Google offers the Stadia cloud gaming service for two months free of charge. Stadia usually costs 10 euros a month. Subscribers get all the features of Stadia Pro for free during the free phase, so they can play inclusive games like Grid and Destiny 2 for free.
However, there is one restriction: Because of the corona virus, Google also wants to throttle the data rate in cloud gaming so as not to overload the networks. The standard stream resolution is therefore reduced from 4K to 1080p. It remains unclear whether users will still be able to switch to 4K manually. Google had already created similar confusion with the throttling of Youtube. The video platform only seems to have a lower standard resolution in some cases, but it is still possible to switch to higher resolutions.
In one Blog entry Google writes that it can take up to 48 hours for the free edition of Stadia Pro to be activated. The now free version of Stadia is not the long-planned start of Stadia Base, the long-term version of Stadia that is free of charge. Instead, Google is now temporarily offering the Pro version free of charge. It is conceivable that Google will let this "test subscription" pass after the campaign in Stadia Base.
Two Stadia variants
Google Stadia runs on Windows PCs and some Android and iOS phones, among others. The cloud gaming service started last year, but was previously only available to paying users. However, two versions were planned from the start:
- Without subscription: The Stadia games have to be bought individually. Streaming is only possible in FullHD resolution, even without special corona measures. This variant does not yet exist, but should come later in the year.
- With subscription: Most Stadia subscriptions also have to be bought separately, but some games like Grid, Destiny 2 and Steamworld Dig 2 can be played at no extra charge. The subscription also normally allows users to stream in 4K resolution with HDR. It usually costs 10 euros a month, but is now free for two months.
. (tagsToTranslate) cloud services (t) google (t) games (t) stadia