A few weeks ago, Google launched an exciting promotion for its Stadia game streaming program. Pre-order the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 of the store, and you will receive a Stadia Premiere package (a $ 100 value with a Wi-Fi controller, Chromecast Ultra, and a month of Stadia Pro) for free. It was a compelling combination of game and material.
A little too convincing, it turns out: a verified account of a Google representative says promotion is now over, although the initial plan is for it to run until Friday, December 18, a week after the game’s launch. Stadia users who pre-ordered or purchased before December 13 (yesterday) at 4:00 p.m. KST Pacific, will receive their Stadia controller and Chromecast Ultra for free, but those who buy the game afterwards are out of luck. Canadian players were already outside of the promotional period on December 10.
The rep said this was due to an “extremely positive reception”, and it was easy to see why. Cyberpunk 2077 is probably the biggest AAA release of the year, and it’s also incredibly complex in terms of graphics and backend. The game is available on all platforms except on mobile and Switch, but it struggles on older hardware: low power PCs, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Even mid-range gaming PCs need to lower visual settings to achieve stable frame rates. All platforms see weird bugs on the early version, but that’s normal for complex open-world games. The editor went so far as issue refunds for Cyberpunk 2077 purchases on older consoles, a rare concession.
In contrast, Stadia (and its streaming competitor GeForce NOW) seem like great ways to get the game to work, if you can meet the streaming connection requirements. Relying on Google’s optimized remote computers alleviates many visual issues without the need for local gaming hardware or large downloads, up to 4K resolution for Pro users. I’ve been playing Stadia for almost a week, and other than a crash, I haven’t seen any of the issues reported on older consoles.
Cyberpunk 2077 looks like it’s going to be a real game streaming release party, and pairing that pre-order with Stadia hardware was a smart move on Google’s part. They might find a few potential customers upset that they lose a free controller and Chromecast, but even so, this is the perk the platform needed afterward. a disappointing introductory year.