Google launched Stadia in the 19 of November 2019 to a rocky reception. The streaming system was criticized for its poor performance, falling behind on claims that it could run games at 60fps at 4k resolution. Additionally, the system suffered from lag and a limited library of old games going for full price with only a single exclusive. Google Stadia also had a mandatory subscription fee that costs as much as Xbox Live or PSN.
Speaking to Protocol, Phil Harrison claimed in the next few months you will be able to play Google Stadia for free. This coming as the free premium subscription for backers that purchased the Google Stadia Founder’s edition is coming to a close. Google intends to let players with expired subscriptions to continue playing the games they own and access the Stadia store. Though, players who loose the premium subscription will no have access to any free games.
The free tier will offer 60fps streaming when playing the game, and 1080p resolution. Free tier players will not have access to game discounts or free games that premium users will receive. Phil Harrison hopes this will boost the user base of Stadia, along with Stadia acquiring 120 games with 10 new exclusives this year. Of course, players will still need to buy the Stadia controller as well.
Google has stated concern with Nvidia launching GeForce which is a similar service for only half the subscription fee and instead of using a new library, GeForce will use the players current library of PC games to stream anywhere. Microsoft is launching their own streaming service called xCloud which has been committed to a 2020 release. xCloud is be combined with some form of Game Pass which will bolster the library of available games for xCloud users and is intended to host at leat 50 games at launch, more than Stadia’s library.