YouTube Premium subscribers have a chance to get a bundle of Google Stadia equipment for free. For those who have any interest in Google Stadia, this presents a superb value and a chance to experience Stadia without needing to pay at all.
The Google Stadia has had a bit of a rough time since the service launched in 2019. Unflattering early Stadia reviews criticized the service for its reliance on constant Internet connectivity. For many, the cost of upgrading to the Internet speeds that Stadia needs for optimal streaming would cancel out the low initial cost of joining. Although Stadia does not require that users have a Stadia brand controller, Google advertises the controller as being the optimal way to experience Stadia games, adding another potential expense.
This special deal (which can be accessed here) applies to those who were YouTube Premium members on November 6th of this year. Unfortunately, this means fans cannot sign up for YouTube Premium now and qualify. Once users log onto the offer page using the same Google account they use for YouTube Premium, they will be prompted to sign up for a Stadia Pro subscription. Once they sign up for Stadia Pro, they will receive an email offering a free Google Chromecast Ultra and Stadia Controller – in total, worth just under $100. Both products can be used outside of Stadia, meaning there is no reason not to take advantage of the deal.
It’s important to note Stadia Pro begins with a month-long free trial. YouTube Premium members can claim the free Stadia hardware during their trial month, and then cancel Stadia Pro before they need to pay the next month. As long as they remember to cancel their trial prior to renewal, this means YouTube Premium members can get the new hardware for free, with no strings attached. If they end up disappointed by the relatively small game library, they don’t need to be disappointed, as they didn’t pay a cent.
It might be for the best to minimize investment in Stadia beyond the free hardware deal, as Stadia faces a difficult future. Its most immediate threat is Amazon’s new game-streaming platform Luma, which offers a comparable library at a competitive price. Amazon will also offer its own controller for the Luma, promising it is optimized for minimal latency on the Luma platform. If the Luma service ends up crowding Google Stadia out of the market, Stadia (and the Stadia Controller) might have less and less value as time goes on.
Still, it would be wrong to give up on Stadia. In addition to major titles like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Stadia is getting new features like Family Sharing. Given all of Google’s resources, it will surely continue to support Stadia for as long as it can. It is good, then, that YouTube Premium subscribers can use the new deal to see what Stadia has to offer without worrying about the long-term value of their investment.
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