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Google Stadia is now free for anyone with a Gmail account

By Tim Augustin - on 13 Apr 2020, 3:15pm

Google Stadia is now free for anyone with a Gmail account

That should make it easier to stay in quarantine. 

Google has made their game streaming platform Stadia free for anyone with a Gmail account, and they couldn’t have done so at a better time. The company is also giving away two months of Stadia Pro for free - which gives subscribers access to nine free games to use with Stadia. Anyone who has already subscribed to Stadia Pro won’t be charged for the next two months. 

The games included with Stadia Pro are:

  • Destiny 2: The Collection

  • GRID

  • Gylt

  • SteamWorld Dig 2

  • SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech

  • Serious Sam Collection

  • Spitlings

  • Stacks on Stacks (on Stacks)

  • Thumper

Let’s be honest here - that isn’t a great lineup of games to play, but it’s free at the very least. Stadia previously was only available for US$129 for those who bought the Google Stadia Premiere Edition, which included a Chromecast Ultra, Stadia Controller and three months of Stadia Pro. This tier also allowed 4K game streaming with up to 60 frames per second and HDR capabilities. 

Conversely, this new free tier of Stadia will only allow a maximum resolution of 1080p. All you have to do to try out Stadia is sign up on the Stadia website, and you’ll be able to stream games on a PC and other supported mobile devices. However, Stadia is currently only available in a paltry 14 countries. That means only those living in the following countries can try out Stadia for free right now:

  • United States

  • Canada

  • United Kingdom

  • Ireland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Italy

  • Spain

  • Netherlands

  • Belgium

  • Denmark

  • Sweden

  • Norway

  • Finland

You should also be aware that due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, Google is adjusting Stadia Pro’s default streaming resolution to manage bandwidth. Stadia vice president and general manager Phil Harrison stated:

With increased demand due to more people at home during this time, we’re taking a responsible approach to internet traffic. For Stadia, we’ve always adjusted bandwidth use based on a variety of in-home and local internet factors. To reduce load on the internet further, we’re working toward a temporary feature that changes the default screen resolution from 4k to 1080p. 

It’s nice to see Stadia finally available for free for everyone to try out - despite it still not being available for the vast majority. It will also be interesting to see how Stadia fares against the debut of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 this winter. My guess is that it won't do very well at all. 

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