After rocking the world with their announcement of the Google Stadia streaming service, the man in charge, Phil Harrison, sat down for an interview to offer a few details and to clarify some of our lingering questions. One of the things he addressed was an important one – the internet requirements needed to how Stadia process games seamlessly.
Harrison stated that the team was “able to test a lot of this with our Project Stream test late last year, starting back in October.” If you’ll recall, that was when Google partnered with Ubisoft to allow for a free demo of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey to be played for free over Chrome browsers.
Phil Harrison then went into the details, confirming that “to get 1080p, 60 frames per second, required approximately 25 megabits per second. In fact, we use less than that, but that’s where we put our recommended limit at.”
The project’s lead then explains that “with innovations that we’ve made on the streamer side and on the compression side since then, when we launch, we will be able to get to 4K but only raise that bandwidth to about 30 megabits per second.”
Though Harrison says games will be totally playable under those recommendations. He says, “if you have less bandwidth, we’ll give you a lower resolution… We do a lot of that for you in the background, and we will only offer up the appropriate bandwidth for the infrastructure that you have.”
It’s worth noting, according to Fortune, that the average U.S. internet connection speed is 18.7 megabits per second. Which is considerably under the 30 megabits stated as the internet requirement to hit 4K visuals. Though, that 18.7 figure is likely bogged down quite a bit by slower internet speeds in the rural portions of our country.
Still, it’s clear that though internet speed averages in the U.S. are up 22% in just the last year, we still have a long way to go to get everyone up to modern broadband levels. Making the Stadia something not everyone in the country can choose as a viable gaming option.