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Google adds Free Weekends to Stadia starting with Borderlands 3

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Google's game streaming service Stadia continues to gradually roll out new features, one of which went up yesterday with Free Weekends now being a thing. Plus, another round-up on recent Stadia info.

I'm surprised it actually took this long. Free Weekends are a great way to trial games, and something Steam has been doing for quite a long time now. Partly thanks to demos at some point becoming more of a rarity. The thing is, for a game streaming service like this it makes a whole lot more sense, since there's no lengthy initial downloads. You can jump in practically instantly and see if you like it and play a good few hours. Then perhaps buy it.

Pictured: how it looks now on the Stadia store.

The only thing that's dumb about the Stadia version of a Free Weekend, is that at least in this case it's locked to Stadia Pro, so only people subscribing with the monthly payment can use it. I feel that if Stadia opened up such an important trial feature to everyone, that might see more people actually use it. Especially since it's all in the cloud, it saves all your progress and so you could come back to it any time across computers and other devices. The convenience of it continues to be a big pro for it (despite plenty of other drawbacks - bandwidth, latency, country availability and so on).

On top of Borderlands 3 being free to play on Stadia until Aug 10, 2020 around 7AM UTC it's also on sale.

In other Stadia news, here's a little round-up of other happenings:

  • Physics-based puzzle game Relicta is out now on Stadia
  • Orcs Must Die! 3, currently a Stadia exclusive is getting a free update on August 10 with Weekly Challenges, improved performance, a few graphics improvements and more.
  • Marvel Avengers launches for Stadia on September 4
  • Serious Sam 4 launches for Stadia on September 24 (all platforms delayed to that date)
  • Apple have decided to ban both Stadia and Microsoft's xCloud from their mobile devices

Something else that's interesting: after the release of Celeste to Stadia, game porter and software developer Ethan Lee did a little write-up of the process. The details are certainly interesting, especially how "Stadia is truly remarkable in that it is literally just a Linux system without a desktop or display server" and how so little was changed between the desktop Linux build to get it live on Stadia. It goes to show that many Stadia games could likely work just fine on a standard Linux desktop although then we do have the issue of supporting many different hardware/software configurations, which Stadia does take away. Still, Lee mentions how developing for Stadia is quite nice and they "would much rather develop for Stadia than any console". Worth a quick read for sure.

You can play Stadia on Linux with Chromium/Chrome on Stadia.com.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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22 comments
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mylka 7 Aug
when are they going to add some countries?
even nvidia now supports whole europoe
Is FREE2PLAY even on Steam for this weekend.
mirv 7 Aug
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Quoting: Comandante ÑoñardoIs FREE2PLAY even on Steam for this weekend.

I wonder which people would prefer: free weekender on Steam, or on Stadia? For Borderlands 3 (which to be honest I've no real interest in) I would rather Stadia for one simple reason: no need to download it! That and no native version via Steam anyway, but I'd still rather try through Stadia first to see if I liked the game.
Quoting: ZeloxIf you look at where the market is going
I see this kind of phrasing a lot, and I don't really like it. "The market" is not some magical independent entity which naturally moves in certain directions. A market is about people buying stuff and other people (maybe people with a lot of money and power) selling stuff. The sellers want to arrange the process in such a way that they can maximize profits. The buyers want the best stuff for the cheapest, with "best" having a lot of features that can include stuff like "openness" and "control over what you bought".

Software sellers are always trying to move to subscription models, because it will let them make more money more reliably. But "the market" isn't necessarily moving any particular direction. Occasionally moves to subscription models have succeeded, where they don't charge much and the convenience factor is strong. But more often consumers have deep-sixed them because people don't like monthly payments if they can avoid 'em, and quite a few like actually owning stuff they buy. So where "the market" is going is a contested thing. Very often when people say the market is going in X direction, they mean certain corporate suits have a vision that involves taking it there, and they assume that means that's what's going to happen. But it ain't necessarily so, and I think it's a bad idea to abstract away just whose interests are being served by these presumed market directions, so that what a few top dogs want becomes apparently just some kind of natural force.


Last edited by Purple Library Guy on 7 August 2020 at 10:03 pm UTC
OK, I tested the game with PROTON 5.0-9 next and the game works without cinematics, showing the hud on top in the intro video...
link

And then I tested it with Proton-5.11-GE-3-MF and ingame cinematics works and the HUD is not on top the intro video anymore, but the game crash very often.

link
Free weekend seems more appropriate for Stadia than local stores. Imagine installing a 30 GB game, waiting a while for install, only to remove it a day or two later.

Quoting: PatolaWe gain a lot of Freedom with Stadia because of the titles we could not play otherwise, like Destiny 2. We also gain freedom from expensive hardware configurations. Is it worth the loss of Freedom of how we play these titles? Not saying it isn't, just a philosophical question. Maybe a rhetorical one, that does not even need to be answered.
No, it's not worth the loss in my opinion. That's what some Stadia users simply can't get through their heads. They think everyone should be like them and play Stadia where as we all have our preference. Some prefer streaming, others local. It's so selfish and obnoxious to think that everyone should buy into Stadia simply because YOU love it.

The issue I have with Stadia is I don't trust it to turn out into a good thing in the long run. If it grow and becomes successful, will it become a great streaming service? I think so. I think that growth will likely affect availability of games being playable locally.


Last edited by Linuxwarper on 8 August 2020 at 8:49 am UTC
mylka 8 Aug
Quoting: LinuxwarperFree weekend seems more appropriate for Stadia than local stores. Imagine installing a 30 GB game, waiting a while for install, only to remove it a day or two later.

id say streaming is perfect for DEMOs in general
but also games like hitman2.... with the legacy pack it has around 110GB
dubigrasu 8 Aug
Quoting: mylkawhen are they going to add some countries?
even nvidia now supports whole europoe
All suppositions from my part, but Google is extending its cloud regions to the central/east Europe, and is pretty close to open a data/compute/etc center in Warsaw, which is planned to be ready at the beginning of 2021.
So I suppose/hope this means new European countries added to the list and potential better latency. I'm currently using Stadia from a server (most likely) in Frankfurt, which is 1456 Km away from me, with a latency of 30ms. Warsaw is "only" 945 Km away, so, that'd be great.
mylka 8 Aug
Quoting: dubigrasu
Quoting: mylkawhen are they going to add some countries?
even nvidia now supports whole europoe
All suppositions from my part, but Google is extending its cloud regions to the central/east Europe, and is pretty close to open a data/compute/etc center in Warsaw, which is planned to be ready at the beginning of 2021.
So I suppose/hope this means new European countries added to the list and potential better latency. I'm currently using Stadia from a server (most likely) in Frankfurt, which is 1456 Km away from me, with a latency of 30ms. Warsaw is "only" 945 Km away, so, that'd be great.

GFN is also based in frankfurt (around 700km away from where i live), which works for me just fine, so i dont get it why i cant use stadia
their rigs are more or less in the same building, using the same internet connection, but i only allowed to use GFN
dubigrasu 8 Aug
Quoting: mylka
Quoting: dubigrasu
Quoting: mylkawhen are they going to add some countries?
even nvidia now supports whole europoe
All suppositions from my part, but Google is extending its cloud regions to the central/east Europe, and is pretty close to open a data/compute/etc center in Warsaw, which is planned to be ready at the beginning of 2021.
So I suppose/hope this means new European countries added to the list and potential better latency. I'm currently using Stadia from a server (most likely) in Frankfurt, which is 1456 Km away from me, with a latency of 30ms. Warsaw is "only" 945 Km away, so, that'd be great.

GFN is also based in frankfurt (around 700km away from where i live), which works for me just fine, so i dont get it why i cant use stadia
their rigs are more or less in the same building, using the same internet connection, but i only allowed to use GFN

What do you mean you can't use Stadia, can't make an account?
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