Google decided in September to shut down its Stadia game streaming service, shifting its goal to promoting other (and much more popular) platforms. The company is now promoting a feature in Google Search that can help you find games available through streaming services.
You might have noticed that searching for movies or TV shows on Google Search will display links to stream them on popular services, such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and other platforms. Google is now doing the same for video games — if a game is available on services like Xbox Cloud Gaming or NVIDIA GeForce Now, links to play them will be added to the knowledge panel. There’s also “no download required” text next to the links, just to clarify that the game will stream in the browser.
Google’s announcement that you can “search and launch video games in the cloud instantly with Google” confused at least a few people, since that sounds like Google might be hosting the games, but the feature only links to games on other platforms. Google’s own Stadia service is in the process of shutting down and won’t be accessible at all starting January 18, 2023.
The new search feature is similar to functionality available on the first wave of cloud gaming Chromebooks, which can display available cloud games in the system search bar, alongside web and app results. The links should be available for everyone in both desktop and mobile Google Search.