Google finally reveals Stadia's 4K gaming requirements

Mike Wheatley

Google has finally posted the requirements for its new Stadia video game streaming service to support 4K resolution gameplay, via a newly updated support document.


But there’s bad news for Apple Mac users, who will need to employ a little workaround as there’s no official support for 4K on Stadia just yet.

For those who use a Windows or Chromebook PC, the most obvious requirement is a 4K monitor or television.

Once you’ve got that, you’ll need to make sure it’s able to decode the VP9 video format. You’ll also need to ensure your web connection is fast enough, with enough bandwidth, to support 4K and ensure the “best visual quality” without any buffering or other issues.

Google has a second help page that provides instructions on how to check that your display supports the VP9 codec:

- In Google Chrome address bar, type chrome://gpu and press Enter.

- Scroll down to “Video Acceleration Information.”

- If you see “Decode VP9”, your computer supports VP9 hardware decoding.

Unfortunately Apple Macs are officially exempt from the 4K gaming party at this time, but that’s not really Google’s fault. The problem is that Apple’s hardware doesn’t support the VP9 format due to issues with patents.

However, 9to5Google reports that there’s an unofficial Stadia+ extension available in the Chrome browser that will essentially force Mac computers to display games in 4K.

Google launched its Stadia gaming service late last year, but the initial reception has been underwhelming, despite months of hype when it was first announced.

The lack of 4K support probably didn’t help with that, so it’s good to see Google is finally upping its game and making good on a promise to deliver it. Google has also promised to roll out support for HDR and Dolby 5.1 on Stadia, but it remains to be seen when that will happen.