Google Stadia started as a Pixel-exclusive on smartphones, but just this week it’s expanded to a bunch of other smartphones. After launching support for Stadia on the ROG Phone and ROG Phone II, ASUS has partnered with Google to pre-install Stadia on the next ROG Phone.

XDA reports that ASUS has partnered with Google to bring more than just Stadia support to its gaming smartphones. Starting with the next ROG Phone — probably ROG Phone III — ASUS will pre-load the Google Stadia app on the device, giving customers easy access to Google’s streaming service.

This partnership runs through 2021 and applies in every country that Google Stadia is currently available in —  Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Update 2/25: According to an ASUS representative speaking with T3, there’s a bit more to this deal. On top of Google Stadia being pre-loaded, the ROG Phone III will also come with a 3-month trial of Stadia Pro. That’s the same add-on that early adopters of the service got, and a nice bonus to anyone buying that gaming phone too!

Notably, ASUS is the first “gaming phone” maker to have partnered with a game streaming service. Other makers such as Razer, Xiaomi’s Black Shark, and Nubia have yet to express an interest in game streaming, instead focusing on mobile titles.

Game streaming on these powerful devices might seem a bit counterintuitive, but having the option to play AAA titles on these devices will undoubtedly be a selling point. Plus, with Stadia, the service itself would be free since Stadia’s Base tier will be available by the time the next ROG Phone is available.

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Ben Schoon

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