Google Waives the $130 Entry Fee for Stadia Cloud Gaming Service

Google will remove the $130 entrance fee for its Stadia cloud-gaming service indefinitely, it said Wednesday. This means that anyone who has a computer with an internet connection during the coronavirus pandemic can get high-end video games free of charge.

Millions of people across 14 countries now have access to high-quality video games, without needing to spend hundreds on gaming consoles or powerful computers. The interest in playing video games has risen dramatically with many people around the world being prompted to remain at home amid the outbreak. The World Health Organization is supporting #PlayApartTogether, a game industry initiative that encourages social distancing.

Google has made Stadia accessible at no cost today to take advantage of an opportunity in the market and attempt to increase its lead in cloud gaming over rivals like Amazon, Microsoft, and Nvidia, who are intent on building their own rival platforms.

“Keeping social distance is vital, but staying home for long periods can be difficult and feel isolating,” Phil Harrison, Google’s vice president for Stadia, said in a blog post announcing the change. “Video games can be a valuable way to socialize with friends and family when you’re stuck at home.”

Google Stadia Cloud Gaming Platform
Image Credit: Michael Rothstein

Google Stadia Makes HD Games Playable Even Without An Expensive Laptop

In the past, the complex calculations needed to power a video game were traditionally performed on the computer, gaming system, or mobile device. Cloud gaming is different, however, as the underlying technology makes it possible for these calculations to be performed remotely on distant corporate servers.

People can only buy individual games once they have signed up for Stadia. Google announced that it would be making Stadia Pro available for $9.99 per month. This tier includes full access to roughly 10 games, and is free for two months. The company stated that basic access to Stadia will continue to be free after that.

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