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Google – 2 Months of FREE Stadia Pro Cloud-based Gaming

Thursday, April 9th, 2020 (10:45 am) - Score 2,142

Internet giant Google has announced that, due to the lockdown caused by COVID-19, they’re going to give video gamers in 14 countries (including the UK) “free access” to Stadia Pro for two months (usually £8.99 per month) and you can cancel at any time. Just makes sure your broadband ISP speed is up to the challenge.

Stadia is a cloud based video gaming service, where you remote play games that are streamed (via almost any device with a good display – smartphones, laptops, tablets, desktop PCs etc.) over the internet from a huge data centre. The service itself launched last year, although it has suffered some teething problems with latency and video quality.

Generally this works best if you can run it in 4K HDR resolution at 60 frames per second with 5.1 surround sound, which tends to require a stable download speed of 35Mbps, although the streaming auto-adapts to slower connections (i.e. it can run at a “recommended minimum” of 10Mbps but you’d end up playing at the lower HD resolution of 720p).

At this point some of our readers may note that most of the major video streaming platforms, such as Netflix or Google’s own YouTube, have recently adopted temporary measures to reduce their video quality during the COVID-19 outbreak. In reality this hasn’t had much impact on UK broadband ISPs, where video streams can be cached closer to end-users in order to avoid networks becoming too stressed.

One issue here is that such caching works best with linear video streams (i.e. many users seeing identical content), while cloud-based services like Stadia stream dynamic video to individual users (the player is constantly changing the stream) and as a result Google has decided to take some action here too.

Google’s Stadia Pro Statement

If you’re new, playing on Stadia is simple:

– 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 favorite (HID compliant) USB supported controller or mouse and keyboard.
– Play over Wi-Fi on Pixel or many supported Android phones.

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. The vast majority of people on a desktop or laptop won’t notice a significant drop in gameplay quality, but you can choose your data usage options in the Stadia app.

Otherwise Google began rolling out their offer of two months free service last night and this process is expected to run for 48 hours until fully deployed across all their markets. At present you can access 9 games via Stadia Pro, such as GRID, Destiny 2: The Collection and Thumper. Existing Stadia Pro customers will also get two months of the service for free.

After the 2 month free Stadia Pro trial you can choose to either start paying for it or revert to the free Stadia service, which is limited to 1080p resolution, 60fps and stereo sound.

Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Avatar Mark

    It works amazingly well

  2. Avatar Archie

    I second Mark’s comments there. After I saw this article I signed up and had a go. Played Destiny 2, which is also available on NVIDIA’s Ge-Force now service and was pleasantly surprised at how low the latency/response was. I’ve played Destiny 2 on Ge-Force now and it’s definitely playable but Stadia had the superior quality.

    I’d seen a video by Linus Tech Tips comparing Destiny on both Ge-Force Now and Stadia and them rating Ge-Force now as the superior platform but it definitely wasn’t my experience here in the UK.

    I would highly recommend giving Stadia a go. I tried it purely because the technology fascinates me. Having played OnLive years ago, even they did a good job, my connection was the limitation more than anything.

    I’ve played quite a few competitive shooters online (PUBG etc) and you can notice the latency big time when using something like NVIDIA’s streaming. With Stadia the input lag was barely noticeable and the quality was extremely good. I had zero artifacting.

    • Avatar Fabrizio

      I’d like to sign up but I’m unable to get the pro version and the app asks me for an invitation code then if I click on the don’t have a code link it redirects me to the premier (£119 one ) option which Is the only one available to me it seems.

    • Avatar Fabrizio

      Never mind, my fault lol I managed to sign up using a different device old laptop doesn’t do well with its old WiFi card but my old iMac works a treat !

  3. Avatar Craig

    I want to play ETS2 but my laptop doesn’t have a decent graphics card.

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