Google's latest Stadia push is a commitment-free 30-minute trial

You can play for half an hour before handing over your payment information.

Nick Summers / Engadget

Google is offering would-be Stadia Pro users a 30-minute trial with no need for payment information, reports 9to5Google. Until now, if you wanted to test the cloud gaming service for a month, you’d still need to hand over your payment information before starting. As part of Google’s plan to remove every reason you’d ever use to not try the platform, it’s now offering these commitment-free mini-trials. Naturally, when that half hour has elapsed, Google will want to see some promise of cash before you can continue with the rest of your free month.

A year into launch and Stadia’s pitch remains as delightful, and frustrating, as it was when the service was born. On one hand, users never need to upgrade their computer or replace their console since all the games are hosted on Google’s servers. On the other, performance lives and dies on your internet connection and data cap, while the platform’s utility is limited to its stability, speed and game library. Not to mention that Google’s propensity for killing off slow-growing projects makes Stadia something of a risky investment for cash-strapped gamers looking for an alternative to the Sony/Microsoft technology arms race.

Google has, at least, done its best to remove almost every roadblock it can between Stadia and the new paying users it needs. The search giant has handed out Stadia controllers (with Chromecast Ultra units) to YouTube Premium users, saving them $99. It’s done its best to work around Apple’s refusal to host game streaming apps on iOS with a web platform that works pretty well, and has rounded out the feature list to include YouTube live streaming. Oh, and it’s available in more countries as part of Google’s quest for global domination.