Google’s game-streaming service Stadia is now free for anyone with a Gmail account, the company announced today. Assuming you’ve got a compatible device and controller and good internet in one of the 14 supported countries you can sign up right now and get the “Pro” edition with a handful of built-in games for two months.
Until today, Stadia was only available via a $129 “Premiere Edition” that came with a controller, though a free “Base” version has been long promised. In a blog post, the company explained that the intense pressures of the pandemic led them to finally open up the service.
This package bundled a Chromecast Ultra, a wireless Stadia Controller, and three months of Stadia Pro. Stadia Pro offered free games and video streams up to 4K resolution and 60 frames per second with HDR lighting. Since April 8 this price has been negated but the streams have been locked to a maximum 1080p.
All users have to do is sign up on the website. Though besides the nine games, users will have to purchase their own games. All these games can be played on PC, Chrome OS tablet, Google Pixel phone, and other supported Android devices. Though Google has launched its own Stadia controller, it is not a necessity. Users can just use their own supported USB controller or mouse and keyboard.
After the two month trial period is over Google will charge users $9.99 per month. But Google says that users can cancel their subscription any time they want. Google said that they are limiting the streaming quality so as not to overload any of the ISPs.
Google wrote, “We’re facing some of the most challenging times in recent memory. Keeping social distance is vital, but staying home for long periods can be difficult and feel isolated. 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.”