Last year, Google got into video games. However, unlike other companies, such as Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo, Google does not sell a console, but offers the Stadia cloud gaming service.
The games run on Google’s servers and then the images are streamed to the user’s device. Thanks to this mechanism, you can play AAA games on an accounting smartphone, a Chromecast Ultra, or an average computer (no need to have a gaming computer).
Initially, access to Stadia was chargeable since it was necessary to have a monthly "Pro" subscription to use the platform. But today, the free version of Stadia, announced in 2019, is finally available. This week, Google is rolling out this free version in the 14 countries where the platform is already available, including France. To play, just go to Stadia.com and use a Gmail account.
A good reason to stay at home
In addition, as part of the launch of this new free offer, and to encourage the practice of social distancing, Google is offering a two-month "Pro" subscription to all those who register on the platform. And if you are already a Stadia Pro subscriber, you will not be billed for the next two months.
In addition to that, Google also gives unlimited access, to all players, to nine games, including GRID, Destiny 2: The Collection, and Thumper. Other titles are available in the Stadia catalog, but you will need to purchase these, as a physical console user would, to play them.
“We are facing some of the most difficult times in our recent memory. Keeping social distance is vital, but staying at home for long periods of time can be difficult and cause isolation. Video games can be a great way to socialize with friends and family when you're stuck at home. We therefore offer players from 14 countries free access to Stadia Pro for two months ”, writes Phil Harrisson, the vice president responsible for Stadia.
Note also that Google has decided to reduce the speed of Stadia, so as not to create congestion on the networks. The firm is developing a feature that will set the default resolution to 1080p instead of 4K. "The vast majority of people on a desktop or laptop computer won't notice a significant drop in game quality, but you can choose your data usage options in the Stadia app", says Phil Harisson. Normally, the possibility of playing in 4K is one of the advantages offered to Stadia Pro subscribers, compared to those of the free offer.