Google Stadia Latency Revealed In New Performance Test

Google took to the stage at ongoing Game Developers Conference in San Francisco today to announce Stadia – its very own cloud gaming service. Called Project Stream while in development, the service is set for a release some time this year. An exact release date and any details on pricing are yet to be revealed, but the company did share salient specifications for the platform.

A report by Eurogamer goes into great detail analyzing said specs, complete with a video exploring the service’s image quality, frame rate, and latency in an exclusive performance test. For prospective users with slower internet connections and those in regions that are unlikely to be close to Stadia data centers, the most important of these to consider would be latency (or ping) – the delay between sending an input and seeing the action performed on screen.

The test clocks Stadia’s latency at 166ms on a 200Mbps Google Fiber connection, which seems like quite a delay till it is seen alongside that of an Xbox One X being played locally. There is also the fact that while the other systems in the comparison had their latency metered over a LAN connection and using a display with 21ms input lag, Stadia’s was measured on a Pixel Book with unknown display lag and over WiFi.

That said, the reading was taken over Google’s own internet connection, one with a 200Mbps bandwidth. Slower internet connections, especially those with poor stability, are likely to see a rise in both latency and quality. A followup test on a 15Mbps connection predictably added to Stadia’s latency, bringing it up to a total of 188ms.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that a game streaming service like Stadia relies heavily on the bandwidth and stability of a user’s internet connection, though that is precisely why it may be too early to call it the future of gaming, despite its undeniably impressive potential, with limited-bandwidth and low-speed connections still a constraint in many regions across the world.

You can view the video rundown below or head on over to Eurogamer to read the detailed analysis in its entirety.

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Sameed Khan

I write, game, design at times, and revel in sarcasm. You can find me on Twitter.