When Google first launched its Stadia cloud gaming service, they made it available for a handful of Android devices, the Google Chrome browser, and the Chromecast Ultra. While Google has yet to expand support to Android TV devices, they have enabled gameplay on dozens of additional Android smartphones and have greatly expanded the service’s functionality and game catalog. In a minor update to Google Assistant rolling out to some users, it’s now possible to directly launch games that you have purchased.
Over on Reddit, user /u/dericiouswon noticed that they were able to launch the game The Turing Test by searching for “the turing test game” in the Chrome OS search box. The Redditor noticed that this search query opened Google Chrome and directed them to a URL under the “ggp.sandbox.google.com” domain, which appears to be where Google’s internal test server is hosted. Other users noticed that you can type the name of a game followed by “game” to launch a title—for example, entering “The Division 2 game” into Assistant will launch the game on Stadia in a new Chrome tab.
According to 9to5Google, you can also launch Stadia games directly on Android phones with the app installed. The publication notes that on both Android and Chrome OS, you can launch a game that you own by saying “play [insert game]” in Google Assistant.
Top row: launching Destiny 2 on Chrome OS by entering a search query in the launcher
Bottom row: launching Destiny 2 on Android by sending a Google Assistant voice query. Image credits: 9to5Google.
Launching Stadia games through Google Assistant previously worked with the Chromecast Ultra, but now you can launch titles on all platforms where both Stadia and Google Assistant are supported. These smaller integrations demonstrate one area where Google Stadia is superior to Microsoft xCloud or NVIDIA GeForce NOW, provided you own an Android device or Chromebook. In the future, Google promises that Stadia will get deeper integrations with Assistant, but for now, all you can do with Assistant is launch games.
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