Google vice president Phil Harrison announced that the company is going to launch a free version of Stadia later in 2020 called ‘Stadia Base’.
Unlike the Stadia Pro version, Stadia Base will serve up to 1080p at 60 fps and provide stereo sound but will not get additional free games or exclusive discounts on select game purchases. “The big strategic difference is that over the next few months you will be able to experience Stadia for free,” shared Harrison. “No money down, without having to put a box in your home, you can just click and play amazing games straight from our data center,” he added
Stadia is a cloud gaming service operated by Google. It is advertised to be capable of streaming video games up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second with support for high-dynamic-range, to players via the company’s numerous data centers across the globe, provided they are using a sufficiently high-speed Internet connection. It is accessible through the Google Chrome web browser on desktop computers, or through Pixel smartphones, Chrome OS tablets and Chromecast.
The service is planned to be integrated with YouTube, and its “state share” feature will allow viewers of a Stadia stream to launch a game on the service on the same save state as the streamer. This has been used as a selling point for the service. It is compatible with HID class USB controllers, though a proprietary controller manufactured by Google with a direct Wi-Fi link to data centers is available alongside the service. Stadia is not similar to Netflix, in that it requires users to purchase games to stream via Stadia rather than pay for access to a library of games. While the base service will be free, a Pro tier monthly subscription allows users to stream at higher rates for larger resolutions, and the offer to add free games to their library.
Stadia Pro charges players a monthly fee of $9.99 for a bunch of free games on top of the $130 Founder’s Edition. Games that are not included in the Pro package will have to be purchased individually.
Google’s game streaming service launched in November last year with Stadia Pro (part of the Founder’s Edition) for 9.99 dollars. Debuting in the cloud gaming market with heavy negative reactions, the tech juggernaut is not giving up on the idea just yet. Just recently the company announced that Stadia is due to receive more than 10 exclusive games within the next six months.