Back when Google Stadia was originally unveiled, its ease-of-access by means of its apparent ability to hop straight into a game in practically no time was heralded as one of its main selling points. Even direct integration with YouTube videos was shown off. Alas, such slick functionality has yet to really be outfitted to the Google Stadia of today, all the years later. But, it does seem that Google is trying to make some of those dreams come true with Search integration.
Google doesn’t seem to have publicly announced this, even in terms of simply stating that it’s a work-in-progress feature that’s being tested with selected users. However, Bryant Chappel from The Nerf Report took to Twitter to show off his findings.
In this example, Chappel types in “Control” into the Google Search bar and then in the right-hand pane there’s a little prompt that allows him to then hop into a cloud session via Stadia.
As shown in the video above, the word “instantaneous” cannot really be used to describe the experience here. It takes about a full minute between typing in the game’s name and then finally landing into its main menu. Thus, it’s arguable that firing it up natively via a PC or console would’ve taken about the same length of time.
Of course, the big difference here is that, being a cloud edition of the game, it eliminates the need for dedicated hardware. So, this experience could be had anywhere, such as a café, airport or hotel. Not instantaneous, but still more convenient than the traditional means of playing a game—assuming you have both a subscription to the cloud service and a good enough Internet connection, that is.
Interestingly enough, Chappel found something even juicer. This search-ad-play functionality does not appear to be exclusive to even Google’s own Stadia service.
In the same thread posted above, Chappel also tried it with other titles, and was able to find “Play” prompts for Xbox Cloud Gaming from Microsoft and also Amazon’s Luna and Nvidia’s GeForce Now cloud streaming services. Thus, it seems that Google is willing to promote all of the major streaming services. This is interesting considering that there are some titles across these services that aren’t even on Stadia.
This is great news for gamers as more and more titles are adopted to the various streaming services. Although, again, cloud streaming still hasn’t become as seamless as often advertised.
Seeing that Internet requirements are still the main drawback, you might not even have a 100% enjoyable experience unless you’re at home. Or, if you’re in a location with limited data connectivity, then you might have the inverse problem: going somewhere that has a better Internet connection than what you even have.
Despite these pitfalls, all of these advancements point to a growing future where cloud gaming is more widely adopted. These services certainly aren’t getting any smaller. While Stadia is no longer the monolith that Google originally envisioned, the rise of other platforms like GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming do signify that the industry is becoming more and more adoptive of this tech. As these services grow and Internet infrastructure becomes better and more complex worldwide, we may soon find ourselves in a sizeable generation of gamers who regularly play without dedicated hardware.