Google promotes cloud gaming Chromebooks mere days after killing Stadia, its cloud gaming service
Oh, the irony. When Google announced the end of its cloud gaming service Stadia, barely anyone thought that the company would promote anything cloud gaming related in the near future.
Announced on September 30, Google told the world and all five Stadia users that it would shut down the service at the end of the year. Customers would receive refunds for bought hardware and games, but Google did not offer any options to transfer game saves or give customers any other comfortable exporting options.
Just 11 days later, Google published an article on its main The Keyword blog, in which it promotes "the world's first laptops built for cloud gaming". The three Chromebooks that Google advertised on October 11, 2022, are made by Acer, ASUS and Lenovo.
The promotional article provides basic answers to two pressing questions that most users may have:
- What makes the Chromebook "the best" for cloud gaming.
- Which cloud gaming services are en-vogue?
What makes these devices specialized for cloud gaming?
Google highlights the 120Hz+ display, support for RGB gaming keyboards on some devices, and WiFi 6 or 6E support. Cloud gaming does not require super-fast state of the art graphics cards or processors. All systems come with at least 8 gigabytes of RAM and at least an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor. Google fails to provide detailed specs that are important for gaming. Information that is missing includes the display resolution, size of the device, battery runtime, hard drive space and speed, or the exact model of the processor.
You have to follow the links to BestBuy or Walmart to look up the information.
Are these devices really the world's first devices built for cloud gaming, as Google Vice President, ChromeOS Product, Engineering and UX, John Maletis claims they are? If you look at Chromebooks, these new devices may appeal to gamers because of the features that Google highlighted. Other Chromebooks may offer some of the features as well.
They cost between $399 and $650, which is a price range that Windows laptops with similar features may also be offered in.
No Stadia, but three other cloud gaming services advertised
With Stadia out of the picture, Google announced that it teamed up with NVIDIA to bring GeForce NOW's "highest performance RTX 3080 tier to cloud gaming Chromebooks". The membership is included with the purchase of the Chromebook according to Google. Further down in the article, Google clarifies that a three-month trial to NVIDIA GeForce NOW's RTX3080 tier and to Amazon Luna+ is included with the purchase.
NVIDIA NOW is having a free plan, which supports gaming on a basic system for up to an hour at a time.
Google revealed that it worked with Microsoft to bring the beta of Xbox Cloud Gaming to the Chromebook as well. It comes as a web app that users need to install on their devices to play hundreds of XBOX games on the Chromebook.
Amazon's Luna service, which is only available in the United States, is also included as a three-month free trial.
With Stadia as good as gone, Google has to rely on third-party game streaming services to get gaming functionality on Chromebooks. It must pain some of the engineers who worked on Stadia that Google is now promoting the competition. Still, it may be less likely that the three promoted companies will kill their game streaming services in the near future. After all, the death of Stadia may have pushed Stadia users towards their services, giving them a boost in customers.
Now you: what is your take on cloud gaming?Advertisement