Google detailed the plans for its Stadia game-streaming service yesterday. For $9.99 per month (plus the cost of games), you can stream games in 4K from Google’s servers. Here’s the harsh reality: 1 TB ISP data caps are widespread.
Here’s How Fast Stadia Will Hit Your Data Cap
According to Google, Stadia’s 4K quality stream uses 15.75 GB per hour. But, as Jarred Walton points out over at PC Gamer, that means Stadia will blast through 1 TB of data in 65 hours. That’s 16 hours of 4K gaming per week.
Let’s set aside 4K. 1080p quality requires 9 GB per hour; that’s 111 hours of Stadia streaming for 1 TB of data. With 1080p, you can play 28 hours per week.
This sounds like a pretty solid amount of gaming, but remember, you’re probably doing other things with your Internet connection!
Assuming you currently use 500 GB per month for web browsing, streaming 4K videos, and other internet activity, you only have 32.5 hours of 4K streaming or 55.5 hours of 1080p. That’s 8 hours of 4K gaming per week or 14 hours of 1080p gaming.
Beyond the 35 Mbps internet connection required for 4K, you’ll need a lot of bandwidth.
Get Ready for Extra Data Usage Fees
At $10 per month, Stadia doesn’t seem like a bad deal—after all, on top of the cost of a console, Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold and Sony’s PlayStation Plus cost $5 per month if you pay yearly.
But data caps will cause serious problems for Google—or, more likely, for eager Stadia customers who quickly get hit with big overage fees.
For example, the vast majority of Comcast home internet connections have a 1 TB data cap or “Terabyte Internet Data Usage Plan,” as Comcast calls it. That’s true whether you have the cheapest speed tier or you’re paying extra for gigabit internet.
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Chris Hoffman