The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced almost every one of us indoors. Well, Google wants us to continue staying indoors, so it has today made its cloud gaming platform – Google Stadia accessible to everyone for free. It had been rumored to be coming for the past couple of months and now that it’s finally here, you can play a bunch of amazing games from right inside your PC browser.
All you need to sign up for Stadia is a Gmail address (I bet everyone has one) and it may come as a surprise to some, but Google is throwing in a two-month Stadia Pro trial for free. You will have to shell out $9.99/month if you choose to continue your Stadia Pro subscription. Existing Stadia Pro users also get two-months on the house and won’t have to pay for their subscriptions for the next two months.
Reading this, I know you must be itching to get a taste of this cloud gaming service. The only requirement is a Gmail account. That’s easy, right? Well, not really because there’s a huge caveat to the service in its current state.
A lot of you may not be aware, but right now, Google Stadia is available in just 14 countries namely Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Anyone living outside these countries (including India or Australia) won’t be able to enjoy the perks of this cloud gaming service in lockdown.
Currently, there are only nine games (listed below) available for you to try out in this free tier. But, users can head to the Stadia Store and purchase other games they want to play on their TVs, browsers or tablets. You won’t lose access to the games you buy when your subscription ends. You own the individual games your purchase and can play them whenever you like.
Wondering if you need a Stadia controller to play the games? The answer is no. You can play using a mouse+keyboard combo, the PS4 DualShock controller or even the Xbox controller. It’s great to see Google Stadia finally being open to everyone. Until date, the service was just available to curious gamers who picked up the $129 Google Stadia Premiere Edition bundle. A few others got invited by their friends to join in on the fun.
In addition, the default streaming resolution for Stadia, which is 4K@60fps, is now being lowered to 1080p during the Coronavirus lockdown. Google is following the lead of other popular streaming giants to ‘reduce the load on the internet,’ as per the official blog post.
So, if you are eager to check out Google’s cloud gaming service, follow this link right now and sign up for Google Stadia. The free Pro trials are rolling out now and everyone in the supported regions should have access to it by the end of this week.