Alphabetit is (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google is the latest tech company to respond to the unique circumstances of the coronavirus epidemic. With countless numbers of people essentially confined to the home to prevent the spread of the disease, Google’s Stadia – its relatively new video game service – is now available for free. Meanwhile, two-month free trials of the most powerful level of the service, Stadia Pro, are also available.
Stadia is Google’s response to the ever-changing game market. It is unique in that a high-end gaming computer is not necessary to take full advantage of the service. Instead, the intensive compute work is offloaded to corporate data centers and “streamed” to a user’s device. Technology even makes smartphones capable of playing game titles that might be difficult to manage for smaller computers.
However, the service has not been particularly well received by the gaming community in the 14 countries where it is available. Namely, the delay in the game has been a persistent complaint. Making the lower level of service (a version known as Stadia Base) free for anyone with a Google account could adjust expectations, but not without compromise.
While the Pro version, which normally costs $ 9.99 per month, offers up to 4K graphics and 5.1 surround sound, the free tier is limited to 1080p graphics and basic stereo. In particular, Stadia Pro offers a continuous selection of a few playable games. Free tier users still need to purchase their games, as do Pro customers who want more games than the handful of titles available at all times.