Google hit with class-action lawsuit over Stadia's 4K gaming claims

midian182

Posts: 7,143   +63
Staff member
In context: Remember the run-up to Stadia's launch when it promised all games would run in 4K at 60fps? That never panned out, and some people allege that these claims were misleading, made to increase its subscriber numbers. Now, a class-action lawsuit has been launched against the Google.

In a 42-page breach-of-contract lawsuit filed in the Eastern Court District of New York against Google, Bungie, and id Software, it's stated that Google "greatly exaggerated the streaming quality and display resolution" of Stadia and that execs from all three companies made false statements about most or all games running in 4K. The case was initially filed in October 2020 but has just been transferred to federal court.

At the Game Developers Conference in 2019, id Software's Marty Stratton said that Doom Eternal "will be capable of running at true 4K resolution, with HDR color at an unrelenting 60 frames per second" on Stadia. In reality, it runs at 1080p@60fps on HD displays and up-samples to 2160p from 1800p@60fps on 4K displays.

The suit also alleges Bungie "knew or should have known that Google was making misleading statements about the Stadia Pro subscription plan in that Destiny 2 would not be playable at the 4k 60FPS gameplay that the Stadia Pro service offered, and that consumers were being misled about Destiny 2."

In 2019, Stadia Vice President Phil Harrison tweeted that all launch games would run at 4K, but most of them were upscaled. Red Dead Redemption 2, for example, won't natively render higher than 1440p and is upscaled to 4K.

Stadia's ability to stream games at 4K was limited to those using a Chromecast Ultra and UHD TV until its web client gained support in March 2020.

The lawsuit seeks consumers in the United States who purchased the Stadia Founder's Edition, Premier Edition, and/or a subscription to Stadia Pro from June 6, 2019. It's claimed people made their purchase based on "information and reports contained online that Stadia was more powerful than the leading gaming consoles and would display all games at 4K resolution."

The lawsuit seeks damages, attorneys' fees, and "disgorging of all profits, benefits, and other compensation," along with an injunction prohibiting the future sale of games purchased through Stadia.

Stadia isn't turning out to be the "end of gaming machines" that some claimed it would be. We haven't heard much about the service recently, other than it is shuttering its first-party game development studio.

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winjer

Posts: 231   +889
I dont know, but sounds frivolous.

On the other hand, then Nvidia will get hit with something similar, since isnt this the same thing that DLSS does?

nVidia has always been very straightforward with what DLSS does.
In fact, it has been their main bragging point that a game can render at much lower resolution, and that using DLSS it can look almost as good as native resolution.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 883   +1,678
nVidia has always been very straightforward with what DLSS does.
In fact, it has been their main bragging point that a game can render at much lower resolution, and that using DLSS it can look almost as good as native resolution.
They might have, but I can guarantee that if this lawsuit goes thru and Google loses, Nvidia can easily be on the hook.

And I get it, the nvidia fans will defend them, but see the lawsuit, see the wording, see what you just described from DLSS and I can see them sued.
 

ClintL

Posts: 23   +49
The problem this has is that a lot of things are being dumbed down a lot for some people.
How much dumber do they need to make things so that people wont sue?


 

brucek

Posts: 893   +1,293
Isnt this the same thing that DLSS does?
Upsampling is not illegal. Saying you are not upsampling, when you really are, may be (in a civil fraud kind of way.) Saying DLSS is saying (a particular type of) upsampling right up front.

Separately - what's interesting about this to me is what it means for cable operators and other video providers. There is A LOT of "1080p" and "4K" video that is actually transmitted at various lower resolutions and upscaled once it reaches the STB. It's been years since I've been in a position to see the raw underlying streams but it would not shock me if there are operators that essentially never send a full 1920x1080 encoding on dozens of their channels despite advertising their packages as 1080/4K.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 883   +1,678
Upsampling is not illegal. Saying you are not upsampling, when you really are, may be (in a civil fraud kind of way.) Saying DLSS is saying (a particular type of) upsampling right up front.

Separately - what's interesting about this to me is what it means for cable operators and other video providers. There is A LOT of "1080p" and "4K" video that is actually transmitted at various lower resolutions and upscaled once it reaches the STB. It's been years since I've been in a position to see the raw underlying streams but it would not shock me if there are operators that essentially never send a full 1920x1080 encoding on dozens of their channels despite advertising their packages as 1080/4K.
About the Google case, its pretty much the same thing, as far as I can tell, upsampling the graphics, meaning no native resolution at all, no trickery, no nothing, so yes, everything that is not "native" 4k is a possible issue.

About tv broadcast, yeap, as of right now, OTA signals are at best 1080 and some are 720p and then up-sampled.

Hence why I called this lawsuit frivolous.
 

0dium

Posts: 238   +282
I don't understand why id and bungie are dragged into it too. What are they guilty in google not streaming their games 4k60
 

Athlonite

Posts: 258   +91
I don't understand why id and bungie are dragged into it too. What are they guilty in google not streaming their games 4k60

They're guilty of perpetuating a lie by saying their games are streaming at 4K60 when they're actually not.

As for those saying maybe nVidia could be caught up in this sort of court case are wrong nVidia makes no secret about what DLSS does and how it does it, Stadia on the other hand just outright lied by not mentioning that most if not all games streamed will be upscaled from lower res to 4K60
 

0dium

Posts: 238   +282
They're guilty of perpetuating a lie by saying their games are streaming at 4K60 when they're actually not.

As for those saying maybe nVidia could be caught up in this sort of court case are wrong nVidia makes no secret about what DLSS does and how it does it, Stadia on the other hand just outright lied by not mentioning that most if not all games streamed will be upscaled from lower res to 4K60
I still don't understand. Their games are capable of running 4k60 but stadia refuses to