Google’s cloud-based game platform Stadia is finally within reach of the general public, potentially widening the platform’s audience through the launch of a two-month free Stadia Pro trial open to Google account holders in 14 countries.
This wider launch stands to give Stadia the accessible reach Google pushed for since the get-go, as anyone in participating countries with a Gmail account can now use their Chromecast, PC, or mobile device to stream gameplay from Stadia’s remote datacenters directly to their screens, even if they lack a powerful console or PC at home.
Opening Stadia up as a free-to-use platform has always been part of Google’s plan, but the exact timeline on which it would do so remained murky since it first launched for a select crew of premium Stadia purchasers last November. This larger roll out begins as a free trial for Stadia’s paid Pro tier, though those that choose not to pay for the subscription after the two month trial ends are able to continue to use Stadia and purchase games as free users on the Stadia Base tier.
Merging today's launch with a free, two-month Stadia Pro trail lets new Stadia users stream at the higher quality reserved for paying Pro players and play the nine games currently offered for free in the Pro library. While they’ll lose access to both those higher settings and library of Pro titles should they chose not to pay Pro’s $9.99 per month free after the trial, users on the free tier are still able to buy games at retail price and build up a playable library of games as they would on any other platform.