Since the announcement of Google’s cloud-based gaming subscription service Stadia, various concerns about the feasibility of the project have circulated in the gaming community.
In an AMA hosted on Reddit, Andrey Doronichev, Project Director of Stadia, addressed many of the concerns about the program most notably, in the US at least, the issue of whether Internet Service Providers (ISP) will be able to accommodate the gaming service’s data needs. Doronichev seems to believe the problem of limitations of internet infrastructure is surmountable saying:
“There’s a lot of great ISPs offering plans with 100s of Mbps or even gigabits and no caps. We’re seeing different progress in different countries and are certainly expecting ISPs to continually improve the services.”
Stadia, for those who missed the news, is an upcoming service from Google that proposes to let players stream high-quality games, up to 4K, to virtually any device that is connected to the internet. The launch of the program is limited to select Google devices but future expansions promise to allow streaming to any device that can run the Stadia app. Players first subscribe to the Stadia service and then buy individual games in addition to the service’s fee.
For many, the data use for streaming games at 4K resolution seems like a big ask. PC Gamer even went so far as to calculate the demand at 15.75 GB per hour. But Doronichev seems optimistic that ISPs will find a way:
“I can’t predict the future, but I’ve seen that ISPs adopted in the past – I saw it when I was at YouTube – and we’d expect that to continue. For players concerned about data usage we’ll definitely have some tools in the Stadia app to manage your data usage to adapt to your unique data situation, but I’m not sure if that will be on day one or a bit later.”
What do you think, will ISPs be able to keep up with Stadia?
Stephen Krusel, known as Sven Kroosl to some, has played video and tabletop games since 1987 and has written about the gaming industry since 2008. He has yet to be convinced that Final Fantasy Tactics is not the pinnacle of gaming.