YouTube Playables is a new Premium feature lets you stream games directly on your device

Nov 28, 2023

Google has introduced a new game streaming platform called YouTube Playables. The catch here is that it is only available for subscribers of YouTube Premium.

This isn't Google's first venture into the gaming market, the Mountain View company had big plans for building a game streaming platform with Google Stadia. But, like many of the company's services, Stadia was killed earlier this year. But mobile games are a different breed, they are more likely to appeal to casual gamers. Bundling some games into a video streaming subscription isn't a new idea, Netflix has been quite successful at it. The company has managed to build an impressive collection of games by tying up with popular Indie Devs and Studios, to bring their games to mobile devices, and made them exclusively available through its service.

The main difference between Netflix Games and YouTube Playables are how you access the games, Netflix lets you download the games on to your device. This allows you to play the games (some, not all) even when you are offline.

You can now stream games directly to your devices with YouTube Playables

YouTube Playables on the other hand is purely a streaming service, meaning you cannot access the games without an active network connection. While some may see this as a disadvantage, it has some benefits too. You don't need to download the games to play them, this means they don't eat up your mobile device's storage. So, you can play them whenever you want to, or quickly switch to a different game in a matter of seconds.

According to Droid Life, Google began sending a notification to YouTube Premium users last week to highlight the availability of YouTube Playables. The games are available on mobile devices (Android) and on the desktop via web browser. The new section is available under the Explore tab. Here, you will be able to browse the YouTube Playables library, through the Home and Browse tabs.

(Image via: Droid Life)

Based on the report, the new gaming platform has around 37 games that you can choose to play from including the likes of Angry Birds Showdown, Basketball FRVR, Brain Out, Daily Solitaire, The Daily Crossword, 8 Ball Billiards Classic, etc. Those are not exactly the best games on mobile, these are mostly puzzle, arcade games that you can play to kill some time.

Want to try them? Head on over to the YouTube Playables page and give it a shot. It is free as part of YouTube Premium. Speaking of which, YouTube Playables are available until March 28, 2024. That probably means that Google is experimenting with the new platform, to get an idea from users if they like Playables. If the feedback is poor, the feature will likely be scrapped.

On the other hand, if you want access to offline games and possibly a better library of titles, there is always Google Play Pass for Android, and Apple Arcade for iOS.

I don't have access to YouTube Playables (even with a Premium account), so I cannot speak for the quality of the service, it's probably being rolled out to users. On paper, if games added value to Netflix, it could theoretically be popular on YouTube's platform too. That is probably something that Google is betting on, but I doubt it will have the same pull as Netflix due to the sheer gap in the quality of the games that are offered by the two platforms.

Will YouTube Playables be enough to attract new subscribers to YouTube Premium? Or do you consider this as a good bonus to the existing features that the subscription has to offer?

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YouTube Playables is a new Premium feature lets you stream games directly on your device
YouTube Playables is a new Premium feature lets you stream games directly on your device

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  1. Tony said on December 1, 2023 at 4:20 pm

    I just played a version of solitaire in it, and it ran great. It was a smooth and functional as if it were an offline software. Very nice.

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