Gaming on Chromebooks has already blown away many of the naysayers, and Google has taken the world by storm by leaning heavily into unconventional methods for making it work and even making it amazing. At first, it bolstered Android gaming by pushing developers toward respecting traditional desktop and laptop inputs like mice and keyboards (as well as gamepads). Then, it embraced cloud gaming with Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce NOW, Xbox Game Pass, and more making Chromebooks one of the most popular pieces of hardware to play on due to their lightweight, portable, and inexpensive form factors.
The company then went on to reveal that “Borealis”, or rather “Steam for Chromebooks” was about to launch, causing many who doubted Google’s vision for the future of these little devices to do a double-take and eat crow. Sure, Windows PCs, game consoles like the Sony Playstation 5, and the Microsoft Xbox are still leading the industry, but cloud and mobile gaming are literally being transformed in their capabilities and reception before our very eyes. It’s truly a special time to live in.
With all of the excitement and attention around gaming on chromeOS, Google is now looking to centralize all of these incredible options into 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 this setting is toggled on) that lists all of the aforementioned cloud gaming platforms in one place, as well as all of the games found within each service.
“Shown next to a video game search result, begins a list of cloud gaming platforms the game is playable on.”Chromium Gerrit
My hope is that it presents every game’s cover art and information beautifully, and acts like a AAA game launcher similar to Steam, Epic Games, or GOG Galaxy. We can already see this exact philosophy of aggregating content from other services on Google TV. You have one location to mark things as “Watchlist” items, or to state whether or not you’ve already watched them. You can also give a thumbs up or down rating for movies and TV shows, and no matter what services come or go, or which content services you subscribe to or cancel, your Google TV collection of video content remains.
As of right now, we have no visuals on what the game search feature could look like, but the development team is working on a generic icon for it among other things, but I imagine it won’t be long before we get more information about this. After chromeOS, Google will likely expand Game Search to Google TV to provide gamers with a Samsung Gaming Hub-style feature for quick access to great content.
This new search method for games should come as no surprise as chromeOS has recently added several features like RGB keyboard support and VRR or Variable Refresh Rate for its displays in addition to the aforementioned Steam support, but it’s exciting nonetheless. Let me know if you’d like to search your Chromebook’s launcher for any AAA game available on any cloud gaming service and start playing it with one click without having to enter the specific provider’s app first.