One thing that will help bolster adoption of cloud gaming is by making it as easy as possible to fire up a game. To that end, Google is testing a way to start playing something with a single click from search results, even if it's not on the company's own Stadia platform.
The test, which was spotted by Bryant Chappel of The Nerf Report, not only enables folks to directly launch a game on Stadia, but it works with Xbox Cloud Gaming, NVIDIA GeForce Now and Amazon Luna as well. If you’re enrolled in the test and search for a game on one of those platforms (such as Destiny 2 or Halo Infinite), you may see a Play button in the information panel. Clicking that will either start up the game or take you to a landing page on the respective streaming platform.
The Verge and 9to5 Google saw the feature in action too. The latter noted the search results can show if a game has a timed trial on Stadia or if it’s available for free or as part of a premium subscription.
It's not incredibly surprising to see Google testing out such functionality. For several years, it has shown folks where they can stream movies and TV shows in search results. For instance, if you have a Netflix subscription and search for Stranger Things on Google, you'll be able to start watching the show with a single click.
In hindsight, it's a little odd that Google hasn't offered this feature for Stadia from the jump in order to promote its cloud gaming service. On the other hand, Stadia's store didn't have a search function for a year and a half, which offered further evidence that the platform isn't exactly one of Google's highest priorities. However, Stadia is not shutting down and Google is slowly adding more features to it.