Google Stadia has had a bit of a rocky launch so far. The free version of Google's cloud gaming service still isn't available yet, and the number of games available to play on Stadia has been wanting to say the least. However, the tide might finally be turning for Stadia, as Google have just struck a new deal with UK phone and internet giant BT that will see customers get a free Stadia Premiere Edition (worth £120) when they take out one of BT's high speed internet packages.
Starting from today (January 17th) until January 30th, customers who take out either BT's Superfast Fibre 2, Ultrafast Fibre 100 or Ultrafast Fibre 250 package will have the option to get a free Google Stadia Premiere Edition as part of their new internet deal. The Premiere Edition includes a Stadia controller, a Chromecast Ultra device and three months of Stadia Pro, the subscription part of Stadia that lets you play games in 4K HDR and 5.1 surround sound. Stadia Pro members also get a free game every month, plus a small discount when buying games individually.
Admittedly, that's not a particularly long offer window, but this is far from a one-time-only deal. Indeed, from February 7th onward, BT will start offering dedicated Stadia plans with the very same Superfast Fibre 2, Ultrafast Fibre 100 and Ultrafast Fibre 250 packages I've just mentioned above. You'll still get a free Stadia Premiere Edition when you sign up with one of these, though, so I'm not exactly sure how this offer differs from the January one. I've asked BT for clarification on this, and will update when I hear back.
Either way, this could be a neat way of getting Stadia into more homes and encouraging more people to try the service, provided the packages are available where you live, of course. I should also stress that a Stadia Pro subscription does not entitle you an entire library of free games a la Xbox Game Pass. Instead, it's more akin to PlayStation Plus, where you get one or two free games every month. The rest of the time, you'll need to buy each game you want to play individually.
Still, Stadia's currently piddly number of available games should hopefully start growing pretty quick like, as Google revealed in a blog post last night that they're aiming to have over 120 games available to play on Stadia by the end of 2020, as well as over ten Stadia exclusives by June. At the moment, the only proper Stadia exclusive available right now is Tequila Works' Gylt, which really use the extra company.
There's currently no word on what these new exclusive games will be yet, but with more news coming at the end of the month, according to Google, we should have to wait too long before we find out.