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Stadia opens up for free to everyone

New users will receive Stadia Pro for two months, including nine free games.

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Stadia is now free. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Google's game streaming service, Stadia, opened up the free tier of its service in 14 countries Wednesday. Those who sign up for the service will have their subscription upgraded to Stadia Pro for two months (it's normally $9.99 a month) and can receive nine free games as part of the upgraded plan. 

Since its launch back in November of 2019, Stadia has been available only to those who've signed on to the service's pro subscription. But Google had said a free tier would be coming in early 2020. Those interested can sign up for the service at the Stadia website. The only thing needed is a Gmail account.  

Stadia Pro includes monthly free games such as GRID, Destiny 2: The Collection, and Thumper, along with 4K resolution and 5.1 surround sound. Google did say it'll default the resolution to 1,080 pixels in order to reduce the amount of bandwidth the service uses as more people are online due to lockdown orders implemented across the US because of the coronavirus pandemic. New users who get the upgraded pro subscription can cancel it at any time during the free two months or continue with the $9.99 a month membership. 

Stadia can be played on select Android phones on the official app, which is also available on iOS although it doesn't play games on iPads and iPhones. Users can also stream games on the Stadia website on their computer or laptop while those interested in using Stadia on a TV will need a Chromecast Ultra connected to it. There is an official controller for the service sold by Google, but some Bluetooth controllers will work, including the ones used for the  PS4 and Xbox One.