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You'll be able to try out Google Stadia for free, eventually
Google Stadia will offer free game and service trials post launch. In an interview with StadiaCast, Stadia’s Head of Product, John Justice, confirmed that Stadia trials are “high priority” for the company. He also provided more clarity on the availability of the buddy pass and features of the Stadia controller.
Google Stadia is a cloud-based game streaming service. It will be available across platforms, including phones (starting with Pixel 3 and 3a), the Chrome browser, Chromecast Ultra, desktops, tablets, and laptops. Stadia will debut this November in the U.S.,U.K., Canada, and 11 European countries.
Stadia Pro costs $9.99 a month in U.S.. There’s also a limited “Founder’s Edition” version bundled which comes in at $129 in the U.S and is currently available to pre-order. Stadia Founder’s Edition bundles in a Chromecast Ultra dongle, a controller, three months of Stadia Pro, and a three-month Stadia Pro buddy pass to pass on to a friend.
Buddy pass and free trials
In the interview with StadiaCast, Justice confirmed that buddy passes for Stadia Founder’s Edition will be available within two weeks of launch. Passes were previously expected to roll out after six months of launch.
One of the most important reveals from the interview was about free Stadia trials. Justice confirmed that Stadia “will have trials,” but said that it’ll be a “few months (after launch)” before they are made available. “We’re just working through the right way and how exactly to set it up,” he said. “Trials is something that’s high up on the list,” he added.
Free Stadia trials will not be restricted to Stadia customers who want to try out new games and features. Google will also open trials to non-customers who want to try out Stadia. “Both those are trials we want to support,” said Justice.
Some more Stadia tidbits
Talking about the Stadia controller, Justice confirmed the device does not feature gyro sensors for motion control. This could be an attempt at keeping the price of the controller down, but Justice said that not a lot of game developers wanted the feature in the first place.
He also confirmed that Stadia players who use Chromecast, either the dongle or a Chromecast-enabled TV, will not be able to use a keyboard and mouse anytime soon. Google hasn’t figured out how to support keyboard and mouse control on those devices yet, so it looks like Chromecast Stadia players will have to stick to controllers.
That’s about all the new Stadia info that came out of the interview.
Check out everything you need to know about Google Stadia, its hardware, and the games it supports here.