Google last week began rolling out 4K Stadia gaming on the web, though it has yet to publicize the new capability. Widely available today, an updated Stadia support document details the web requirements for 4K and it notably excludes the Mac.

According to Google, 4K gameplay is supported on Windows and Chrome OS devices with VP9 hardware decoding. Another help page provides instructions on how to check for that hardware support using your browser:

  1. In your Google Chrome address bar, type chrome://gpu and press Enter.
  2. Scroll down to “Video Acceleration Information.”
  3. If you see “Decode VP9”, your computer supports VP9 hardware decoding.

A 4K monitor is also required, but some in the community have found workarounds. One omission today is macOS, given its lack of native VP9 hardware decoding. (That said, you can unofficially get 4K on the Mac with the Stadia+ third-party extension.)

Apple does not support the codec, and that most noticeably manifests as Safari not supporting 4K YouTube, with the YouTube for Apple TV app having the same deficiency. Linux support is also not documented.

Besides hardware requirements for 4K Stadia on the web, you need a 35Mbps or greater connection and have to set the “Best visual quality” data usage option. You can confirm the quality by opening the in-game menu (Shift + Tab) and clicking “Connection” where a green “4K” icon should appear below.

Meanwhile, Google notes that HDR and 5.1 surround sound for is “coming soon.”

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Abner Li

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