Google has announced that the Pro tier of its Google Stadia game streaming service is free for the next two months.
The company hopes free access to the £9.99 a month Stadia Pro service, which offers access to nine games from the library, will provide an opportunity for gamers to socialise with others during the widespread lockdowns around the world.
Google is rolling out the offer in 14 countries (including the UK) over the next 48 hours, opening up free access to games like GRID, Destiny 2: The Collection, and Thumper during the trial period.
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Existing Pro subscribers won’t miss out on the offer and will not be charged for the next two months, Google says. Those taking part in the trial can opt out at any time, before the usual monthly subscription fee kicks in.
In a blog post announcing the trial. Phil Harrison, the VP and GM for Stadia, writes: “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 socialse with friends and family when you’re stuck at home…”
In order to take advantage of the offer, newcomers to stadia will need to:
- 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 favourite (HID compliant) USB supported controller or mouse and keyboard
- Play over Wi-Fi on Pixel or many supported Android phones
Google says that as a result of increased bandwidth demand, it is taking the “responsible approach” and temporarily lowering the default screen resolution from 4K to 1080p. Gamers will be able to change back within the data usage options within the Stadia app though.
While the two-month trial is a generous offer from Google, it’s also likely geared towards boosting adoption for Stadia, which has received a luke warm reception from the gaming community since its launch late last year.