Oh the irony. When Google announced the end of its Stadia cloud gaming service, hardly anyone thought the company would be promoting anything cloud gaming in the near future.
Announced on September 30, Google told the world and five Stadia users that it would shut down the service at the end of the year. Customers would receive refunds for purchased hardware and games, but Google offered no option to transfer game saves or give customers other comfortable export options.
Just 11 days later, Google published a post on his main blog The Keyword, in which he promotes the “world’s first laptops designed for cloud gaming”. The three Chromebooks announced by Google 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 trending?
What makes these devices specialized for cloud gaming?
Google highlights 120Hz+ display, support for RGB gaming keyboards on select devices, and support for WiFi 6 or 6E. Cloud gaming doesn’t require state-of-the-art super-fast 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 does not provide detailed specs that are important for games. Missing information includes display resolution, device size, battery life, hard drive space and speed, or exact processor model.
You need to follow the links to BestBuy or Walmart to find the information.
Are these devices really the world’s first devices designed for cloud gaming, as claimed by John Maletis, Google Vice President, ChromeOS Product, Engineering and UX? If you look at Chromebooks, these new devices may appeal to gamers because of the features that Google is pushing. Other Chromebooks may also offer certain features.
They cost between $399 and $650, which is a price range in which Windows laptops with similar features can also be priced.
No Stadia, but three other cloud gaming services announced
With Stadia out of the picture, Google announced that it has partnered with NVIDIA to bring GeForce NOW’s “highest performing RTX 3080 tier to cloud gaming Chromebooks.” Membership is included with the purchase of the Chromebook according to Google. Further down in the article, Google clarifies that a three-month trial of the RTX3080 level of NVIDIA GeForce NOW and Amazon Luna+ is included with purchase.
NVIDIA NOW offers a free plan, which supports gaming on a base system for up to an hour at a time.
Google has revealed that it is working with Microsoft to bring the Xbox Cloud Gaming beta to the Chromebook as well. It is a web application 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 US, is also included in a three-month free trial.
With Stadia all but gone, Google has to rely on third-party game streaming services to get gaming features on Chromebooks. It must hurt some of the engineers who worked on Stadia that Google is now promoting the competition. Still, the three promoted companies are perhaps less likely to kill off their game streaming services in the near future. After all, Stadia’s death may have pushed Stadia users towards their services, giving them a customer boost.
Now you: What is your opinion on cloud gaming?