The first time Google has opened Stadia beyond the early adopter
Google is slowly but steadily opening its Stadia cloud gaming service to more interested customers, with a new promotion starting this month that offers three months of its Stadia Pro subscription to owners of Chromecast Ultra devices. It’s not required that you buy a new device. Rather, you just have to opt to receive promotional emails from Google, and the company is sending out the offer to known Chromecast Ultra-owning customers.
Google confirmed to The Verge that this is the first promotion of its kind for Stadia and it works like the platform’s buddy pass system. It’s not clear if it’s restricted to a certain country, but Stadia is available in 14 countries and regions around the globe right now.
To be clear, Stadia Pro is the only version of Google’s cloud service that is currently available; there will be a standard Stadia tier without 4K streaming that will be free, but the company has yet to launch it. As it stands, the only way to play Stadia outside a Chrome browser or on a supported Android device is with a Chromecast Ultra connected to a TV
Right now, Stadia Pro costs $10 a month. Prior to this promotion, the only way to access the service at all has been through a buddy pass given out by an existing subscriber or by purchasing the $129 Premiere edition. That bundle comes with a Stadia Pro three-month pass, Google’s custom Stadia controller, and a Chromecast Ultra.
But Google may be now interested in getting more users on the platform. In December, the company gave Stadia Pro users an extra buddy pass to give out. The company also just announced the opening of a new internal game studio in Playa Vista, California, led by the former head of God of War creator Santa Monica Studio, that will be dedicated to developing Stadia exclusives.