Google Stadia is free for two months – but us South Africans still can’t get it

Google’s big venture into video games has been rocky, to say the least. The streaming-only platform sounded great in principle, but the slow rollout to different countries around the world, the relatively high internet bandwidth requirements and the shallow library of games have all worked against it. Unfortunately, as decent as some early reviews of the system were, for the most part, Stadia is still the butt of one too many jokes at the moment.

However, it looks like the company is trying its best to change all that and get as many people as possible to go hands-on with the system. As per IGN, yesterday Google announced that their Pro Subscription would be free for two months. The ‘only’ requirement to get access to the library and functionality is a Gmail account. Usually, the Pro account allows users with the correct internet bandwidth to stream games at 4K, however, Google also added that due to the coronavirus pandemic this would currently be capped at 1080p.

While this is a nice move from Google, it doesn’t really help us in South Africa (along with several other countries) because unfortunately, the service is still only available in 14 countries. Of course, for most of the population, high-speed internet is limited here in SA and this kind of streaming service needs significant backend infrastructure to support it, so it is understandable that certain countries would receive it first. However, I must admit that I would’ve loved this two-month trial period. I really want to try Stadia out and test whether console-less gaming is really as close as some think it is…

Nintendo Nerd, sharing my love of Mario with the world one pixel at a time.

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