'Doom Eternal' won't be true 4K on Stadia despite early promises

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
id Software/Bethesda

When Google unveiled Stadia, id Software proudly proclaimed that Doom Eternal would be a marquee title that ran in "true 4K" on the game streaming service. Flash forward a year, however, and that's no longer true. A launch data sheet for Doom Eternal has revealed that the Stadia version of the hellish first-person shooter will run at 1800p upscaled to 4K. That's still much higher-resolution than 1080p and will include perks like 60 frames per second and HDR, but it also means you won't get better performance than an Xbox One X player.

The limitation reflects the overall trouble developers have had reaching 4K on Google's service. Red Dead Redemption 2, for instance, won't natively render higher than 1440p. It's not clear what the bottleneck is, but it shouldn't be the graphics hardware when Stadia's GPU performance is supposed to be about 78 percent stronger than that of the Xbox One X.

The problem, as you might guess, is that Stadia Pro members are paying largely for 4K support -- you're probably not shelling out $10 per month solely for the surround sound or bonus games. The resolution shortcomings will be non-issues if you're content to stick with the 1080p of the eventual free tier, but they make Pro a tougher sell even if you have the screens to do it justice.