Yo! Stadia! How much do your games cost?

I got a student discount to buy a Google Stadia games system for £60. Seemed like pretty good value. But I didn't buy it - because Google refuses to tell me how much their ecosystem costs.

Upfront Cost

There's nothing on the main Stadia page which says that you need to pay £9/month to get the 4K version of games. Go on, take a look at https://store.google.com/gb/product/stadia?hl=en-GB.

It says "features (including 4K, HDR, 60 fps and 5.1 surround sound) are service-, network-, device- and game-dependent" but it doesn't say anything about the cost! Only if you closely read the small print on a completely separate page do you find out that this requires a subscription.

Honestly, if you're going to start off by deceiving me, this isn't going to be a great relationship.

Games Cost

OK, so how much do the individual games cost? It's impossible to find out. The Stadia page lists their (small) selection of titles. But there are no prices.

Stadia games with no prices

So... what? I'm supposed to fork out for the console and hope that the game prices are reasonable? Nah!

I know I could go to one of the dozens of sites which claim to scape the prices from Stadia. But that's a little fragile, isn't it? Why are Google so afraid of showing me the true prices? The only conclusion I can come to is that the prices are unreasonable and Google are hoping to trap me in their platform.

Compare and Contrast

PlayStaytion offers a similar streaming service. It is completely transparent about its pricing.
PS Now Subscription price in big letters
Half the price of Stadia! It also has a large list of games.

If I didn't want the streaming service, I can buy games directly from PlayStation - just like Stadia. Only Sony tell me the price up front:
List of games with prices
That's not even including the fact that I can go on eBay and buy any AAA title second hand for a tenner.

A second-hand PS4 Pro + PS Now is about £220. A Stadia + Subscription is £200.

PS is transparent with its pricing, Stadia isn't.

PS can play 2nd hand discs, Stadia will cut off your purchased games when Google shut it down.

I get that with Stadia I can play anywhere (if I have sufficient bandwidth) - but PS also offers a mobile version and a (hacked together) Linux version.

But, when push comes to shove, Google deliberately made it hard for me to see the price of what I was buying. So I walked.

7 thoughts on “Yo! Stadia! How much do your games cost?

  1. Sounds like PS Network and their policy of disenfranchising kids by only providing age restricted games in their free game offerings most months... and you can't transfer a sub once activated against an account so you're stuck with a chocolate teapot for a year costing up to £60.

    1. says:

      To be fair, they did invite almost all subscribers a month ago! And it’ll launch as a full service soonish. Microsoft’s whole strategy is to basically remove the “console war” by selling “games as a service”.

  2. The idea that you have to pay anything to buy games through a service you don't control to play on hardware you don't own is completely bonkers to me and oh god that basically describes every device these days.

  3. says:

    I got my Stadia back in December. As I have a Google One account (just the basic for some extra storage) they offered me 3 months of Pro, plus £10 of my first purchase.
    I used this to buy Cyberpunk 2077 which was RRP of £49.99, that came down to £39.99.
    Then because I purchased the game during a promo window, they gave me the Stadia Premiere Edition (Chromecast + Controller) for free.
    I’ve played a couple of the free pro games, and paid for a month of Pro once the 3 months ended to complete Little Nightmares 2. I had cancelled my sub, but since then I found another promo for 3 further 3 months.
    I can play Cyberpunk whenever without Pro (not bother about lower quality), but haven’t felt the urge.

    For £48.98 it’s not been a bad experiment.

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