As Google Stadia starts to make its way into people’s homes, users are already beginning to test the effects it has on their data consumption. The results are not pretty. How much data is consumed is based on what resolution you play at. Playing at 4k and 60 frames per second amounts to roughly 20 GB of data per hour being pulled down. To reach the standard data-cap that many people have, 1 terabyte, players would have to play for only 52 hours in a month.
However, 4K still isn’t widely adopted. The majority of players will likely be playing at 1080p. While there is some variance, we saw that 1080p was pulling down about 6 GB per hour. While this would allow you to play for 170 hours in a month, that assumes all your data is going towards Stadia. In households with more than one person, Netflix, Youtube, Disney+, Hulu, and other games are all going to take their toll. It remains to be seen what ISP reactions to this will be.
Our Thoughts: While I’ve only gotten to use Stadia a bit, I do have some early thoughts. The most pressing question is of course ‘Does it work?’ Yes. It works. But the amount of data that it consumes is alarming. I live in a house with two other internet users, and a 1 TB data cap. Even at 1080p, I would churn through my share of the data cap in under 60 hours of gaming. Google is going to need to work with internet service providers to try and solve the data issue for users.