Google pulls a very Google move with its latest product announcement.
Today Google announced the "ultimate cloud gaming laptop," a quizzical claim for a nascent market. The new Google Chromebooks are optimized specifically for cloud gaming on every platform except, well, Google's own cloud gaming service.
These Chromebooks couldn't have come at a worse time. Google recently announced it would shut down Stadia, its game streaming service, in 2023. Google promptly closed all access to the Stadia storefront so no one can buy games. The new Chromebooks have no mention of Stadia whatsoever and instead advertise competing services like NVIDIA's GeForce Now, Microsoft's xCloud streaming, and even Amazon Luna.
There's three different Chromebooks made by separate OEMs including:
- Acer - Chromebook 516 GE Cloud Gaming Chromebook - $649
- ASUS - 15.6" Touchscreen Cloud Gaming Chromebook - $699
- Lenovo Ideapad Cloud Gaming Chromebook - $699
These models do not include dedicated GPUs and rely on Intel 12-generation i5 CPUs with integrated Iris Xe graphics, 16-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) displays at 120Hz, and 8GB of built-in DDR4 RAM.
The move follows Logitech's recent Cloud G mobile gaming handheld optimized for cloud and Android-based gaming.
The product reveal is one of the most tone deaf things that Google could've done and really underlines just how much Stadia failed. We've outlined that Stadia was indeed an important part of gaming's overall development, but even still, Stadia largely failed to spark mainstream cloud adoption in a way that Xbox Game Pass has the best chance to do.