Google have now made their cloud gaming service, Stadia, completely free to anyone who has a Gmail account. That means you no longer have to buy their pricey Premiere Edition to get started, all you have to do is sign up online.
On top of that, to help keep people entertained in isolation they’ve made their premium subscription service, Stadia Pro, free for two months. It’s basically a free trial that gives you full access to nine games, which sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
A base Stadia account won’t actually give you any games with it, you’ll still need to buy some if you want to play. The Pro subscription, however, gives you access to nine whole games, which are: Destiny 2: The Collection, Grid, Gylt, SteamWorld Dig 2, SteamWorld Quest: Hand Of Gilgamech, Serious Sam Collection, Spitlings, Stacks On Stacks (On Stacks), and Thumper.
The free Pro months aren’t just for newcomers either – if you’re already paying for Stadia Pro, you won’t be charged for it over the next two months (but your payments will go back to normal after that).
Katherine thought that Stadia was “a bit half-baked” in her comparison of cloud gaming services, but if you’re curious about it now is probably the best time to give it go. Just don’t forget to cancel the subscription if you don’t want it after the free period, lest you be caught out paying a tenner a month for it.
While Stadia users won’t have to worry about game downloads being throttled to save bandwidth (one of the nice things about cloud gaming), Google are still joining the effort to help manage your bandwidth by temporarily changing the default screen resolution from 4k to 1080p. “The vast majority of people on a desktop or laptop won’t notice a significant drop in gameplay quality,” said Stadia vice president Phil Harrison, “but you can choose your data usage options in the Stadia app.”
“We’re facing some of the most challenging times in recent memory,” he said. “Keeping social distance is vital, but staying home for long periods can be difficult and feel isolating. Video games can be a valuable way to socialize with friends and family when you’re stuck at home, so we’re giving gamers in 14 countries free access to Stadia Pro for two months.”
You can sign up for the free trial of Stadia Pro on the website, though Google said yesterday they were rolling the trial out over 48 hours, so it might not be available in your region just yet.