Google’s cloud-gaming platform Stadia has officially launched in eight more European countries, bringing the total number of countries the platform is available in up to 22.
Google Stadia is now available to anyone with a Gmail account in Austria, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland.
All new Stadia users can also get one free month of Stadia Pro, which provides monthly free games for as long as the user is subscribed, similar to Playstation’s monthly PS Plus games.
This expansion comes a year after the platform’s initial launch, back in November 2019. Google is seeking to expand Stadia in more ways than one too. The company recently revealed the first batch of titles released under its Stadia Makers program, which is designed to encourage more indie developers to self-publish their titles on Stadia.
Despite these efforts, platforms like Stadia are very much the early stages of cloud gaming. Amazon recently revealed their own cloud gaming service, Luna. Last month we took a look at Luna, and the cloud gaming arena as a whole, to get an idea of cloud gaming’s potential to one day see mainstream success.
“We’re still only in the early stages,” said Joost Van Dreunen, startup adviser, and co-founder of SuperData Research. “It will take another five years before we can start talking about cloud gaming becoming mainstream. That means the first consumers for this new type of service will be tech savvy early adopters. As broadband penetration continues to reach more households, and, ostensibly, 5G starts to deliver on its promises, it opens the market to a wider range of players.
“The real challenge here lies in not making false promises: if big tech firms rush to market and create all types of expectations they cannot deliver, consumers will be disappointed. It may cause them to turn away from cloud gaming and thereby further delay its broader adoption. We’ve seen that before with VR, too, for example.”