- Google cut the price of the Stadia Premiere Edition starter kit to $99 on Tuesday.
- The new Stadia Premiere Edition comes with a Stadia Controller and Chromecast Ultra, but no longer includes 3 free months of the Stadia Pro subscription service.
- Everyone with a Google account now has access to a free month of Stadia Pro.
Ever since it launched, Google Stadia has been more interesting in concept than in practice. A cloud gaming platform built and run by one of the biggest internet companies on the planet is going to make headlines, which is what Stadia did for months, but once it finally started rolling out to the public, the response was neutral at best. The quality of the streams wasn’t up to par, the selection of games was thin, and then there was the sticker shock.
At first, the only way to access Stadia was by purchasing the Premiere Edition starter kit, which cost $129 and came with a Stadia Controller, Chromecast Ultra, and 3-month free trial of the Stadia Pro subscription service. On Tuesday, Google revealed that it is cutting the price of the Premiere Edition to $99 and removing the 3-month Stadia Pro trial, explaining that “one-month free trials of Stadia Pro are now open to all new users.”
If you want to play Stadia games on your television, this is still the only official way to do so. Google continues to add to the number of devices compatible with Stadia every so often, but if you want to stream games on your TV, you will need a Chromecast Ultra dongle and the official Stadia Controller.
The problem with Stadia for those who might be interested in the concept is that you have to start from scratch if you want to build up a library of games in the service. You can’t bring over any other games with you, even if you already own those games on PC. You have no choice but to buy them again, usually at full price, directly from Google.
This is where Stadia Pro comes, as the $9.99 per month subscription service includes a constantly growing selection of free games and frequent discounts for games and DLC being sold by Google. Just this week, Google added The Elder Scrolls Online to Stadia Pro, and as long as you claim it before July 16th, you can keep it forever, as long as you stay subscribed to Stadia Pro. Without Stadia Pro, the service loses a lot of its luster.
With all of that said, if you are interested in seeing what Google Stadia has to offer, and you don’t mind making an investment of $99 up front, you can get a wireless gaming controller and a Chromecast Ultra for about $40 less than they would cost on their own by snagging the updated Stadia Premiere Edition.