Typically speaking, the higher-resolution a file, the more storage it requires, and the more data it needs in order to stream it. To solve that issue, companies have come up with various compression systems and codecs that try to strike a balance between maintaining a decent level of quality, while keeping data consumption relatively low.
The good news for Google Stadia subscribers is that if you’re concerned about using the service too much because you’re trying to keep data consumption low, a recent presentation from Google has revealed that the company could soon switch to using the AV1 codec for Stadia some time in the future.
Right now, Stadia relies on the VP9 codec developed by Google, but the AV1 codec, an open-source successor to VP9, is expected to not only provide better quality streams, but will also be more data-friendly. AV1 is currently deployed on other Google services like YouTube, Google Duo, Chrome, and Android, so for it to eventually make its way to Stadia makes a lot of sense.
Google does not mention when Stadia will make the change to AV1, and the presentation only says that it will be “coming soon”. As game streaming is starting to gain traction, making it more sustainable in terms of data consumption will go a long way towards more gamers adopting and subscribing to services, so this is an upgrade we can look forward to in the future.