Some of Google's latest Chrome OS updates have been geared towards transforming Chromebooks into gaming powerhouses, finally making progress on a movement two years in the making. It's not just Steam support, either — we've seen code changes hinting at RGB support and the addition of variable refresh rate (VRR) display support. The latest feature is geared towards online gamers, as Google aims to offer a way to sort through cloud gaming services seamlessly.
According to 9to5Google, a series of Chrome OS launcher code changes and comments reveal the addition of a "game search" feature. One note explains that it will take the form of a list of cloud platforms — like Nvidia GeForce Now, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and, of course, Stadia — on which a game is playable, shown next to the search result for that game. You should see the listing within the search results from Chrome OS's launcher like it displays Android apps from the Play Store.
Aside from looks, it's not entirely clear how these search results will behave or interact with users. For example, will they be like Google TV, which already allows you to select certain subscription services to send you regular suggestions, or will they only show games from your subscribed services? Also, how will they handle services like Game Pass that need an active subscription to play or GeForce Now that requires you to buy its offerings through a store? It'll be interesting to see.
But why is Google working on something of this nature? If you're an avid gamer, you're already aware of the central selling point of cloud gaming — no need to buy expensive gaming hardware, making the experience plug-and-play. But with so many titles available to play in the cloud, it can be a hassle to select just one. Even when you have a game in mind, you have to go through a lengthy process of checking each service to know if it's on. With Google organizing your game streaming service libraries into one central, searchable outlet, selecting a title should be easier.