I still remember back in 2020 when Google added a “Gaming Preferred” option to the Home app for Nest Wifi users. I was so stoked that they were giving special Stadia-focused attention to non-Stadia apps in an effort to support its cloud gaming initiative. While just a quick flick toggle that prioritized your bandwidth to devices streaming console-quality games over your network, it was really exciting.
The feature joined the “Video conferencing” option which did the same thing for instances where you would find yourself in Google Meet or Zoom calls. Google’s technology was smart enough to determine what type of traffic you were sending over your Wi-Fi and to give it special treatment in order to improve the experience.
Stadia fans will certainly know this better than anyone, but yesterday was the very last day for the little cloud gaming platform that could (until it couldn’t). With the death of Stadia and as it left its mark on history and the industry at large by pioneering something most others simply did not believe was possible before it came along comes the removal of anything that supported it.
Today, 9to5Google took notice of the fact that the aforementioned “Gaming preferred” toggle in the Google Home app has now been completely cut out. While expected, I simply didn’t expect the company to move so quickly to erase mention of Stadia from any services where it appeared to have connections. As you can see in the images below, opening Google Home on your phone, navigating to Wi-Fi, and then to “Preferred activities” will reveal that the video conferencing option is once again all alone.
It’s not all doom and gloom though – we’ve already seen Google’s efforts in this space make their way over to Search and ChromeOS with the games launcher and its partnership with hardware manufacturers to build gaming-ready Chromebooks. Don’t forget that Steam for ChromeOS is still a thing and it’s getting better the more Proton and supported hardware improve. While not all of Google’s efforts going forward are cloud gaming related, and while it no longer has its own initiative in-house, I don’t think the company’s gaming DNA will ever be snuffed out.