Google have announced today that their Google Stadia game streaming service is now available to all, opening sign ups without a requirement to also buy a Stadia controller. Not only that, but as a gesture of goodwill to all those around the world in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, they’re giving everyone who signs up two months of Stadia Pro for free.
To help people connect with friends online & have some fun during these challenging times, we're opening up Stadia for everyone. You'll also get 2 months of free access to Stadia Pro with some free games to play!
Check out our blog for all the details → https://t.co/n27t4Pmnn4
— Stadia (@GoogleStadia) April 8, 2020
With Stadia Pro in hand, you’ll have access to nine games including GRID, Destiny 2: The Collection, and Thumper, as well as the ability to stream in 4K on certain hardware. You’ll be able to play on laptop, desktop, Chrome OS or any supported Android smartphone, but playing on TV will still require a 4K Chromecast and Stadia controller.
Here’s how to gain access:
- Go to Stadia.com to sign up
- Download the Stadia app on Android or iOS
- Play on your laptop, desktop or Chrome OS tablet with your favorite (HID compliant) USB supported controller or mouse and keyboard
- Play over Wi-Fi on Pixel or many supported Android phones
After the two free months, Stadia Pro will cost £8.99, but you can opt out of the subscription.
Phil Harrison, VP and GM of Stadia, said in the announcement:
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 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 for two months. This is starting today and rolling out over the next 48 hours.
The caveat to offering Stadia Pro is that it’s meant to come with 4K streaming. However, Google are one of a number of bandwidth heavy companies that have started to throttle the quality of their video streams in response to requests from EU governments to ensure that networks remain stable while people work from home and teleconference more. Clearly this is the best time to be opening a major game streaming platform to the masses.
To that end, the default screen resolution will be set to 1080p and not 4K, but you can override this in the Stadia app. Google assert that most people won’t notice a significant drop in quality, and to be fair, there’s loads of games on there that aren’t running at 4K in the first place.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist!
Still, it’s a nice gesture from Google, and now’s a great time to try out their streaming technology to see if it’s a worthy rival to next-gen console gaming. Who knows, you might be surprised!
Source: press release