Just a month ago, a Chromium repository commit was discovered that revealed Google was working on a way to let users search for any cloud game across several cloud gaming providers right from their Chromebook launcher. Clicking one of these results would instantaneously launch into the game, getting them into the action without a download or having to manually navigate to Stadia or GeForce NOW, for example, to do so.
Now, C2 Productions on Twitter has received an update to the Canary channel of their ChromeOS device which shows the game launcher in action. As you can see below, typing “Weather” accidentally filtered out War Thunder and Maneater on Nvidia’s GeForce NOW, which is how this was initially brought to our attention.
As you can see from the feature image of this article, my thoughts on what this would look like aren’t exactly matching up with reality. My mock-up obviously looks much more extravagant than the real deal now that I see it, but based on the description we previously got, I figured the game covers would appear at the top of the search. Unfortunately, it looks like we’re just looking at small icons with text appearing in a ‘Games’ category in the new Productivity launcher for now.
At this point, it’s nothing spectacular and is simply a shortcut to get to one of these services faster, but my hope is that it eventually takes on the form of full-fledged game cover art to make it more appealing. Ever since Google moved to the Productivity launcher, it’s completely ditched the large icons and really any fancy stand-out graphics while searching.
This is likely to keep things fast and well, “productive”, as the name of the new launcher implies, but it still kind of sucks to see the games reduced to simple app icons like that. I’m not going to complain just yet though as this is only on the Canary channel, it’s likely still going through the iterative process of design and development.
For now, I’ll just be happy that the Productivity Launcher has a much faster animation while opening and closing folders, and snappier drag and drop capabilities while organizing things. What do you think about the cloud gaming launcher seen above? I’d love to hear your thoughts and whether or not you think it’s extra clutter or if you may find yourself utilizing it when it finally hits the Stable channel.