Google offers 2 months of free Stadia Pro gaming service

By

Google’s Stadia will run on MacBooks and iPads, not just Android devices.
This free trial to the Google Stadia Pro cloud gaming service gives your Mac, iPhone or iPad access to top-tier games.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Google said Wednesday that it’s offering two free months of the cloud-based gaming service Stadia Pro to gamers in 14 countries. This includes access to nine games, including GRID, Destiny 2: The Collection, and Thumper.

The company is doing this to help combat feelings of isolation many might be feeling during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Video games can be a valuable way to socialize with friends and family when you’re stuck at home, so we’re giving gamers in 14 countries free access to Stadia for two months,” said Phil Harrison VP and GM, Google Stadia, in a statement.

Free Stadia Pro available now, or very soon

Previously, signing up for Stadia Pro required an invitation code. And even after Wednesday’s announcement, many trying to subscribe are still being asked for an invite code.

But Google just started opening up free access to its gaming service. Harrison says the process starts today and will take the next 48 hours.

The 2 free months of Stadia Pro are being offered to anyone who has a Gmail account. All that’s necessary is to sign up on stadia.com. At the end of the 2-month trial, users will start being charged for this service. It’s possible to opt out of this subscription at any time without ending the free trial.

Those who already have a subscription get two months of free access.

More about Google’s cloud-gaming service

The service runs top-tier games on Google servers and streams the video to users’ computers. Stadia requires games to be rewritten for Google’s systems. It cannot play existing titles as they are, unlike rivals like Nvidia GeForce Now.

The service comes with a selection of games, and users can buy more. These purchases won‘t be lost if you cancel the free trial.

Stadia offers a free iPhone/iPad application. And an Android one too. Mac gamers access the service through its website, and can use a supported USB controller or mouse and keyboard.

The service normally supports 4K video, but Harrison said Wednesday “To reduce load on the internet further, we’re working toward a temporary feature that changes the default screen resolution from 4k to 1080p.”