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Google details what you need to play Stadia games in 4K on the web

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Now that you can play Google Stadia games in 4K on the web, you're probably wondering just what you need to see the game streaming service reach its visual potential. The company is happy to help -- although it might be disappointing for some would-be players. It recently posted requirements, and the main demand is a Chromebook or Windows PC that can decode video in Google's preferred VP9 format, a 4K display to match and enough bandwidth to handle the "best visual quality" option. Stadia won't be too picky about the overall power of your computer, then.

However, you might notice what's not present: any mention of Mac support. Much like YouTube in Safari, Apple's resistance to VP9 over patent issues (it prefers royalty-free formats like AV1) makes official 4K support unlikely. Take heart, though. As 9to5Google observed, the unofficial Stadia+ extension for Chrome can force 4K on Macs if you're determined to play in full quality on your iMac.

There are still some limits regardless of what platform you use to play. HDR and 5.1-channel audio are still "coming soon," so you'll have to be content with a relatively flat audiovisual experience for a little while. And don't forget, titles like Doom Eternal won't play in native 4K. While you'll get the best Stadia experience possible, the performance won't outshine a local copy of a game on a well-equipped PC.