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Google, Bungie, id Software all under fire in a new Stadia lawsuit

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One day Google might catch a break with their cloud gaming service Stadia but it's not now and perhaps rightfully so in this case. There's a new proposed class action lawsuit filed by a New York resident over the streaming quality and display resolution on Stadia.

As pick up initially by ClassAction, the lawsuit doesn't just involve Google. They're taking aim at Bungie and id Software claiming they all mislead players about the expected resolution when getting people to pay upfront for the Founder's Edition and Premier Edition bundles that came with the Stadia Controller and a Chromecast Ultra.

The lawsuit was originally filed in October 2020, with it only recently being moved from Queens County Superior Court to the New York federal court on February 12 so it's all still ongoing and these things tend to take plenty of time.

The problem is with how it was all initially advertised, when Google went on to claim how Stadia was "more powerful than both Xbox One X and Playstation 4 Pro combined" according to the lawsuit and that "all of the video games on the Google Stadia platform would support 4k resolution at launch". Interestingly, the lawsuit seems to indicate that the free $10 / £10 that Google give away on Stadia was as a result of "months of settlement negotiations" which is the first I've heard of.

Not only that, the lawsuit alleges that customers were basically Beta testers prior to the launch of the free version of Stadia that anyone can now sign up for (with Stadia Pro now being optional).


As someone who picked up the Founder's Edition, I can definitely agree with it feeling like we were all Beta testing for a wider roll out, and clearly Google's advertisement and marketing was far too hyped up and full of hot air about the expected quality and resolution for Stadia games. It definitely doesn't help when Google's Phil Harrison, replied to people on Twitter to further hype up the quality:

Yes, all games at launch support 4K. We designed Stadia to enable 4K/60 (with appropriate TV and bandwidth). We want all games to play 4K/60 but sometimes for artistic reasons a game is 4K/30 so Stadia always streams at 4K/60 via 2x encode.

Now though, the service is actually pretty good but Google absolutely handled it poorly to begin with. Even now, quite a few games are still 30FPS even at 1080p which is not great and Google seriously need to do a better job of noting these things for each game which they currently do not.

It will be interesting to see what becomes of this lawsuit, if anything.


Additionally, Stadia is also currently under a bit of fire from users due to Journey To The Savage Planet from Typhoon Studios (who Google acquired and then shut down) being broken for some. Since Google let the developers go when they announced how they're no longer doing first-party games, it looks like they might not have anyone available currently to fix it. That's a bit of a disaster eh? Updated: they've now solved it after around 20 days.

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29 comments
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Dunc 24 Feb
Quoting: Comandante Ñoñardo
Quoting: DuncMind you, my TV's still SD. Not, again, that I don't appreciate higher resolutions, but... meh, it's only TV.

I have an old CRT tv too for to play old Sega Genesis and Snes games via emulators.
My second monitor's a CRT, but my TV's actually from that very short window when they made SD LCDs.
3zekiel 24 Feb
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: 3zekiel
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: DuncI'm not going to say 4K is snake oil - more resolution can't be worse (leaving aside compression issues, etc.), and I'd be surprised if IMAX wasn't using it, or even 8K, today - but it's way overkill for relatively small screens, at least with current technology.

I'd say that the case is better for small screens than big ones. Watching soaps or a 20—foot face gurning emotively: meh. Having text that's clear with the letters the right shape, and not having chunky aliasing on edges in games, are the kinds of thing that makes a difference when you're close to a screen, which you're going to be for small screen use cases.

Hmmm depends how small, for a laptop, I tried both 1080p and 4k, and honestly except my battery draining faster I did not see any difference ...
For work screen, so 27 or 32" is more open to discussion, but I also stay at 2k there. Also because some tools I use have no correct support for high res, and link straight to X11 calls, so nothing a modern system can save you from (aren't shitty proprietary tools written at dinosaurs age wonderful ...). If not for those, I don't know because at 2k I can easily have 9 sub terminals with vim or tmux cmd line and no issue to read or anything, but yeah maybe I would gain a little from 4k.

For gaming, high framerate is more important than higher resolution honestly, so for me the choice is a no brainer, 2k all the way.

As for bigger projector screen, 1080p definitely gets blury in games. I am currently looking seriously at upgrading to 4k for that use. Issue is to find a 4k projector with decent latency.
Well, considering I connected a Genesis, C64 and Atari 8 bit up to my projector, I don't think going 4k would help :P

Indeed :)
On the other hand, choosing a projector/tv which uses an adapted upscale algorithm could change the result dramatically. There was a nice LTT video about that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUCc5NGEthA , Of course if you use an external device for that, then no issue.
slaapliedje 25 Feb
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Quoting: 3zekiel
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: 3zekiel
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: DuncI'm not going to say 4K is snake oil - more resolution can't be worse (leaving aside compression issues, etc.), and I'd be surprised if IMAX wasn't using it, or even 8K, today - but it's way overkill for relatively small screens, at least with current technology.

I'd say that the case is better for small screens than big ones. Watching soaps or a 20—foot face gurning emotively: meh. Having text that's clear with the letters the right shape, and not having chunky aliasing on edges in games, are the kinds of thing that makes a difference when you're close to a screen, which you're going to be for small screen use cases.

Hmmm depends how small, for a laptop, I tried both 1080p and 4k, and honestly except my battery draining faster I did not see any difference ...
For work screen, so 27 or 32" is more open to discussion, but I also stay at 2k there. Also because some tools I use have no correct support for high res, and link straight to X11 calls, so nothing a modern system can save you from (aren't shitty proprietary tools written at dinosaurs age wonderful ...). If not for those, I don't know because at 2k I can easily have 9 sub terminals with vim or tmux cmd line and no issue to read or anything, but yeah maybe I would gain a little from 4k.

For gaming, high framerate is more important than higher resolution honestly, so for me the choice is a no brainer, 2k all the way.

As for bigger projector screen, 1080p definitely gets blury in games. I am currently looking seriously at upgrading to 4k for that use. Issue is to find a 4k projector with decent latency.
Well, considering I connected a Genesis, C64 and Atari 8 bit up to my projector, I don't think going 4k would help :P

Indeed :)
On the other hand, choosing a projector/tv which uses an adapted upscale algorithm could change the result dramatically. There was a nice LTT video about that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUCc5NGEthA , Of course if you use an external device for that, then no issue.
I realized Saturday that I have a whole lot of extra space around my TV downstairs... so started looking at projectors... someone needs to tell me NO haha. https://www.amazon.com/BenQ-Entertainment-Projector-TK850-Watchers/dp/B07Y2N2MBL
ShabbyX 25 Feb
Quoting: t3gI can’t wait for Stadia to die out since it’s one big circle jerk here. I get it... Stadia runs Linux but it’s closed off.

I don't think you understand just how much Stadia is funding Linux graphics and Vulkan tools. You may not use or like Stadia, but you are benefitting from its existence on your desktop.

It would do us all good if Valve is not the only one interested in Linux.
Quoting: ShabbyX
Quoting: t3gI can’t wait for Stadia to die out since it’s one big circle jerk here. I get it... Stadia runs Linux but it’s closed off.

I don't think you understand just how much Stadia is funding Linux graphics and Vulkan tools.
I'm not sure anyone does. I get the vague impression they've maybe been doing some of that, and I've tended to assume they must be because there's things they'd want improved to make Stadia work better, but as far as I can tell they've been pretty dashed quiet about it. Do you know anything about what they've actually been doing?
slaapliedje 25 Feb
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Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: ShabbyX
Quoting: t3gI can’t wait for Stadia to die out since it’s one big circle jerk here. I get it... Stadia runs Linux but it’s closed off.

I don't think you understand just how much Stadia is funding Linux graphics and Vulkan tools.
I'm not sure anyone does. I get the vague impression they've maybe been doing some of that, and I've tended to assume they must be because there's things they'd want improved to make Stadia work better, but as far as I can tell they've been pretty dashed quiet about it. Do you know anything about what they've actually been doing?
Yeah, I mean Valve is very public with various githubs, hiring developers that were already working on projects, etc. Do we see commits to Mesa from Google employees? They canned their on development studio, were they doing Linux development that will help anyone but them? I mean as far as I know, they don't even allow Firefox to use Stadia, right? They only support Chrome?
mirv 25 Feb
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Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: ShabbyX
Quoting: t3gI can’t wait for Stadia to die out since it’s one big circle jerk here. I get it... Stadia runs Linux but it’s closed off.

I don't think you understand just how much Stadia is funding Linux graphics and Vulkan tools.
I'm not sure anyone does. I get the vague impression they've maybe been doing some of that, and I've tended to assume they must be because there's things they'd want improved to make Stadia work better, but as far as I can tell they've been pretty dashed quiet about it. Do you know anything about what they've actually been doing?

hlsl to spir-v, ANGLE, swiftshader, off the top of my head.

Google helps behind the scenes, so you need to look at developer help rather than end user desktop help.
ShabbyX 26 Feb
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: ShabbyX
Quoting: t3gI can’t wait for Stadia to die out since it’s one big circle jerk here. I get it... Stadia runs Linux but it’s closed off.

I don't think you understand just how much Stadia is funding Linux graphics and Vulkan tools.
I'm not sure anyone does. I get the vague impression they've maybe been doing some of that, and I've tended to assume they must be because there's things they'd want improved to make Stadia work better, but as far as I can tell they've been pretty dashed quiet about it. Do you know anything about what they've actually been doing?

hlsl to spir-v, ANGLE, swiftshader, off the top of my head.

Google helps behind the scenes, so you need to look at developer help rather than end user desktop help.

Also spirv tools (validation, diassembler etc), lunarg contracts, Vulkan CTS work contracts, working on the Vulkan spec itself, etc. Stadia doesn't use mesa, so that's why there is no activity there. I would be surprised if they didn't contribute to the kernel.
ShabbyX 26 Feb
Quoting: slaapliedjethey don't even allow Firefox to use Stadia, right? They only support Chrome?

I think it's just a matter of Firefox not having implemented the right codecs. Obviously they only tend to chromium, but Google never intentionally tried to make anything exclusive to chromium as far as I know


Last edited by ShabbyX on 2 March 2021 at 2:57 pm UTC
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