Those wondering about how much data Google Stadia streaming will require may be shocked to learn that 1TB of data will be consumed over 65 hours of 4K quality usage. Google's conference yesterday on Stadia, its streaming service that fully supports cross-platform play, revealed more information about how this new platform would work along with when it would launch.
Part of the latest Google Stadia reveal included some core specs and video bitrate requirements. There have been some questions around how Stadia streaming was going to work in practice; the service was previously being touted as "Netflix for games," though its initial announcement didn't have a lot in the way of technical information and left consumers with a lot of unanswered questions.
PCGamer has crunched the numbers when it comes to the data used when using the Stadia streaming function, and the final tally is a whopping 1TB for 65 hours of 4k streaming. According to what Google has shared about the performance of the service, Stadia in all of its 4k glory will use around 15.75GB per hour of data based on a bitrate of 35mbs for a 60fps stream of this type. Considering the length of a lot of the games that have a confirmed presence on the service like Assassin's Creed Odyssey, someone wanting to play through the whole title on a monthly data plan is going to struggle if their service is capped.
There is the ability to make use of the Stadia streaming service at a lower viewing quality which reduces the overall data usage; subscribers will be able to streak at 1080p or 720p. This may well be sufficient for some users, and these are options already available on traditional TV and movie streaming services. However, it seems a bit of a waste to stream modern games in all their high-fidelity glory at a resolution where you can't fully appreciate them. If you're not someone with an uncapped data plan, a graphically watered down version of your titles may be all you can afford if you're choosing to play them on Stadia instead of other console platforms.
Considering that Google Stadia streaming requires a paid subscription to reap its rewards (including surround sound support) and that free users will have no choice than to stream at 1080p or lower, this news about data usage seems like another prohibition on the accessibility of the service. Stadia Pro has a high subscription price point ($129 for 3 months) compared to its competitors as well, so those wanting to make the most of it are going to need to have deep pockets as well as internet plans.