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Now’s your chance to try out Google’s game streaming service for free. Starting today, the company is offering free access to Stadia for the next two months. 

The promotion is in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which is forcing millions of people to stay at home and rely on streaming services to stay entertained. 

“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 for two months,” Google VP Phil Harrison said in the announcement. “This is starting today and rolling out over the next 48 hours.”

Signing up will get you access to Stadia Pro, which can stream games to PCs, tablets, certain Android smartphones, and Chromecast Ultra-connected TVs, negating the need to own the dedicated video gaming hardware. 

However, there are some caveats with the promotion. For instance, it’s limited to only nine free games, including the popular shooter Destiny 2: The Collection, the car racing title GRID and the music-driven rhythm game Thumper. (The other six games were not mentioned in the announcement, but we’ve reached out to Google for details.)

For access to other titles you’ll have to buy them, usually at full price. But you’ll be able to keep the game purchases in your Stadia library as if you owned them, even if you decide to later cancel the service.

After the two months is over, you’ll have to pay $9.99 a month to stay on the Stadia Pro subscription. (For $129, you can also buy the official “Premiere Edition” bundle, which comes with three months of access to Stadia Pro, a Chromecast Ultra dongle, and the official Stadia controller.)

To reward existing Stadia subscribers, Google says it won’t be charging them for the next two months. The bad news is that the company is going to crank down the streaming quality for all users to prevent Stadia from hogging network capacity.  

“To reduce load on the internet further, we’re working toward a temporary feature that changes the default screen resolution from 4K to 1080p. The vast majority of people on a desktop or laptop won’t notice a significant drop in gameplay quality, but you can choose your data usage options in the Stadia app,” Harrison said. 

How to sign up. How to sign up for the promotion.

If you’re interested in the offer, Google says you’ll need to sign up via the stadia.com website. However, the company has yet to actually roll out the promotion, despite making the announcement. So we’ll have to wait and see how it works. A Google spokesperson told PCMag the offer should appear over the next 48 hours. 

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