Friction is the mind-killer when it comes to cloud gaming. You can’t just click on a game trailer to start playing a game right away. But this week, Google appears to be rolling out a feature that could reduce that friction: If you just search for a game’s name in Google Search, you might be presented with a “Play” button that can launch the title immediately.
It seems that the Google search engine has a new update for cloud gaming platforms!!!
— Bryant Chappel (@BryantChappel) August 11, 2022
The Nerf Report‘s Bryant Chappel seems to be the one who noticed the change?, and he soon discovered that it’s not limited to Google’s own Stadia cloud gaming service. He says it works with Amazon Luna, Xbox Cloud Gamingand Nvidias GeForce Now too.
There’s still friction – you need to be logged into an account associated with these cloud gaming services, otherwise you’ll just get a login page and there may still be intermediate prompts. It doesn’t seem to work with all games either.
But with Stadia and Xbox Cloud Gaming, with a single click of a Google search result, you can get as far as you can by going to your favorite cloud gaming service’s website, choosing your title and hitting the play button. would find there.
It’s not clear when or if Google will fully roll out this feature. We initially saw it live this afternoon, but suddenly it was gone and no longer appears in our search results. Then it came back to me, but only to my Google Workspace account, which isn’t tied to any cloud gaming services and can’t play Google Stadia at all. Chapel confirms to The edge that he still sees it working from his home in Austin, Texas. 9to5Google saw it also.
My guess is that Google is doing an A/B test with this feature to see how people react. Or maybe it jumped the gun, not like GeForce Now in 2020, by rolling it out without game studio approval.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.