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Google starts offering free access to Stadia

Rolling out over 14 countries, Google is offering free access to its cloud gaming platform to help with boredom as the world ponders how long the lockdown with persist.

The two-month freebie will be offered as Google attempts to scale its cloud gaming platform in the face of fierce competition from the likes of Microsoft and Nvidia. Users will have instant access to nine titles, and for those who have already signed-up, payments will be suspended for the period.

“We’re facing some of the most challenging times in recent memory,” Phil Harrison, General Manager of Stadia, wrote in a blog post. “Keeping social distance is vital but staying home for long periods can be difficult and feel isolating. 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 Pro for two months.”

This is likely to drive an increase of sign-ups for the business, though Google has already said it will apply controls to bandwidth to ensure unnecessary strain is not placed on local networks. Default screen resolution will be dropped from 4k to 1080p, and while most will not notice a significant drop in gameplay quality, there is an option to choose your data usage options in the Stadia app.

Although this is a pleasant announcement for Google, one which we sure many gamers will appreciate, but there is also an upside for the internet giant. This could be viewed as a promotional offer or free trial luring some users onto the platform who might not have been tempted before. Perhaps, some might be tempted to dip into their pocket for $9.99 after two months of gameplay.

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