Among the things Stadia didn’t deliver on day one was the Google Assistant functionality that should be front-and-center in the core Stadia experience. The button has been right there on the controller since day one, but it didn’t do anything up until now. Though limited in its usability at the moment, Stadia users can now leverage the Google Assistant when playing on a Chromecast. It’s great to see this being turned on, but the use cases are still slim at this point.
First, let’s cover how you can enable the Assistant in the Stadia app. Simply open the app, click on your avatar, select Google Assistant, and then switch it on. You can opt in to get personal results by clicking the more settings button and turning on Personal results. At this point, when playing Stadia on your Chromecast with the Stadia remote, you can click the Google Assistant button and ask Google to start up a specific game, give you the weather, or roll the dice. And you can only do these things from the main Stadia landing page, not while in a game.
The overall interface when using the Assistant on Stadia is exactly what it looks like with Android TV or on a Chromecast with visual results. There’s nothing shocking here, but the fact that the Assistant is now enabled and usable means further functionality will be coming soon. Apart from opening games, there’s just not much functionality right now that is beneficial. Hopefully, Google Assistant will be able to do some in-game functions down the road like starting a screen recording, opening up a chat, finding online friends or playing music.
For now, Google has technically delivered on yet another missing Stadia launch day promise, and that is a good sign. As the days keep rolling on, Stadia continues to gain more features and get closer to the finished product we all hope will be as awesome as originally promised. If the games continue coming, features continue showing up in a timely fashion, and the game play kinks continue getting worked out, I believe Stadia will be a force to be reckoned with in February when Stadia Base launches.