactions to Google Stadia and most user responses seem either positive, excited for the future or both. The console-less console delivers impressive latency, does great on laptop and tablet batteries, and even crashing lets you pick up where you left off without issues. That said, all those benefits don't make upscaled 4K actual 4K.