Google is trying to drum up interest in its Netflix-esque video game streaming service, Google Stadia, by handing out free codes to existing Chromecast owners. The subscription service, which was revealed at a glitzy showcase last year, lets customers play triple-A games – like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle, Baldur’s Gate 3, Borderlands 3, DOOM Eternal, GRID, Marvel’s Avengers, Metro Exodus, Mortal Kombat 11, Red Dead Redemption 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider – over the internet across a multitude of devices.
Since all the heavy lifting is being done on the server-side, the hardware itself doesn’t need to be that powerful. So, players can enjoy titles you’d usually only be able to get on consoles like the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 on lightweight gadgets like a Google Chromecast, Android smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Progress is synced across all of your devices – so you can pause on one device and immediately resume on another without any hiccups.
Until now, the only way to access Google Stadia has been to purchase a “Founders Edition” package for £119, which comes with the Google-designed controller for the system, a Chromecast Ultra to enable streaming in 4K resolution, 5.1 surround sound, and a three-month subscription to Stadia Pro.
However, if you already own a Chromecast Ultra – it’s worth checking your email. Google is sending out promotional codes that offers three-month subscriptions to its Stadia Pro service, so you’ll be able to stream triple-A games at 60 frames-per-second on your existing hardware.
Stadia is available in 14 countries around the globe, however, It’s unclear whether this promotion being rolled out to all regions. The Verge has managed to confirm with Google that it’s mailing out the three-month promotional codes in the United States right now, but Chromecast Ultra owners in the UK might not be so lucky.
We’ll update this article if we manage to get confirmation from Google about its plans for global markets.
Google has pledged to offer a free subscription tier to Stadia at some point this year. This will limit your gameplay to a 1080p resolution with a maximum frame-rate of 60 fps – perfect for playing on smartphones or tablets, but might be noticeable if you’ve recently splashed out on a 65-inch QLED 8K monster to play video games. While Stadia Pro subscribers get access to discounts on games and a free-to-play title (starting with Destiny 2: The Collection), those who don’t pay for a subscription will have to buy any games they want to play.
Whether this latest push is designed to promote the paid-for option ahead of the roll-out of the free tier remains to be seen. In December, Google tried to boost numbers by handing out an extra buddy pass to all Stadia Pro subscribers.
The Mountain View-based company recently announced the opening of a new game studio in California which will be led by the former head of Santa Monica Studio – which created the multi-award-winning God of War – dedicated to cresting exclusives for Google Stadia.