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

Google’s Stadia streaming service hasn’t had the smoothest launch. Between missing features and less than stellar performance, the platform is, at the moment, more about future promise than current potential. 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. 9to5Google found evidence Google could add free Stadia Pro trials and other features soon.

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. At the moment, the fact a code is required to sign up means you need to either spend on $129 on the Stadia Premiere Edition or get a Buddy Pass from a friend who bought a Founder’s Edition bundle at launch.

Also appears two features Google didn’t ship at launch, Family Sharing and YouTube Live streaming, are close to making their way to Stadia users. In the case of the former, 9to5 found evidence only one person in a family will be able to play a game at any one time. If two want to play the same title simultaneously, your family will need to buy a second copy. When it comes to YouTube streaming, the website saw code snippets that indicate Stadia will allow you to control things like whether your stream is visible on YouTube, and if there’s a viewer count for others to see.

The one major caveat to all of this is that the existence of certain code is not confirmation that a feature will eventually make its way to the final product. Google may change its plans, altering or completely scrapping certain features along the way. That said, since most of the features detailed above are ones the company has already talked about in the past, there’s a good chance they won’t get lost in the shuffle.

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