Google Stadia has had its fair share of challenges breaking into the gaming scene, but that is only pushing Google to heavily incentivize it to the mainstream gamers who prefer consoles and PC.
A while back, Google shut down its internal studios, basically putting an end to its game-making business. The Stadia platform is now directly open to publishers who may wish to publish their games to the streaming platform.
Google Stadia which aims to offer gamers a means of enjoying their favourite titles without the need for powerful PCs as long as they have a very good internet connection looks more like a project for the future and Google is willing to take a hit in profits at the moment in hope that things will change in the next console generation.
Free subscription to YouTube premium users
Sticking to that plan, Google has announced that subscribers of YouTube Premium can redeem a perk that will give them a Stadia Pro subscription valid for three months. It is worth noting that this is a much longer trial period than the typical one month that is usually given when trying out the service.
As you might already have guessed, YouTube Premium gives users an ad-free experience on all their devices. On top of that, they also get YouTube Music, a separate app that is almost as good as Spotify, and the ability to play YouTube while their device is locked, a convenient way to listen to podcasts and debates when one is working. Whether this is enough to sway YouTube users to pay for Premium is another discussion for a different time.
Coming back to Stadia Pro, the offer is sadly only available to YouTube Premium subscribers with individual, family, and/or student accounts in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. There is no mention of Africa, South America or Australia.
Not surprising, there are some restrictions for one to be eligible for the offer. For starters, if you have had a Stadia Pro subscription or trial, you will not be eligible for the promotion. Anyone who is otherwise eligible will see the offer when creating the account, as long as they have never used Stadia before.
Should one cancel, they will be charged Stadia Pro’s price per month of $9.99 (about Kshs 1,000,) once the three months have ended and they will also lose access to the games they had not purchased.
The future of game streaming
Streaming games still remains a viable idea and will massively benefit developing countries, where PC parts and consoles can cost almost double the recommended retail prices.
Admittedly, a strong internet connectivity still forms part of the barrier, but the introduction of the 5G network by telecommunication companies such as Safaricom will go a long way in solving this problem as they promise speeds higher than 500Mbps in day-to-day usage.
We now just have to keep our cool and hope Google will roll out Stadia to the rest of the world in the coming year or so, rather than it becoming part of the famous Google’s abandoned projects.