There’s good news for gamers, er, or at least, gamers in 14 countries.
Google has announced that it will be making its free tier for Stadia available and it will throw in two months of Stadia Pro for those who sign-up for the service.
While the free tier is notable, what is perhaps more notable is the fact that more people will be using the service. Where previously there was a paywall and a restriction on the devices that could be used to play Stadia games (Pixel phones being the only way to play games on a smartphone at launch for instance), but that may be a thing of the past.
Hopefully, this free tier has the net result of more folks playing games on Stadia. Destiny 2 for instance is a ghost town for those playing on the service.
The two months of Stadia Pro for free is a nice touch and Google says it won’t charge existing Pro subscribers for the next two months.
Google has noted that the potential influx of Stadia users could sow havoc on internet infrastructure around the world. So, just like its other firm YouTube, Google will reduce the fidelity of games being streamed to users.
“With increased demand due to more people at home during this time, we’re taking a responsible approach to internet traffic. For Stadia, we’ve always adjusted bandwidth use based on a variety of in-home and local internet factors. To reduce load on the internet further, we’re working toward a temporary feature that changes the default screen resolution from 4k to 1080p,” wrote vice president and general manager for Google Stadia, Phil Harrison.
The GM says that “the vast majority of people on a desktop or laptop” won’t notice the drop in fidelity but we wouldn’t put money on that. Users can adjust their data usage options from within Stadia if they want.
As we mentioned, Stadia is only available in 14 countries, namely Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norwat, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States.
We live in hope that South Africa is added to that list sooner rather than later.[Source – Google]