Gaming on Chromebooks has already blown many naysayers away, and Google has taken the world by storm by relying heavily on unconventional methods to make it work, and even make it great. In the beginning, it bolstered Android gaming by pushing developers to respect traditional desktop and laptop inputs such as mice and keyboards (as well as gamepads). It then embraced cloud gaming with Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce NOW, Xbox Game Pass, and more, making Chromebooks one of the most popular hardware to play on due to their lightweight, portable, and inexpensive form factors.
The company then revealed that “Borealis,” or rather “Steam for Chromebooks” was about to launch, prompting many who questioned Google’s vision for the future of these small devices to do a double take and eat. Sure, Windows PCs, gaming consoles like the Sony Playstation 5 and the Microsoft Xbox are still industry leaders, but cloud and mobile gaming are literally being transformed in their capabilities and reception before our very eyes. It is truly a special time to be alive.
With all the excitement and focus around gaming on chromeOS, Google now wants to centralize all these incredible options in one place through a new initiative called “Game Search”. First discovered by 9to5Google, “Game Search” will likely be a standalone app on Google’s operating system (or more likely as raw data through the Chromebook launcher via search in the same way that app suggestions from the Google Play Store appear when these setting is enabled on) which lists all the aforementioned cloud gaming platforms in one place, as well as all games found within each service.
“Displayed next to a video game search result starts a list of cloud gaming platforms on which the game can be played.”
I hope it presents each game’s cover art and information beautifully, acting like a AAA game launcher, similar to Steam, Epic Games, or GOG Galaxy. We can already see this exact philosophy of merging content from other services on Google TV. You have one location to mark things as “Watchlist” items, or to indicate whether you’ve already watched them or not. You can also give a thumbs up or thumbs down to movies and TV shows, and no matter what services come or go, or what content services you subscribe or unsubscribe, your Google TV collection of video content will remain.
At the moment we don’t have a picture of what the games search function might look like, but the development team is working on a generic icon for it, among other things, but I suppose it won’t be long before we get more information about this one. After chromeOS, Google Game Search will likely expand to Google TV to provide gamers with a Samsung Gaming Hub-like feature for quick access to great content.
This new game search method shouldn’t come as a surprise as chromeOS has recently added several features like RGB keyboard support and VRR or variable refresh rate for its screens in addition to the aforementioned Steam support, but it’s exciting nonetheless. Let me know if you want to search your Chromebook’s launcher for an AAA game available on a cloud gaming service and play it in one click without opening the specific provider’s app first.