Google Stadia May Offer Free Game Trials


Google is working on a way to allow Stadia subscribers to participate in trials of certain titles. 

“I think if you look at our plan to make as many people be able to try this as possible, you want people, whether they’re already on Stadia, to let them go discover new games, new things, stuff you haven’t tried,” said Stadia’s head of product, John Justice, during a recent podcast. “And then also people who – if you haven’t given it a try – we want to let you jump in just as easily as you can. So I think both of those things are trials that we want to support.”

That statement is a bit…vague. It seems to imply that Google is interested in both trials for the Stadia service itself and for individual games. Offering a trial to the service itself seems easy enough, but we’re not entirely sure how trials of individual games would work. We imagine it would be much like how Steam offers demos of certain games, but again, the specifics are vague at this early stage. 

While Justice says that such trials are a high priority for Google Stadia, he doesn’t offer a timeline on when we can expect that feature to be available. 

So what should you make of Stadia at this early juncture? Well, that’s a great question. We’re nearing the service’s November 2019 launch date, and there are still many who feel that Google has yet to really sell them on the benefits of the company’s vision of cloud gaming. Its advantages are obvious (high-performance gaming, easy-to-access titles, and reduced physical hardware needs) but questions still remain regarding the viability of the service in terms of its technical demands and software offerings. 

With Microsoft and Sony also preparing for the future of cloud gaming, though, it may be time to start looking at Stadia as at least a glimpse of what is to come. 

Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014

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