Despite the announcement that Stadia has given up on developing first-party titles (and ensuant takes that the service was on its deathbed), Google seems intent on attracting new subscribers to its cloud gaming platform. In the latest effort to that end, Stadia is offering a free controller and Chromecast Ultra for anyone who buys Resident Evil Village — which is launching on the platform May 7, same as consoles and PC — by May 21.
If you like to play games but don't want to invest in a console, Google Stadia is worth considering. It's a subscription-based service that lets you stream games and works on virtually any device, including your phone, tablet, computer, and TV.
To play on the latter, it's recommended to use a Stadia controller in conjunction with a Chromecast. If you don't own these devices, Google offers a Premium Edition bundle, which includes both of them. It usually costs $100, but it's now down to just $60.
Google loves to bundle all kinds of perks with its subscriptions, and a free Stadia Premiere Edition worth $100 is the latest generous gift lucky YouTube Premium subscribers can receive in the US and UK. And now, the company has expanded the offer to more countries. A while back, a Google support representative told a Redditor that the promo would be available in Canada, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain starting November 16, 2020, and with that date already passed, the promo is now live in these countries.
Google likes bundling freebies with its products and services. In the past few months, Pixel 5 and 4a 5G buyers got a bunch of service subscriptions for free with their purchase, Chromebook owners were able to redeem three months of YouTube Premium, Google One subscribers got three months of Stadia Pro, and some YouTube Premium users received a free channel membership and/or a Nest Mini. Another promo is joining the fray today, also for YouTube Premium subscribers but only in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain (for now), letting them redeem a Stadia Premiere Edition bundle for free instead of its original $100 / £90 / €100 price.
You technically don't have to buy any hardware to start playing Stadia: you can use a mouse and keyboard on a desktop or laptop, and even touch controls on mobile. But to get the best TV experience, you'll need both a Chromecast Ultra and a first-party Stadia controller. If that's an upgrade you've been considering, now's a good time: the Premiere Edition bundle that includes both is $10 off on the Google Store.
Stadia Premiere Edition launched last year for the price of $129. It was a lot of fun when we reviewed it. Since then, it's been discounted down to just $99. But if that wasn't enough to sway you, Google is currently offering Stadia Premiere Edition for a mere $79 — as long as you've got a Pixelbook, Pixelbook Go, or Pixel Slate handy.
While many people seem to have developed an aversion to Stadia, I personally still absolutely love Google's vision for cloud gaming. Sure, a lot of promised features haven't made it into the product yet, but it's slowly coming together. I'm surprised again and again how well it performs, just like others on the Android Police team. If you're not already heavily invested in Xbox, PlayStation, or PC and/or are willing to give a new cloud gaming platform a go, Stadia could be interesting for you. Today only, you can also save $30 on the Premiere Edition of the service, costing you just $99 instead of the usual $129.
Stadia is having a rather bumpystart, but Google is trying to make up for the problems by improving communication with customers. When the company took to Reddit to announce that Stadia Premiere Edition boxes and codes have started shipping, it also shared that it wants to experiment with daily updates on new features and enhancements going forward.
Now that orders for the Google Stadia Founders Edition and Premiere Edition have begun to reach their final destinations, it was only a matter of time before someone tore into the Stadia hardware to see what makes it tick. Forewarning: If you're still waiting for your own Stadia gear to arrive, you may want to look away. What follows is a painful montage of a Stadia Controller's journey to irreversible destruction, but its sacrifice sheds some light on why this controller wasn't built with modders (or repairs) in mind.