According to an early report by 9to5 Google and a subsequent confirmation by Google on Reddit, Stadia is making good on yet another of its earlier promises by delivering 4K to the web-based version of the game streaming platform. Up to this point, 4K gameplay has been limited to the Chromecast Ultra, but it appears users are beginning to see that 4K is now being delivered via the web player as well.
Technically speaking, you need what Stadia sees as an ‘excellent’ connection in order to take advantage of 4K, but the guys at 9to5 were able to get the 4K label when only on a ‘good’ or ‘OK’ connection, too. If 4K streaming is happening even at an ‘OK’ connection state, that is very good news for Stadia’s continuing improvement.
Additionally, Google says you need a connected monitor that is 4K, the ‘Best visual quality’ setting enabled from the Stadia app, and a GPU capable of decoding VP9 in hardware. If 9to5 Google’s experience with varied connection speeds is anecdotal, the only real hindrance for many in getting 4K up and running will be the necessity of a connected 4K display. I have a QHD monitor at the office, but since it doesn’t get me to that 4K pixel count, I couldn’t test whether or not 4K would show up for me right now. If you have all of the above requirements, you simply need to hit SHIFT + TAB while in-game and select the connection icon. You’ll then see the green 4K indicator if you are, in fact, streaming in 4K.
This is all a good sign, regardless of whether or not you have everything in place to take advantage of it. Stadia is consistently making strides and getting closer to the product that was promised around this time last year at the initial announcement of the platform. With Stadia Base likely just around the corner and a ton of game announcements happening in the next few months, I’m beginning to get excited about Stadia again.