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Latest Stadia update hints at free tier launch, YouTube streaming features

Latest Stadia update hints at free tier launch, YouTube streaming features


No word on when they’ll be available, though

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Google Stadia had a rough launch, with plenty of missing features and unfulfilled promises. But the latest update to the Stadia app hints that some of those features might be coming soon, including the highly anticipated free tier, YouTube streaming, family game sharing, and more, as spotted by 9to5Google.

The biggest thing is an indication that Google is gearing up to launch its free Stadia Base tier of service soon. 9to5Google’s report found strings in the app that allow for registration without a paid Stadia code, along with a free one-month trial for Stadia Pro memberships (which includes several free games, along with other benefits).

Also found in the app is an indication that Google may be limiting the number of people who can sign up and play Stadia at one time, with warnings that “Sorry, Stadia is full in your area,” and “In order to provide the best game quality for everyone, we limit the number of accounts on Stadia. We’ve hit that limit, but we’re working hard to build additional room in the Stadia cloud so more people can enjoy the same high-quality game performance. Please check back in the future for new player availability.”

Another new feature hinted at in the app is the long-promised ability to live-stream games directly from Stadia to YouTube, something Google has been showcasing as a major feature for Stadia since it was first announced. New strings for buttons and menus related to starting, managing, and stopping YouTube live streams were spotted in the latest app, implying that the feature could be rolling out soon.

Given that live-streaming games on a traditional console or PC still requires a fair amount of know-how and hardware, making it as simple as pressing a button in the Stadia app could be a big feature for Google’s service.

Sadly, the hinted-at features are just that for now: hints. There’s no indication of when they’ll be available for customers to try for themselves. Still, it’s an encouraging sign that Google is working hard to make its initial Stadia promises a reality — even if these features are coming later than fans may have hoped.