Google Exec on Stadia’s Internet Speed Requirements
In speaking with Google’s Phil Harrison following the Stadia announcement, I asked him about whether Google had concerns about how many players could access Stadia given internet speed requirements and the wildly different speeds of internet available throughout the world.
“We know that our internet bandwidth requirements won’t reach everybody day 1. There’s nothing I can promise that will change that. But we’ll work hard to reduce the bandwidth required and increase the quality,” Harrison said.
Harrison reiterated similar numbers that he has mentioned before about Stadia internet speed requirements, specifically telling me that players will need “roughly” 30 megabits per second internet speed for 4K/60 frames per second streaming, while 1080p streaming will require “significantly less than that.
These speeds may not be easily accessible for parts of the world, but as Harrison mentioned above, Google is endeavoring to continue bringing down those requirements and is aiming to support varying levels of bandwidth.
“We’re making significant investments in the data center, hardware, software, and services that encode the video that comes out of our data centers. We can run games in a variety of resolutions depending on the bandwidth you have coming into your home,” he said.
Of course, internet availability, and the speeds of that internet, can vary wildly by location and provider, but Google has in recent years begun investing in its own internet capabilities with Google Fiber. I asked Harrison if there might be a concerted effort for Stadia to keep proliferating Google Fiber’s reach, and he actually pointed to the backend fiber connections powering Google’s data centers as the main impact on players who will access Stadia.
“It’s the other kind of Google fiber that is helping all players, which is the fiber we have connecting all of our data centers together, the private backbone that google has, the hundreds of thousands of miles of cable, many of which go underseas and across continents. That is the thing that is impacting the play experience positively for everybody.”
IGN has gone hands-on with Google Stadia as well as the Google Stadia controller.
For more on our discussion with Phil Harrison, check out Harrison’s remarks on Google Stadia’s plans for third-party support, and that there were “never” plans for a Google Stadia console, despite pre-announcement rumors.