The launch for Google’s attempt to break into game streaming, Google Stadia, has been very rough. The company had a huge number of problems. The lack of attractive games and performance issues were enough to drag down the experience a fair bit. Google has been slowly trying to repair the problems, mostly by adding missing games and features, but gamers have been slowly coming around.
And with the spread of COVID-19, gamers have been trapped indoors for a few months. To help erase some of the boredom, Google is offering two free months of Stadia in 14 different countries. This will open up the service to iOS and Android devices, as well as laptop, desktop or Chrome OS tablet devices as long as they’re using a USB controller. And of course, PC players are in the bundle too.
How can I play?
First, you simply need to visit the Stadia website and sign up for two free months of Stadia Pro. This will be open to any and all players. Just keep in mind that Stadia requires a fair bit of bandwidth and a decently fast connection to handle even the lower end of streaming games.
The company wants everyone to know that they are turning down the default resolution from 4K to 1080p for the duration of this period. This means that they will be able to handle more traffic and that users won’t need to adjust settings if they don’t have the bandwidth for Those who have the bandwidth will still be able to access 4K resolution settings though.
Google does use the Stadia controller that shipped with Founder packs, but many other controllers can be used as well. The iconic mouse and keyboard will be supported, as will controllers for consoles like Xbox One and PS4. Google has provided a longer, though not exhaustive, list of supported devices on its support site.
What can I play?
Stadia Pro will give you instant access to nine different games, including GRID, Destiny 2, and Thumper. The Pro subscription is a direct addon to the store where gamers can purchase games individually as well. These premium purchases include many of the AAA games either already on or coming to the service. Such as Cyberpunk 2077, Baldur’s Gate 3, Watch Dogs: Legion, and Gods & Monsters.
Various AAA games are headed to Google Stadia over the next few months as well. That’s in addition to the various indies and even some free-to-play titles that have jumped onto the streaming service. The bad news is that many of these AAA releases will likely not be free. Not only are they likely to debut after the free period ends, but Google still has to make money somehow.