Stadia, Steam, Android 12… Google still believes in video games

On the occasion of its Games Developer Summit, Google has multiplied the announcements concerning Stadia. He also confirmed the arrival of Steam on Chrome OS.

The 2022 edition of the Google for Games Developer Summit has just started and the giant has not done things by halves. It must be said that the world matters “more than three billion players” and that the market continues to progress, which has not escaped Google. The Mountain View company is already invested in the sector with Stadia, but this promising service does not always make the news for the right reasons.

For several months, dark clouds have been hovering over the cloud-gaming service. Despite Google’s efforts, Stadia still suffers from its rushed launch in 2019 under its beta airs. In operation reconquest, Google still believes in this platform which considers the future of video games. During its Game Developer Summit, the American group made several major announcements in the hope of finally getting its service off the ground.

Google Stadia becomes more accessible

Google wants to make its service accessible to everyone. In the “coming weeks”, the site end gadget reports that it will be possible to more easily consult the catalog of Stadia. The firm will indeed offer to discover Stadia without the need to connect to a Google account. In addition to access to the catalog, it will also be possible to try free demos without being registered on Stadia.

A simple Google search will give access to the games and the American giant accompanies this announcement of new features for developers. The latter are invited to offer “free trials” to players for a limited time. For Google, these two initiatives aim to discover the potential of the service and make it known to the general public. The objective is to catch up with Microsoft (Xbox Cloud Gaming) or Nvidia (GeForce Now) who are taking the lead in the battle for cloud gaming.

Google will offer Stadia technology as a white label

Aware of having a promising technology and while cloud gaming is still in its infancy; Google is ready to white label the solution it uses for Stadia. Information has been jostling on this subject for a few months and the firm has just unveiled “Immersive Stream for Games”. This service allows companies to use Stadia technology, as explained TechCrunch. The interest is twofold for Google, which has developed this offer in partnership with its subsidiary Google Cloud.

On the one hand, this approach allows the American giant to diversify even more by opening up its technology to other companies. On the other, it makes it possible to offer the technology that accompanies Stadia to other companies like AT&T. The latter also used it last year to offer free Batman: Arkham Knight to thousands of users. In the future, the service can even be used for free game demos. Google says developing Stadia’s underlying platform for other customers will also help the cloud-gaming service.

“Play while you download” is coming to Android 12

During the presentation of Android 12, Google introduced the “Play as you download” function. This function leaves the possibility of starting to play a mobile game before its download is finished. The website 9to5Google recalls that this feature is currently in beta, but Google plans to offer it “soon” to all Android 12 users. An interesting decision that will save time and play without waiting for the end of the installation.

Steam is coming to Chrome OS

More surprisingly, the latest announcement from the search giant concerns… Steam. Google seems to want to transform its machines equipped with Chrome into gaming PCs. While Chromebooks can already run titles from the Play Store; the Mountain View company will now offer Steam. Less highlighted than the rest of the Games Developer Summit announcements, the arrival of Steam on Chrome OS had been expected for months.

Google says Steam is coming as an alpha release on a handful of Chromebooks. « Steam [en] Alpha has just launched, making this long-running PC game store available on select Chromebooks for users to try“Says Greg Hartell, product director for games at Google. The firm seems to want to take its time and does not specify when the platform will be officially available to everyone. As for the Chromebooks concerned, the 9to5Google site indicates that you must have a machine equipped with at least an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor (11and generation) and at least 7 GB of RAM.

The lucky winners are therefore few and mainly target recent models from Asus or Acer. We are thinking in particular of the Chromebook 514, Chromebook 515 and Chromebook Spin 713 from Acer; and the Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 and Chromebook CX9. The HP Pro c640 G2 Chromebook or Lenovo models could also appear soon.

We could soon discover “gaming” Chromebooks

The decision comes as Google wants to make laptops running Chrome OS more attractive. In addition to Stadia or GeForce Now, the arrival of Steam marks a new turning point in the history of these affordable and cloud-oriented machines. ” “Cloud gaming is more dynamic than ever on Chromebooks”, believes Greg Hartell. He recalls in passing that more than 1,400 PC games have landed on Chrome OS with Stadia and the Nvidia service.

Enthusiastic, Google confirms a strong progression of games on Chrome OS in 2021. The Mountain View firm wants to continue to ride the wave; and this could go through the development of Chromebooks for gamers. Last January, a rumor evoked the desire of HP and Lenovo to launch gaming-oriented machines, with RGB keyboards and Steam support.

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